Jo tagged everyone who reads her blog at http://lifeinwindermere.blogspot.com/ and as it’s nearly Crimbo, I thought I’d enter into the spirit and play along. Feel free to join in, if you wish.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I’m one of those sick individuals who actually likes wrapping presents.
2. Real tree or Artificial? It has to be real, messy, but I love the smell.
3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend before Christmas.
4. When do you take the tree down? On the twelfth day of Crimbo.
5. Do you like eggnog? No, it’s too sweet.
6. Favourite gift received as a child? A doll’s house.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Mick, he’s easily pleased.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards. Mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? When I first moved to California, my mother-in-law always sent me tights (hose), in that ghastly shade of American tan. (Well, she was in her late 70’s then, bless her, and I suppose they were cheap to mail). The thing is, I hardly ever wore tights in California, and certainly not American tan.
12. Favourite Christmas Movie? The Great Escape. I know, I know, it’s not a Christmas movie, but they used to show it every year in England at Christmas, so I always associate it with the holiday.
13. When do you start shopping? Usually, end of October through November. I like to get everything sorted out before Thanksgiving. I can’t bear the madding crowds of Black Friday onwards. This year things didn't go according to plan. :-(
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don’t think so, though I may have put some in the bin.
15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey with all the trimmings.
16. Lights on the tree? Of course, but not the flashing ones, I hate those.
17. Favourite Christmas song? There are a few, all ancient, but I like them anyway. Do they know it’s Christmas by Band Aid, Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard, I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday by Roy Wood, and White Christmas by Bing Crosby. For carols, I think Silent Night.
18, Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home. Christmas in England is always so much more fun than the US, but I hate travelling in winter, and I hate flying anytime.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? No.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither, I don’t put anything on top of the tree.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The crowds, and the commercialism.
23. Favourite ornament, theme or color? A few miniature sweaters I knitted myself, which hang on the tree on mini hangers. For some reason, the cats take special delight in knocking these off the tree.
24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Turkey and all the trimmings.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? For a publisher to show some interest in my book.
Okay, enough of all that Christmas humbug, on with the recipe.
It’s been pretty cold around here this past week, with highs in the low 30’s F (approx. 1-2°C). Monday they are forecasting snow, with a high of 27°F (minus 3°C), and a low of 15°F (minus 9°C). Brrrrrrr. Soup is definitely the order of the day.
I have been making this cream of mushroom soup for so long that I have no idea where the original recipe came from. The original does use a full stick of butter, and a cup of cream, I use slightly less butter, and half the cream, and it is still creamy and delish. Served with lots of crusty bread, it’s a meal in itself.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 lb. mushrooms
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, fairly finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
Black pepper, to taste
½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Remove stems from mushrooms. Slice mushroom caps, and chop stems.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over a medium heat.
- Add sliced mushroom caps to pan, and sauté until mushrooms are tender, approx. 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushroom slices to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion and mushroom stems to same pan and sauté until onion is translucent.
- Stir in flour and ½ cup of broth until flour is blended. Gradually add remaining stock, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Transfer onion/mushroom mixture to a blender and puree.
- Return pureed mix to pan, add mushroom caps, season with a little black pepper, and reheat for 5 minutes.
- Add cream, and heat gently for a further 5 minutes, do not allow to bubble.