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Ah, wonderful - we have twice availed ourselves of the free lunch concerts at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.🙂 The church is sporting Christmas garlands in your photo @notamermaid - I've never visited during Christmas season. Handel's Messiah is often performed during the Christmas season - I wonder if that was the Handel concert. Did you notice a choir along with the orchestra?

 

Edited by dogs4fun
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There was no choir and thinking about it this may have been a kind of late afternoon interlude. Not sure now. It was lovely though. It could have been "Messiah by candlelight" in the evening that I saw advertised at the time. Would love to remember what it was. I also went to the shop in the crypt and bought a few items. Then had some takeaway food from Pret-a-Manger and a gingerbread man biscuit. It is oddly vivid in my memory, that day. Apart from the concert leaflet...

 

notamermaid

 

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@notamermaid. I was thinking of you last night.  Because of the pending lockdown, our light display we had tickets to will be closed.  So major rush to get there before they did.  A 45 minute drive into the city, 1 hour wait in line (and we were actually there before it opened, but I guess everyone else had the same idea), 45 minute drive through the light displays, and another 45 minutes to get back home.  Great night out with the parents, and we were really glad we were in early, as the lineups when we got out were crazy.  No pics this year, but here are some from previous years to give you an ides.  Some of the displays move (they had one this year that was Santa jumping from a "cliff" to a mountain), but my videos are to long. 

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Daisi, Thank you for thinking of me. And sharing the photos. Now I know what you mean with the drive-through, great to see. Being outside of town, they work better than the occasional displays we have. I am sure they will delight plenty of the readers of this thread.

 

There was a village in Kent in 2018 that delighted us with their display. Will try and find that photo.

 

notamermaid

 

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19 hours ago, jpalbny said:

 

Check the white balance settings. There are other ways to adjust the color but try there first. 

 

We've been to St-Martin in the fields! 

Thank you! I have found the settings you mean and will try out my adjustment in daylight.

 

notamermaid

 

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So what is everyone making for Christmas dinner?

 

Mine is traditional here:

Prime rib (reverse sear method) with au jus

Double baked potatoe recipe (which is like twice baked baked potatoes but you put the potatoes into a casserole dish instead - lots of cheese and butter).

Asparagus (green, we can't find white here).

Pop-overs

Pumpkin pie (I love pumpkin and I usually get a Candy Cane pie from Village Inn/Bakers Square and they don't have them this year). Pie is in the oven now.

 

So pretty easy compared to Thanksgiving meal. Pretty easy meal this year.

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Tonight is traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner that Chris has taught me over the years. Borsch is reheating in the slow cooker. Pierogi fillings already made - mushrooms (for the soup), sauerkraut, and potato with farmer cheese. Found the last bunch of fresh dill this morning in the supermarket; a win.

 

Baked some poppyseed sweet bread, and honey cakes, earlier this week. We might still have some left for tonight...If that fails, we have some Stollen left from the loaf that our TA sent us last week.

 

Only things left to do is make pierogi dough (very simple) and assemble them. And chop some more onions. And pick the wine for tonight.

 

 

Tomorrow I'm roasting a goose. It brined for 24 hours yesterday, and now it's drying in the fridge so the skin gets nice and crispy. I'm making a pate from the liver now. Back to the kitchen!

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I don't have any cute Christmas pictures from around here, but I just received this very cute email from a tour guide we used in Wales:

 

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My Christmas Story from Conwy:
 
We know that 2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone and there's been no exception to rule for anyone across the world.  Even Santa, along with Rudolph and the Reindeer's have been affected this year!  Santa has resorted to isolating and has been hiding out and keeping safe.    Far away from the icy North Pole, where Covid thrives in the cold conditions, Santa this year went into isolation and found the most amazing grotto and hideaway right here in North Wales!  
 
Hidden among the medieval walled town of Conwy in North Wales, is the Smallest House in Great Britain (painted red).  It’s become Santa’s 'NEW' secret grotto.  
 
Local Covid rules means Santa has had to take social distancing seriously.  So this year he is making personal deliveries on foot, without the aid of Rudolf and the team.  We caught him earlier this morning, leaving from the house to start his rounds delivering all those lovely presents to everyone!  
 

Nadolig Llawen (Merry Christmas)

 

John
Boutique Tours of Wales
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Notamermaid, I am a Londoner born & bred and of all the churches St Martins in the Field is my favourite I’ve sat and enjoyed many services and recitals in my youth.

The Kings College service of nine lessons and carols is another worth looking out for it’s beautiful. CA
Below is one of my growing collection of Mickey tree decorations from my daughter on our USA visit earlier this year.

