Wednesday Hodgepodge

Wednesday Hodgepodge – last before Christmas 2011!

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope this week finds you enjoying time with friends and family as we celebrate the gift of God’s only Son. Be sure to add your link to the bottom of Joyce’s post and then go spread Christmas cheer to some of the other Hodgepodgers playing along today. Merry Christmas!

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?

I am indeed cooking Christmas dinner! I can’t wait to use my new cooker (second hand, but new to me) and I am really looking forward to having both ovens in use and all the hobs going to do the vegetables and the sauces etc.

We will be having a starter of goats cheese and red onion tartlets and the main course will be turkey, pork, roast potatoes (goose fat, rosemary and salt for taste and crispiness), carrots, sprouts with pancetta and roast chestnuts, roast parsnips finished off with honey, cauliflower cheese, maybe even a braised head of red cabbage (depends on my stress levels). Accompanying sauces will be apple sauce, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy but no bread sauce (another sacrilege haha!).

For dessert we don’t have the traditional Christmas pudding – almost sacrilege in my country – but we will probably have a trifle and an assortment of mince pies, shortbread or cheese and crackers depending on room in tummies! I am expecting anywhere between 9 and 14 people for reasons I don’t want to go into in public.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?

Erm….none, we don’t really “do” cookies in our house.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies-do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim, almond, soy, full fat (Gasp!)

In our house we leave a mince pie and a small glass of sherry for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph. Strangely, he always manages to leave half a pie, an empty glass and Rudolph only ever eats half a carrot. We got caught out one year when Ethan found the other half of carrot in the fridge on Christmas morning. That took some fast talking to explain!!

4. Time magazine recently named its Person of the Year for 2011. This is the person the editors believe has had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose ‘The Protester’. Your thoughts? Who would you name person of the year for 2011?

I’m going to nominate a friend of mine who had it not been for her I would not be facing the end of this year with so much enthusiasm and hope for the coming months. I realise that the question is fishing for a global answer, but I can honestly say that there hasn’t been one single person I can think of who has impacted me and my immediate loved ones more than Hazel has this year. As Joyce says, the “celebrities” already get more attention than they deserve and politicians tend only to do profound things that harm people rather than support them.

The reason I nominate Hazel is because she put me onto a website called oDesk which is a site for online working from home. I signed up to it without much hope but within a few days and several job applications later I was approached by an employer who wanted me to transcribe a series of business interviews for her. Not only was I given the opportunity to earn some money – not a lot but that’s not the point, I had EARNED it – but I learned so much from the interviews that I am now confident about setting up and running my own online business which will hopefully support me and my family in the coming years. I was literally hit by inspiration and my head nearly exploded with the possibilities that have been created. If it wasn’t for Hazel, my friend, I would not be as hopeful, cheerful, enthusiastic, eager to live or downright EXCITED as I am now.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day…when was the last time you needed a flashlight? Did you know right where to find one?

I last used a torch (as we call them in the UK) when we were camping this summer. Our last campsite had no lights at night whatsoever so I needed one to go to the toilet block across the field.

6. candy canes…yum or yuck?

I like to see them but I’m not really enamoured by eating them.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?

I love the narrative of The First Nowell. It is so special to me, always has been, but this year it has taken on a new meaning to me after the work I was involved with at church and the local children. It was brought to me that the extraordinariness of the Nativity was precisely the opposite – it was so ordinary it was extraordinary. Mary was an ordinary girl, Joseph was an ordinary guy, the shepherds were ordinary workers of the fields, the stable was so ordinary it couldn’t have been more basic…yet in the midst of all that was born someone so extraordinary that his birth, his life, his story and his message live on more than 2000 years later. But I digress. My heart has always been with the shepherds – they were on the fringes of society, they were shunned by their peers, they were cold, lonely, working in such a dangerous occupation and yet they were chosen by God to go and witness the birth of Christ. The First Nowell is their story and I love it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice and light will be returning to us after tomorrow. Certainly is – the light of Christ will be celebrated only a mere three days later!!

Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you for your kind words of support and generous encouragement via the Hodgepodge.

A special THANK YOU to Joyce who has never failed to provide the means for our weekly communication across the globe despite her commitments to work, family, travels, friends and illness. Joyce you are a special lady and I am glad to know you. God bless xx


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