The Little Lemon, the Little Fox and lots of Duckies

I know I’ve not written for a while and have been meaning to for a few weeks but I hadn’t realised until I checked yesterday that it’s actually been about six weeks since I wrote about our weekend in Monza, and the main reason is that we’ve been rushed off our feet making giant mountains of fudge which is never a bad thing! This is the Little Lemon’s first festive season so we’ve jumped in feet first and booked ourselves in for eight markets and a wedding cake, all before the middle of December. Sound crazy? Well, maybe a little bit but it’s been so much fun so far that despite not being able to move for crates of fudge in our house we’re really enjoying ourselves.

We’ve twice had friends round for the evening to help us cut and package fudge in return for dinner, which is an alternative to Tupperware evenings (although now I come to think of it, it’s probably not that different) and we’ve been busy putting together our gift boxes too. This weekend, our Canadian friend Chaps who is on tour in Paris with Cirque de Soleil came to visit us and was not deterred at all by us roping him in to help at Lighting Up The Manor (setting up a state of the art show in a ginormous tent all over the world is nothing compared with setting up the Little Lemon…)

blue_gift_inst red_gift_inst small_gift_instNext weekend we’ll be at the Duck Pond market for Saturday AND Sunday; the last time we did a two-day event there was the Medieval weekend in August which was brilliant, and this time there’ll be Christmas music and mulled wine! Can’t wait.  After that we’ll be back at the Little Fox for an evening market (“The Starlight Market” which just sounds lovely and Christmasy) and then another two-dayer at the Duck Pond in mid-December. Phew. Oh, and some dear friends are tying the knot at the end of this month and we’re delighted to be making their cake for them. They’ve chosen beautiful autumnal colours for the wedding – imagine deep reds, burnt oranges, winter berries and leaves and you’ll get an idea – and the decoration of the cake will complement the bride’s bouquet. We’re very excited about it!

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We’re so pleased that the Little Lemon has taken off so well, and even the website is starting to garner more attention with online orders coming in and people tweeting us lovely messages about our fudge.  So, come mid-December we’ll have a chance to sit down and rest our aching feet, spend time with loved ones and enjoy a few days off, but until then it’s going to be a real whirlwind of a time. A big, Christmasy whirlwind covered in tinsel and baubles, of course.

Yuletide in Vegas

This is the second time we’ve spent Christmas in America – last time we were at the end of our backpacking trip and finished up in Miami, staying with our friends who were touring the U.S with a Cirque show.  On Christmas Day, we all went to the Cirque end-of-tour party at a hotel and drank wine by the pool on the rooftop, and then had our ‘real’ Christmas Day back in the apartment with a 25lb turkey and lots of tour friends.  Tree did an amazing job, making cranberry sauce and bread sauce from scratch as well as preparing lots of veggies.  We did the roast spuds in someone else’s apartment (well, our oven was completely full with that 25lb turkey…) and a brilliant time was had by all.

This time, we’re visiting those same dear friends who have since toured Japan with the same show and have now settled in Vegas.  Hub and I had forgotten just how much the yanks love Christmas, and I squealed with excitement when I saw all the houses decked out with lights.  It really is just the way it appears on telly. The other thing that has become apparent is the baking that goes on over Christmas over here – Tree and Josh have made mince pies, peppermint chocolate slab, gingerbread men and cookies with crushed candy canes.  We’ve eaten brilliantly while we’ve been here and are looking forward to NYE down on the strip – apparently it’s utterly crazy so it’ll definitely be an experience.  We’re starting off with dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, then up to the rooftop of one of the casinos to sit in the back of their truck to watch the fireworks…

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A house full of festive aromas

Only three weeks to go until the Christmas holidays and I can’t wait.  We’re off to Vegas to spent the festive period with some dear friends and although I’ll be sad to be leaving our three fluffy babies behind, I am consoled by the fact that there’ll be a little puppy in Vegas when we get there.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy making Christmas presents of the culinary variety, including quite a few Christmas fruit cakes – our house has smelt of booze-soaked fruit for the past few days and it’s delicious.  Next week we’ll be making homemade mince pies and the house will once again be filled with festive smells.  Lots of people I know are lamenting the passing of summer but for me this is one of the best times of the year, notwithstanding the dark early mornings.  The evenings seem to go on forever and everything is cosy and warm indoors.

The newest addition to our family, George the labrador, has been with us for a month now and has settled in beautifully.  We gave in quite early on and agreed to let him on the sofa (a decision which divides many dog-owners) but we don’t regret it as it’s like having a huge hot water bottle to keep you warm.  The other bonus is all the exercise we’re now getting – it’s amazing how you actually look forward to wrapping up in twenty-five layers and going for a  good old walk.  Weekends now consist of long rambles with George in the woods in Ruislip or to the Lido where he makes friends with anyone and everyone on four legs!  He is also very much enjoying all of the Christmas cooking that’s going on…