'Twas the Week Before Christmas, and All Through the House..

Well, let me see:

One of the cats is climbing the Christmas tree and eating the Christmas decorations.
The other one has entered in to the spirit of Christmas by bringing us a perfectly disembowelled rat kidney as a present.
It is the sticky season, ie gingerbread is us. The entire floor is coated in a lovely veneer of butter and icing sugar. This year we had a traditional offering (above), and an Australian interpretation (below). Note the grass and the kangaroo.

I had a green and thrifty gingerbread moment this morning. Usually I buy giant sheets of cellophane from the florist to wrap up the houses until Christmas Day to keep the nasty flies off them, but today I realised I could store them in the glass-fronted cupboard in the dining room to keep them safe instead.

Our other gingerbread save involved finding a recipe for a tiny family friend who is severely allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. I found this useful vegan gingerbread recipe which made gorgeous little gingerbread men, and I think I like them better than butter gingerbread. The coconut oil made them crispy, like gingernut biscuits. Yum. We substituted lemon juice for the soy milk. We don't believe in soy milk.

We have had ballet concerts, choir concerts, Speech Night, end of year assemblies, the last of which I get to attend in an hour from now, after which the last of the girls will be on school holidays, and apart from a break-up pool party in our backyard this afternoon, there will be peace, perfect Christmas peace.

I can't wait.


Anonymous said…
This coming weekend was my first "at home with abso-bloody-lutely nothing on" weekend since oh, the beginning of November.

It was lovely while that thought lasted.

We are now going on a Christmas lights cruise on Friday night, and I have friends over on Sunday for lunch. Plus, we're potentially going to be trekking half way across the universe if this car the bloke has his eye on is as good in the flesh as it is on the screen. So that'll be Saturday afternoon taken up. Ah well.
GretchenJoanna said…
I'm glad to see a vegan gingerbread that you like that much - this year I made two different sorts of cookies with coconut oil instead of butter and they both left an unpleasant aftertaste. Maybe the spices would prevent that for me...or the lemon. Those little men certainly look like successful Gingerbread Boys!
Jo said…
Miss Maudy, I am feeling the pain.. Right now I feel like I will fall over if I don't get a day off.. maybe Saturday?
Gretchen Joanna, the coconut oil smell was quite obvious as dough, but I couldn't taste it once it was cooked. As you say, maybe the spices? Also, used treacle instead of molasses in the original recipe, which made them more golden, less healthy no doubt!
Heather said…
I feel like there is gritty sugar over all the surfaces of my kitchen. I clean and clean and it keeps resurfacing somehow. I guess that is just proper kitchen disarray during Christmas. I love all your homemade goodness!
Anonymous said…
You clever girls! I must admit, it does look a little bit like the kangaroo relieved himself on the Australiana version but I guess that means that the person who is the least squeemish will get extra chocolate bits? ;). Not entirely sure you asked me for permission to use my gingerbread effigy at the end of your post but permission granted in the spirit of Christmas goodwill ;). Eggs...on the porch...by midday...have a lovely Christmas and lets hope it isn't too hot or raining (both highly likely) and especially not the two of them combined! I am starting to think that Tasmania might be the new Queensland...
Tanya Murray said…
I'm exhausted just looking at it. Thought about a gingerbread house - BRIEFLY - but I'm done. A salt dough dove fell of the Christmas tree and broke a tail which I assume one of the dogs taste tested but they didn't go for the rest. Just a little bit nervous about wrapped chocolates under the tree, they haven't before....
Linda said…
Gingerbread men look scrummy. Why don't you approve of soy milk?
The floor comment made me laugh. Last week I was cleaning up the kitchen forever after DH decided to make a damper. What is it with men and flour!? Sorry I digress. Your gingerbread houses look fabbo and I love the kangaroo one. The GF g/bread men are great and interesting that you say they are tastier. We don't have allergens, but Paleo Man wants coconut oil with everything so I have started using it a lot. It's great to cook with, but I've found different brands have different smells. BTW I don't believe in Soy milk either for various reasons.
Glad to hear your whirlwind pre-Xmas windup is over and you can take a big breath and relax! cheers Wendy
Jo said…
Heather, I'm thinking the sugar grit could be considered as Christmas fairy dust, clearly it is a prerequisite of Christmas and we should leave it as a sort of offering to the Christmas kitchen gods..
Fran, I went outside this morning to discover the egg ninja had been - thankyou so much! I am so sad to have missed him, I was going to load him up with lemons:( Ha, that bikini-clad gingerbread was meant to be me, isn't it lovely to have witty daughters!
Tanya, I would never in a million years choose to make a gingerbread house. It is all the girls' doing. I just get to mop afterwards.. Hope your chocolates remain uneaten until Christmas!!
Linda, we don't allow soy milk in the house because it tastes nasty! Although apparently there are people in the world who like it.. so we hear..
I made a gingerbread house a few weeks back - I had to leave it at my parents, the fumes were too alluring, that I've since made two more half batches of dough, one batch I made boring cookies (pre buying cutters) and then the second batch I took to make at a friend's stitch and bitch session, but alas time ran out. I left her with instructions.

My house making, my my my, the BF who never wipes a bench even noted the change in surface texture. Not to mention the concrete on the floor! That required some serious water and elbow grease to remove!!

Merry Christmas!
Tammy said…
I love how you decorated the gingerbread people. The bikini one, complete with belly button, made me literally laugh out loud!
Anonymous said…
I love the snow all over the top gingerbread house!

Agree with you on soy milk. Don't know why it is called milk anyway. Should go by its real name: bean juice.

And it's a fraud keeping it in the dairy section. Keep it with the juices, on the shelf. It doesn't need refrigeration. It's not dairy. (Opps, said that already.)

Hope life settles down for you after Christmas and you have time to read. (Selfishly, I am missing you on my blog. Your comments always make me smile.)
Judy said…
Wow, a break up Christmas Pool Party! That sounds so heavenly and is hard to imagine feeling cold and wrapped in jumpers :)

My youngest breaks up today too and we are having a Christmas party. It will be indoors making crackers and melted snowman soup, and playing rather messy games with squirty cream. It really gets you in the Christmas spirit. Oldest daughter has made a fab chocolate christmas cake with santa bursting out of the middle. Floor is clean so far, but soon to be covered with squirty cream and glitter :)

Merry Christmas Jo and followers!
Jo said…
Wendy, yes, cooking and cleaning are apparently two whole different activities.. loved the crispness that the coconut oil added to the gingerbread, will have to experiment more with that. I hear coconut oil very good for us all.
Sarah, well done on the gingerbread domestic-goddess-ness.
Tammy, my darling daughter made the plump, bikini-clad gingerbread person in MY image apparently... not that I have worn a bikini since 4 extremely enormous babies ruined my stomach forever..
Lucinda, yes, another thing we agree about. Bean juice. Haha!
I now have parents, a son and a husband all under one roof, and our very last Christmas event last night. Apart from teeny amount of shopping, should be free to pepper all your blogs with endless comments now:)
Judy, please post photos of melted snowman soup. The mind boggles!!
Enjoy your Christmassy mess:)
Loving your Australian version of the gingerbread house! I've hardly done any Xmas baking yet...I need to get going!
Jo said…
Sarah, Christmas baking, that's what children are for:)

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