Sunday, 30 December 2007

Secret Santa

Sharon's fantastic cookie -decorated tree

Sandra likes this one!
When we meet in December it is near the end of the month and becomes a Christmas celebration. As well as bringing food and having a festive drink or two we enjoy our Secret Santa gifts. Not for us the tame drawing of lots for gifts, we have adapted our own rules, which are basically these:- There is a cash limit on each of the gifts, and they must anonymously be put in the basket. When the time comes, we are each issued with a number to show in which order we must choose a gift. Number one can do nothing more than choose a gift and open it, but from two onwards you choose a gift, open it and decide if you like it better than any other previously opened one. If you covet someone else's you just do a swap. This year we decided to bring two gifts each, which made for a much livlier occasion, as we have previously been a bit reluctant to steal things when people really seem to like them. Imogen swears that her gifts are always taken from her, I don't know why she should feel that, but she does always seem to choose nice ones from the basket.

Now Sharon's got it, it was the one that Imogen wanted

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Thanksgiving Photos

Red beads to represent cranberries on plant material from Imogen's garden.

Imogen did a little reading for each of us about the meaning of Thanksgiving, half were on corn shapes and half on fish. The turkey place names are from a Martha Stewart pattern. Find it at along with a lot of other interesting ideas.

Sharon, under an American Flag!!

A well-used copy of a book I bought in the '80's, Martha Stewart 'Entertaining' provided the recipes for cornbread and a cranberry, orange and walnut relish. The turkey stuffing came from an adaptation of two recipes I found on her website, the first one was highly calorific and the second more modern version, far too sensibly low-cal for us. Principle ingredients are apples, chestnuts and prunes, loved by all of us

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Giving Thanks

How can I possibly thank all my friends enough?

For Thanksgiving, everyone got together and feasted!

Angela and Imogen did all the cooking and produced a real, traditional, American Thanksgiving FEAST!

There was turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, stuffing, cranberry jelly, cornbread, everything you can possibly imagine - even popcorn! The feast was amazing! We all know that Angela and Imogen are brilliant cooks, but they really outdid themselves this time! We ate and laughed and talked for hours while listening to The Glenn Miller Orchestra (which really put us all "In the Mood" - we danced a bit to that one!)

The decorations included adorable, handmade turkey place cards, a flag banner and matching napkins.

Imogen even created a reading for each guest about the original Thanksgiving on handmade cards in the shapes of fish and ears of corn!

I am thankful for many things, especially for knowing Angela, Imogen, Ann, Trish, Sandra, Jane, and Caroline.