December

Hoo boy! I got a little tardy this month with posting! Sorry y’all!

It is a strange December so far (totally in keeping with the overarching theme of 2020 though)- its been chilly but no snow yet. Its a very tan Christmas season so far… like when we lived in Texas but with less venomous snakes and giant bugs.

Its obviously been very low-key (though work and COVID testing is decidedly NOT low-key) at home and we’ve been relishing the chilly nights and fires in the fireplace.

The Holidays too are going to look and feel a bit different than past years, but we are trying really hard to find safe ways to keep as many traditions going as we can. Creativity and flexibility seem to be the order of the day (year).

Onward!

Recipes

As we roll into the holidays, might I share this link to some unique (very French) cocktails for the season? David Lebovits’ Holiday Drinks

I can also recommend this Quick Cider-Mulled Wine, we had it at Thanksgiving and it was a hit. I brewed it in the Crock-Pot so it was available and warm all day long.

The Great British Bake Off always makes my baking ambitions rise to unreasonable levels. Here’s a link to many of the bakes done on the show. I’ve yet to decide which one I’m doing for Christmas, but let me know if you choose one and try it out!

I’ll also recommend some homemade Irish Cream (recipe via Smitten Kitchen, a perennial favorite). It it dead easy to make and delicious, and frugal! It makes a wonderful coffee creamer for winter evenings (and mornings!).

Links

France’s Island Gardens!

Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. This is ridiculous and funny, kind and warm. Its the kind of movie that makes you feel good and maybe (not that I’m speaking from experience here) unexpectedly makes you cry here and there. For me, this is the kind of gentle, sweet, clever, and knowingly silly entertainment (much like Ted Lasso on AppleTV+) that has really resonated with me during this very, very weird year. Its also very family friendly- bonus!

SkyTV Portrait Artist of the Week (or Year)- you’ll likely have to search this out on YouTube but it is fascinating and amazing to watch these incredible famous and non-famous artists do the hardest of all painting and drawing tasks- portraits. If you love art at all, you will love this. It is very much in the British Reality TV vein, full of kind and talented people just there to do an amazing job, so it is easy and engaging to watch.

Need new places to buy seeds from? Start here!

Fancy a peek into a 16th century illustrated manuscript about the natural world?

A paragraph of text written in all caps in bold calligraphy and under the text are drawings of a pink tulip and multicolored tulip with their stems intertwined, and a black and white kidney bean and a brown round bean
Image via Getty

I’ll also throw in some gentle, kind, and fun shows & movies for your holiday viewing pleasure: The Repair Shop (Netflix), The Happiest Season (Hulu), Ted Lasso (Apple+TV), Jumanji (the two new ones), Paddington 2, and The Great Pottery Throw Down (HBO Max).

To Do

Shop for seeds y’all!!!

In all seriousness, with how things went down last growing season with so many new gardeners and massive demands and supply issues with seeds, the sooner you can get your orders in the better. Review your notes about what worked, what didn’t, and what you were already planning for this coming year. Make your decisions and get those orders in (I’ve already got one order placed and another ready).

Once you have those seeds ordered, you can start planning your crop rotations and get your seed-starting schedule made. I always use Margaret Roach’s Seed Starting Calendar (its a bit harder to find with her site update, but you can follow that link or search “Seed Starting” on her site) to get my dates in line and mark everything down in one of those cheap calendars you get from the bank or local store.

We decided to add a second, funky, whimsical and fun tree to the house this year. It sits between the kitchen and dining room and we’ve dubbed it the Kitchen Disco Tree. The proper tree is being procured tomorrow and will get all lit up before the weekend is out.

That’s about it folks! Go enjoy the holidays- whatever they look like for you this year- and please be safe. Wear those masks, used that hand sanitizer, wash your mitts, and take care!

Happy Holidays!

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