‘No Faiery takes, nor Witch hath power to Charme: So hallow’d and so gracious is the Time…’*.

I’m sorry I have been away so long- time has passed so quickly.

So I shall try and do a quick catch up for you…

I did write a couple of posts, but in the frenzy that it’s December in the Under  Gardener’s Lodge household, they did not get edited or posted.. bad Gate Keeper and Blogger I am.

One of my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ shall be that I shall write at least once a week, and post pictures – of course it maybe just pictures… and the odd word….we shall see, we shall see!

So here is the 1st of the posts….

I have been busy working, to keep the proverbial ‘wolf’ from the door, and the ‘wolf’ here fed!

We have visited family, mother in law in particular – which has meant a road trip  ‘darn sarf’, where we managed to catch up with an old friend and spent a wonderful hours in Wimbledon.  I forgot to pack my ‘going out ‘ shoes, so sadly I had to to go out and buy a new pair…Purple of course.

…and spent a wonderful day at the seaside – Brighton and Hove,

and then drove along the coast to Littlehampton, 

we had a wonderful walk around the harbour

Where we found a wonderful chipshop, 2 bags of chips later we headed to the sea front and sat and  watched the sun go down.

After  whirlwind visit we came home to the Under gardener’s Lodge and  started to get ready for  Yule/Christmas

Most of the presents have been bought- just a few odd ones to pick up.  Some have been wrapped and some are still waiting.

I have been out into the ‘back garden to find some ‘green’ for the decorations and have made a garland and a  wreaths.

Okay I cheated a little and used an old wicker one we have had for a few years and added  Holly, Ivy and of course Mistletoe 

It was hung on the back door, where the wonderful porch is – and where I have my morning cuppa and the door which most people use when they come to see us.

We also have been and bought our first Yule/Christmas Tree for the Lodge. 

We decided that the Lodge needed a real and beautiful one, so after much searching, believe you me we spent a whole day looking , we found the perfect one.  What do you think?

I know the other ‘residents’ are curious, and have felt their presence a couple of time over the last few days as we have started to decorate the house.

The ‘wolf’ doesn’t seem that interested in it, except for sleeping under.

We are having (had ) a hearty Venison Stew with herb dumplings for Yule (22nd December)

Roo Broth. Take the lire of the deer other of the roo; parboile it on smale peces. Seeth it wel, half in water, and half in wyne. Take brede, and bray it with the self broth, and drawe blode thereto, and lat it seeth togedre with powdor-fort of gynger, other of cannell and macys, with a grete porcionn of vynegar, with raysons of corannte.

translated to modern parlance :

Venison Stew. Take the flesh of the deer or the roe. Parboil it in small pieces. Cook it well in equal parts of water and wine. Take bread and crush it in the broth. Add blood and let it cook together with strong powder of ginger or of cinnamon and mace. Add a great portion of vinegar and some currants.

We like to add vegetables, (onions, garlic, carrots, and occasionally parsnips) though I do use cinnamon and make, but being a more modern lady, I like to use a good vintage balsamic vinegar…I also like to add pearl barley , but as I am now GF **- it’s not wise, but I do occasionally add red lentils and yellow split peas, this makes a little expensive meat go further.  And thickens the stew too

I like a good hearty red wine too…

And the herb dumplings tend to be 4oz of GF flour, a tsp of baking powder, chopped fresh parsley ( from the garden) and GF suet- fresh suet would be better but seems harder to get hold of these days – I need to find a good butcher! – Salt and black pepper, and cold  water ( as cold as you can helps).

I tend to just add and mix, I know how it should feel, it should be a firm dough.  However if you use GF flour it need to be a little wetter.. but not soggy!

Make the dough into balls and place into the stew and let them cook for approx 25 mins… oh and take the lid of if you like them crunchy on top…  very yummy!

(okay  I forgot to take a picture before we ate it- was very yummy though )

and hope to have a Goose for Christmas day.

*Taken from Shakespeare’s The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke 1.1.158-65

Mar. Some saye, that ever ‘gainst that Season comes
Wherein our Saviors Birth is celebrated,
The Bird of Dawning singeth all night long:
And then (they say) no Spirit can walke abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no Planets strike,
No Faiery takes, nor Witch hath power to Charme:
So hallow’d and so gracious is the Time.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part beleeve it.

**GF = Gluten Free


About Wælcyrie

I'm a 50 plus [ how time flies] multifaceted, oxymoron, who can never really make her mind up. A Follow of the Hekate, a Wælcyrie who walks in the liminal spaces, between and betwix. a Medium, ( I'll talk to anyone dead or alive), a Writer of short stories, a disorganised Blogger, Cake Baker, Jam Maker; Mother Grandmother and Wife.
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