the gentle bucolic ramblings of an English rose, blooming in rural Normandy

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas cards, cake and catching up.

Life at the Presbytere has moved into the slow lane this month.
Not for us the hurly burly of Christmas shopping, bright lights and parties, we’re hibernating indoors where it’s cosy and warm and the air is scented by wonderful aromas of baking cakes and pies, mingled with the delicious smell of wood smoke.
Instead of an elaborately decorated Christmas cake, this year, I've opted to bake a lighter, less dense Dundee cake.

Packed with cherries, currants, raisins, cranberries and orange and lemon peel, (soaked overnight in Scotch Whiskey) and simply decorated with whole blanched almonds it will be the perfect light bite to serve for afternoon tea.
Delia’s recipe of course.

We recently had two new wood burning stoves installed, one in the sitting room and the other in the library/tv room.

The SP is in charge of keeping the home fires burning and he has named them Big Bertha and Mini Me.


Outside, a winter’s worth of logs stand stacked and ready.
Cards from family and friends wishing us “Happy Holidays” & “Seasons Greetings” are arriving daily.


I always enjoy catching up with their news if there’s a letter included with the card.
Whose daughter or son has married this year, who has become a grandparent for the first time, or the seventh in the case of one set of friends! Vacations enjoyed; homes bought and sold, sitting quietly with a mug of hot pomegranate tea and a bite of spicy Lebkuchen, whilst listening to a CD of Christmas music, I'm content to absorb it all.
Not all the news comes via La Poste.
I catch up with the younger members of my extended Northern family on Facebook.
Cousin Kay who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of this year, she had her final chemo last month, posted this on her Facebook page on Friday.


Love you, Kay.


Linking this post to Mosaic Monday with Mary @ the little red house 
and Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup for a Pause in Advent.


15 comments:

  1. Beautiful post,

    Maggie. Isn't this just the best time of the year?
    Carol

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  2. What a beautiful post Maggie. I love the look of your house and I can smell the delicious cake3. Have a nice week.

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  3. Wonderful post. Delicious cake. I love those stoves! Best wishes to your cousin.

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  4. Lovely post. I love the list. And your photos are very pretty.

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  5. Maggie, your Dundee Cake looks delicious! Recipe please? I also love reading the news from friends far and near, as Christmas cards, letters and photos arrive in the mail. And facebook makes our job of keeping up with each other a lot easier when we are so far away.

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  6. Your house seems so cosy! We're trying to get a second wood burner fitted at the moment - not easy if you want to do it in a rather unorthodox way, which sadly, we do... I'm really glad you're joining in the Pause in Advent again - thanks!

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  7. You can never go wrong with Delia.

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  8. This is a lovely, calming post, Maggie. We were away for the weekend and then I was called in to teach Monday morning which is going to extend through Tuesday, maybe into Wednesday. I have a house that needs to be attended to but no energy. I think I'll just stop and take a few minutes to just enjoy a cup of tea with my feet up.

    Your Dundee cake sounds like something my husband would really enjoy.
    Have a great week.

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  9. Hello Maggie! I don't think we've met before. Your wood burners look very cosy and warming. Enjoy your French Christmas - we're going home to the UK this year.

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  10. A beautiful post, Maggie. I love your photos...so cozy....and your cake looks delicious. Curl up next to that fire with some tea, cake and a good book!
    I read Kay's list carefully. We need to read it often. One gets so wrapped up in ones own life that we often forget what's important.

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  11. A warm, heartfelt post, Maggie. I'm still working on your issue with my blog. I suggest you retype the url in your list of blogs you follow. xo Jenny

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  12. Oh, what a lovely visit for this Pause in Advent. I feel more relaxed already! And I so admire your wood-burning stoves. I have one in our house but we've only tried it once. But I have wood stacked in back, JUST in case we ever lose power. Then my senior mom and I can stay warm, and my grandkids and kids will come over as well if theirs also goes out. So if that happens, I may be asking you a ton of questions. :)

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  13. I adore a good homemade Dundee cake - and usually make one when I'm here for the holidays.
    This year no holiday baking or much else as we leave soon!

    Love and hugs - have a wonderful Christmas Maggie.

    Mary X

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  14. Oh Maggie-- how very lovely. I can just picture you snuggled in front of that fire with your wonderful cake and cup of tea. To me-- that is the very essence of celebrating the holidays---

    I'm sending bright wishes to you both for the season and great big hugs across the way--
    Happy Holidays dear Maggie and Roger

    Xoxo
    Vicki

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  15. I am reading down all of your posts but I especially loved this glimpse into your world at the holidays. Oh -- I want to bake and haven't been able to make the time for it. But you inspire me. And Delia's cake looks wonderful.

    Oh, holiday joy to you, my friend!

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Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!