Christmas Eve Eve

Dire weather warnings continue (but that appears to be the case wherever one lives in the UK just now, our only trump card on that is our caravan dwelling status and the effect of cancelled ferries) but here at Goddard Heights we are ready for Christmas.

The solstice on Saturday saw us carolling and on Sunday we processed two turkeys – one for us and one for a fellow islander. Ady did the first by himself but I assisted with the second one. Davies and Scarlett declined to participate this time although they have previously seen the full process of both chickens and turkeys (and infact assisted in turkeys at one of our WWOOF hosts).

Ady worked at a turkey farm slaughtering turkeys for a few years way back before we met so I got a full biology lesson along with some technical teaching in plucking, processing and preparing. It was lovely to see the healthy inners of our birds and we were so impressed with the full crop of the second one that we bought it up intact to the kids to open up. The contents filled one of our large saucepans and was almost entirely fresh green grass and some corn.

The first bird was just over 3.5kg and the second slightly larger at just under 4kg – slow grown, happy, healthy birds living a completely natural life. I will always eat meat and my dream is to be consuming only our own poultry, pork and venison from Rum.

More festive food preparation with another batch of mince pies (I’m down to just two jam jars of my own mincemeat left from about 10 jars at the start of the month, these may keep over now til next year), three jars of cranberry sauce (made with fresh cranberries, orange juice and zest and ginger wine, delicious) and some ginger liqueur made from vodka infused with a pile of ginger from way back a month or so ago. The ginger which was really a by-product I was planning on throwing away is divine if very firey, so I have put that aside to do something with too. Next year my ambition is for all the fruit and veg to be Croft 3 produce for Christmas but we’re doing pretty well for a self sufficient start to our second Christmas here.

My Christmas cake looks and smells delicious but the icing will require some further attention tomorrow. It turns out icing sugar does not keep well in a very damp caravan and it took quite some coaxing to turn the solid brick into glossy icing. It will need to be done in layers!

Today brought a disrupted timetable ferry and on it came all of the last things we were waiting for and a couple of things I had given up hope of getting before Christmas. We also heard from our winkle man that there is a cheque in the post on it’s way to us for a good price for our winkles so that boosted morale all round. Presents are all wrapped with the exception of a last minute cuddly toy pig I am making for Scarlett (pink with black spots fluffy material being one of the items which arrived that I was not really expecting) to look like her favourite wee girl piglet we lost last week.

Davies and Scarlett spent the morning making and decorating gingerbread houses that had been bought for them by visiting friends a few weeks ago. I think it’s the first time we’ve done them and they really enjoyed themselves and got very artistic and creative. Next year they are planning to construct something rather elaborate having worked out how the construction from panels works – there was talk of a gingerbread Kinloch Castle!

Tomorrow is our final festive film (we have watched one Christmas film a day since December 1st – advent DVDs), making Christmas stockings, a trip to the shop in the late afternoon for mulled wine and mince pies with fellow islanders and a final food shopping spree to spend the Christmas club money we have been paying in each week.

Merry Christmas to all our readers – we hope your festive celebrations are peaceful, filled with love, light, happiness and magic.

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