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We have a potential winter storm mid-next week. The models are disagreeing but range from 0-24" of snow...... We have a little bit of snow on the ground from our near blizzard on Wednesday. Technically my city didn't have a blizzard but 30 miles in most directions from us did and it felt like it but did not meet the legal definition of a blizzard for us.

 

It will be a quiet day here. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Edited by Coral
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@gnome12, nice snow.  This is what we woke up to... I can't ever remember having them out this late in the year.  Sometimes in the early thaw in Feb, but not Dec.  The creek is almost over it's banks, and we have "lakes" in our front yard.

 

Merry Christmas all.

 

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Edited by Daisi
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Trash pandas! Kinda cute. 

 

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Amazed at how much snow melted overnight. 

 

Taking advantage of the warm spell to drain the hot tub, because I can actually get to the garden hose now that the snow melted. But when I got there, the stupid antisiphon valve had gone kaputt in the cold weather. So the hose bib was leaking all over the place! 😡

 

Luckily I had a spare, just for such an occasion. I detest those devices. Nothing but trouble. Anyway, disaster averted and the hot tub is filling up nicely. Now to order a spare from Amazon...

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Beautiful snowfall. Tough on the trees when it's wet and heavy, though. 

 

The Christmas Goose turned out great. I stuffed it with aromatics (fruits, onions, and fresh herbs) so I didn't have to overcook the meat waiting for the stuffing to come up to temperature.

 

It looked great after only 1 hour in the oven but needed more time. At this point it had already rendered over 2 cups of fat. I added some potatoes and put it back in the oven.

 

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After 2 hours it was done. Time to rest while we made the rest of the dinner. The skin was so crisp.

 

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So we set the table using our nice china, and picked a fancy Oregon Pinot Noir from Domaine Serene. I made a quick cranberry relish to counteract the fatty, rich goose meat.

 

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Just a few sides. A little salad, sweet potatoes, and the russets roasted in the goose fat.

 

Time to carve! I was able to remove the breasts intact, with the skin attached. And one of the leg quarters. Thigh for me, and drumstick for Chris. Add cranberry relish, and ready to eat!

 

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It was quite a treat. We picked a bunch more meat off the bird and put it in a container, then poured all of the leftover fat over it so it can soak up that richness for a while. Yum! 


I'd make goose again. The meat was dense and rich, even more so than duck, I thought. It was a really festive and special treat for this most unusual of Christmases. Hope everyone else has managed to do OK in these strange times!

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1 hour ago, jpalbny said:

 

So we set the table using our nice china, and picked a fancy Oregon Pinot Noir from Domaine Serene. I made a quick cranberry relish to counteract the fatty, rich goose meat.

 

20201225_143821.thumb.jpg.479ac5ae22d6bf201376d25a339b49df.jpg

 

Just a few sides. A little salad, sweet potatoes, and the russets roasted in the goose fat.

 

Time to carve! I was able to remove the breasts intact, with the skin attached. And one of the leg quarters. Thigh for me, and drumstick for Chris. Add cranberry relish, and ready to eat!

 

20201225_145044.thumb.jpg.38edd01d7fffad689c9975b2ab8bcaae.jpg


I'd make goose again. The meat was dense and rich, even more so than duck, I thought. It was a really festive and special treat for this most unusual of Christmases. Hope everyone else has managed to do OK in these strange times!

It looks amazing! Thanks for sharing pictures. Merry Christmas!

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On 12/24/2020 at 7:43 PM, Canal archive said:

The Kings College service of nine lessons and carols is another worth looking out for it’s beautiful. CA

Yes, listened to part of that on Christmas Eve.

 

Food, drink laughter, presents on 24th, more of that yesterday. Today, meeting relatives in their garden, dog not doing the social distancing, he had fun with us! Now getting ready for more food, drink, laughter and presents. Tomorrow perhaps a Christmas film and meeting more people in their gardens.

 

Meanwhile as promised,

On 12/23/2020 at 1:56 PM, notamermaid said:

There was a village in Kent in 2018 that delighted us with their display. Will try and find that photo.

, is a photo from a village we drove through near Canterbury in Kent in 2018:

 

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Behind a cottage we spotted this entrance to a private garden full of ornaments, a real Christmas lights walk-through, just for the family I think. We did not dare ask if we could have a look further inside.

 

Have a good evening.

 

notamermaid

 

P.S.: No snow in the valley, snow at 400m and over. Needs a longer drive to try and find some.

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
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