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Christmas! A time of either/ors. That time of year when you are either completely in control or completely out of it! You either love it or hate it. Anticipate it with excitement, or dread it. Have just yourself to think about or a whole army. Whichever of the either/ors it is for you, you must make sure that you take time for yourself AND treat yourself.
I have two things that comprise by Christmas 'first aid kit' for that Christmas feeling of 'stop the world just for a bit so I can get off and appreciate the festive season'. They are easy, quick, and I share them with you because you, like I, may find they get you through those tricky moments!
A quick pick me up cheesy biscuit.
Oh so very simple. You need parmesan cheese, a herb of your choice (or herbs), a baking sheet and baking paper, and an oven.
- Grate some parmesan. Put it in little circles/mounds on your baking paper on your baking sheet - as many as you fancy.
- Put a herb leaf on top.
- Heat your oven to 200C. Pop them in on the baking sheet. Check after 1 minute. That's all! (But you may prefer yours more or less crispy than me so have a go, and then adjust.) They will have spread a bit and be sizzling on top.
- Remove from oven. Leave to cool. Eat.
A little warming drink. With, or without, alcohol.
- First, take your 'base' liquid. Could be water or juice of some sort.
- Add some alchohol if you wish to - vodka/gin/rum, whatever you fancy.
- Choose a herb you enjoy. It could be lemon verbena/lemon balm, or lemon thyme, or orange thyme, or sage. Take a few leaves.
- Put everything in a pan. Slowly warm. Let it sizzle just a wee bit on the edge of the liquid in the pan. And then turn it down.
- Leave to infuse for as long as you like.
Here, I took cider, and added some Lemon Verbena (which I had frozen in ice cubes during the Summer when the herb was in full growth) which is quite strong and it needs to be to stand up to the rum and cider.
Choose yourself a pretty plate. A fine mug or glass. And just sit still for a few minutes. Drink. Eat. Refresh your energy levels. And then either get back onto the list of things to do or.... just stop, eat and drink more because you deserve the break.
I leave you with this beautiful photo of Foxley Thyme, with its red, gold and cream leaves. So suitable for Christmas.
Whatever your plan for Christmas, I hope you enjoy it. And I hope that your herbs enhance the flavours of your food and drink. But most of all I wish you all a Merry Christmas - with a few moments to yourself along the way.