Day 358 – Christmas Eve

Saturday 24th December 2011.

The kids got busy with the finishing touches to the house today, and Hubbie finally hung the mistletoe so that unsuspecting and hopefully sexy guests can be kissed under it.  Better late than never!  (He also built and extension to the dining table 2 hours before our guests arrive while I sweated the small stuff, but what the heck!)

our christmas chalkboard greeting

our glass paintings in the hall


our fireplace, christmas birds on a branch

So with a full fridge and Bob in the oven, it was time to party with the Verbeelens…….

It was an idea hatched a few weeks ago when Jules had to finally ditch the idea of Christmas for the whole family in the States, and I was balancing Christmas in Brussels and NL (due to work commitments we had to shelve our usual trip to Brittany).  Both families needed a bit of a non-family party, where I had the excuse to cook a full English Christmas dinner, accompanied by Pieter’s vegetables and trimmings from a Thanksgiving American tradition, that they had also missed out on this year.  Hence the table was bulging under the weight of turkey, chipolata’s in bacon, sausagement balls, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, gravy, roast potatoes (my best ever yet in Belgium using potatoes for mash – Pieter’s tip!), bread sauce (from M&S – fab!), roasted parsnips and turnips in parmesan crust, carrots in a maple glaze, brussel sprouts in reisling and bacon, and green beans with shallots.  Some recipes were so awesome, that I really have to borrow the book back from Jules in order to post them on the blog later as a reminder for next year!

my fridge......

Bob the turkey

Jules, Sjef and Pieter in the kitchen

Natan and Inigo

Thila and Kai

looking for presents under the tree

the boys and their presents to each other

swopping presents

excitement as always!

while the adults chill

let the feast begin....

party time!

the table is full

and there is plenty of turkey

the warm glow of Christmas

So as you can imagine, after a Christmas pudding from the Carved Angel (via Waitrose) and brandy butter, clotted cream and brandy cream…….. we were fit to explode, as all good families should feel at Christmas.  Lots of wine from Pieters family vineyard to wash it all down, and then it was time for gift swopping for the adults (I said GIFT swopping btw!).

Everyone was thrilled, Jules loved her page a day Moleskine, decorated with photos from our friendship over the year.  I think Pieter was looking forward to 7 days of fresh knickers, and a dinner out with Jules! and Sjef loved his colourful Pantone planters including colour of the year Tangerine Tango!

But mine, I could have cried with delight…..  Pieter had upcycled an old religious book into……. an iPad cover, and it is just so cool……….

ipad book


What further excuse do you need towards creating your own stuff, except a bit of time and skill, just think of all the pleasure it brings to open a present so personally thought of and so lovingly created.    xxxxx’s to you both



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