Halfway through the darkness

I’ve been feeling a bit over and underwhelmed by the festive season so far. When Christmas shops start popping up in August, it’s very easy to be jaded by the time Halloween is over.

We went to the annual almost-Christmas nibbles and drinks at a friend’s last night. A couple of glasses of red, some great catching up with people, and (shockingly!) my first mince pie of the season, and I’m feeling much better today.

My parents are staying with us for the better part of a week over the holidays. I’ll be doing all the cooking, so in anticipation I’ve been emptying the fridge, freezer and presses over the last few weeks. The big shop part one was done at 9am yesterday, with headphones on, and the joy of scan and shop at tesco. This was mostly our usual fortnightly grocery run with few extras. Part two was in lidl, who have a really excellent Christmas spread, including venison, free range poultry, and more cheeses, pates and nibbles than you can shake a stick at.

As a result, this is now my fridge.

Absolutely jammers.

Child locks are in full operation, as the thought of this lot accidentally spoiling is nightmare fuel.

I’m planning to keep track of the menu over the holidays, and also to minimise food waste as much as humanly possible.

Dinner tonight was chicken pesto pasta, which used up a half tub of pesto that was lingering around. I also popped on a stew for tomorrow. We’re braving the wilds of the city centre in the morning, and I anticipate being completely not bothered cooking afterwards.

Some carrots and an onion that needed using up, with garlic and beef.

In with a large sweet potato and some white spuds, then a couple of mugs of stock, a sprinkle of thyme, salt, pepper and a bay leaf. 45 minutes in my new toy, the instant pot.

I often add celery, or mushrooms, or any odd root veg at the bottom of the fridge, but I don’t have any at the moment. I just need to pickup some fresh bread tomorrow and heat this up.

Hope everyone has a lovely solstice. We have the fire on and the candles lit. There’s only about 8 hours of light here a day right now, and a chunk of that is dusky, so I’m very glad to know that the sun is on the way back.

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