12 Things About Christmas

Once upon a time …

Though it’s not really that long ago, it’s amazing how much the things & the work surrounding the Christmas festivities have changed.

Can you add to this list?

  1. Where did we find the time to write 50, 60, maybe even closer to 100 Christmas cards? By hand even? And we had to lick the stamps! Yuck!
  2. There was a time when the Amazon was only a river & a rainforest. Now we don’t even have to leave home to shop.
  3. Expecting a CD or vinyl under the tree? Now we get an email with a gift subscription link to a streaming music service.
  4. We had no other choice but to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Christmas Day.
  5. Remember how long it took to find that one dead bulb that kept the tree lights dark?
  6. On Christmas morning, we had to light the fire with paper, kindling & matches. That sounds so Dickensian! LOL
  7. We got up at 5am to start preparing the Christmas dinner. Now we slap the pre-cooked turkey & ham into the oven 45 minutes before eating.
  8. Our local church streams its services. Is that okay, do you think!?! Unless the kids are young, of course, then there’s no choice but to go to the crowded children’s mass. And yeah, that takes about two hours!
  9. Hey priest & choir master … we used to know the words to those old “greatest hits” Christmas hymns!
  10. Used to be that I’d go through the entire festive season without even thinking about the bathroom scale!
  11. Can’t believe there was a time I was disgusted by the thought of having Christmas dinner on the beach!
  12. Imagine there was a time when Christmas was all about God ‘n’ love for each other ‘n’ mushy stuff like that?

Fortunately, it still is. I still see it everywhere, when I take the time to look. In the faces of family & friends when we shake hands & hug, exchanging the spirit of the season. In the local supermarket, when people drop a bag of groceries into the donation bin for those in greater need. In the Salvation Army baubles, bulging with cash donations at this time of year. In a million little ways, so many, regardless of religious beliefs, do a little more. We seems to find a little more of our humanity around this time of year.

There ought to be an app for that!

I may occasionally look back, with nostalgia, on the good old days but, to be honest, I like all the new stuff. And the new ways. I’m just grateful that we seem to have managed to preserve the spirit of, & that’s the best of, the old ways too.

I would like to wish you, & all those you hold dear, a very Merry Christmas. May whatever light that’s lights your way, shine brighter throughout this holiday.

Thank you for reading my stuff throughout 2019. I promise I’ll diet better in 2020. But forgive me if I overindulge during the holidays!

Merry Christmas to all! ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ

Gifts for Dieters

Gifts for Dieters

Instant Pot Chicken Curry

First Pass with the Instant Pot

Many years ago, I took part in a diet contest. In fact I organised it. A group of folk got together to lose some weight, and we asked our family and friends to sponsor our losses with their hard-earned cash. The proceeds went towards a local hospital that was trying to finance a piece of new equipment. The first place prize, for the person who lost the most weight, was … wait for it … a food processor!

As a habitual, long-term dieter, that’s my kind of prize. Something to do with food. Things haven’t changed much, I’m still dieting. And I wanted an Instant Pot for Christmas this year.

Santa Claus delivered … Woohoo!

I carefully read the manuals, triple checked some recipes, and I read the manuals one more time before embarking on my first Instant Pot meal. NOT! What I actually did was wing it. After spending about two minutes flipping through the user manual and the recipe book.

There was a family pack of chicken breasts in the fridge that needed to be used so chicken curry immediately came to mind. It was a hodge-podge of whatever was available after that. Potatoes, onions, and a bag of frozen peas, along with a couple of large cans of diced tomatoes for the sauce. And a cup or two of heavy cream, of course. I did a pot of rice for the normal sized people that surround me. But then I had some of that too!

I had hardly started to cook when the “Burn” message came up on the screen. I pushed a bunch of buttons, turning the thing on and off several times in the process. I pried the hissing lid off once or twice, and stirred things around to see what I could see. Eventually some kind of cooking operation went ahead. I really will have to go back and read some more of that manual, won’t I! Despite my best efforts to defeat the thing, when I finally opened the Pot, the chicken was falling-apart tender. From a culinary perspective, the end result was at least good, if not great. But considering it was my first attempt, I’m cautiously optimistic about bending this thing to my culinary will with a little more practice. The great things I see so far are the ease of use, and how quick and easy it is for clean-up. It also makes it very easy to choose real, whole-food ingredients. And that alone is a good thing.

I’m looking forward to exploring this little cooker more. It makes a surprisingly large amount of food. And it’s right in the wheelhouse of my lazy philosophy of one-pot or one-pan cooking. Only without the splatter! I’ll update my progress with this thing along the way, I’m really hoping it makes it onto my top three small appliances list.

But what is it about dieting that has me looking at food-related things for gifts? Ah well, it’s better than looking at recipe books all the time, isn’t it!

Actually, now that I think on that, I have spent just about zero time looking at cookery books, or online recipes, during the course of this diet.

I had to read that last line again myself. There may well be something very important about that!