Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Its taken awhile but the spirit of excitement over the holiday has finally arrived in a smorgasbord of Christmas music, gingerbread and pumpkin. The girls made Gingerbread houses today. I used a recipe from Apples for Jam which makes a lovely lightly spiced cookie with a superb texture and easy baking. Though I intended there to be three houses when I doubled the recipe but it turned out to only be two and a handful of biscuits from the off cuts.

Its so nice to forget about the fact that you just hoovered and that the kids are eating about a ton of sugar as they nibble the decorations and just let them get on with the process. The lack of house turned out fine though as Esther and Jess loved making one together and Kitty and I did the other together.

Now if you will excuse me I have several layers of icing to scrub off the laminate floors...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do as the Romans do

We've had a birthday in these parts which has been unusually pressured. Birthdays for adults (Matt in this case) are usually lovely, relaxing and peaceful affairs in our home. This year our children's plans for M.'s 36th (!!!) got bigger and bigger. And its all the Roman's fault.

It goes like this:

History studies for homeschool are done with all the girls together. We started with ancient Britain and have now reached the Romans in Britain. The chronological process has put a great deal of things into place for the children and produced an enormous surge of enthusiasm in their history lessons. It is all spectacularly thrilling.

However the girls unanimously attacked me with the idea of planning a Roman feast.Due to a surfeit of obligations and plans we put the feast further and further back till the only option was to combine it with M.'s birthday or leave it to January.

Kitty researched and planned the menu, Esther researched and planned our costumes and Jessica wrote a PowerPoint reviewing the history of the period. As planning moved forward it became more and more obvious that their vision outstripped my enthusiasm.

This is how it all turned out... Matt came in from working in the shed to be dressed by the household servant (me) in his tunic and toga. The dinner was being served in the triclinium where diners could recline on cushions around the "roasted swan" centerpiece of our meal (cake).

We had goat stew, pieceman bread, olives, bread, almonds, fruit, vegetables and (everyones favorite delicacy) stuffed door mice. It was delicious and admittedly easier than a roast dinner however... the cake. Oh the flipping monstrous cake. Not to mention the tunics!

It was spectacular Matt loved it, the girls were over the moon, and I am so glad to move on from the Romans. Long live the Saxons!