A Christmas Feast…

image via http://homedesign.marthastewart.com/
image via http://homedesign.marthastewart.com/

I found this extraordinary image recently while reading Martha Stewart’s blogs…this image is in fact from Kevin Sharkey’s blog, Home Design.

His blog is a great read, with ideas and tips on every page…he is the Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc (MSLO).(quite a mouthfull) and he shares his step by step renovations to his apartment on his blog. He is as exacting as Martha is and it is fascinating to read how he created his beautiful home.

Back to the food….I love the colour, the textures and particularly the rustic quality of the whole arrangement .I am thinking a lot about food  preparation and presentation at the moment, with Christmas right around the corner….In a climate which is not at all cold or wintery, this type of feast would be ideal for Christmas and especially great if one were feeding a lot of people….

image via http://www.marthastewart.com/
image via http://www.marthastewart.com               Martha’s  cranberry glazed turkey

We have ordered our ham but I am thinking about also doing a small turkey….after all, one thing I love about Christmas….the left-overs!!We are spending Christmas Eve with friends and she has ordered a 10kg turkey with all the trimmings. In Dubai, the custom is to order a huge turkey from one of the numerous 5 star hotels…they do all the hard work and you collect the turkey cooked, along with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, gravy and sometimes sausages wrapped in bacon! No hostess has to work her fingers to the bone and get frazzled!! Its great..unless you really enjoy cooking your turkey!

I’ve never actually cooked a turkey so it might be a total disaster, but if I do decide to cook one, I will follow Martha’s instructions to the letter and hope for the best!!

Christmas Fever…

green-wreath-fireplace-christmas-decorations-580x521
image via http://zeospot.com/

 As we approach Christmas, I am finding myself inspired by the plethora of exquisite festive decorating ideas which are available on the web…what on earth did we do in the days before the internet? I remember being constantly frustrated when I used to live in South Africa, because the best magazines were all imported and most of the Christmas issues would be available in January!! Too late to glean ideas from them…I used to tear the pictures I liked and stick them in a huge scrapbook I kept for future reference….now, my favourite way to waste time is to read the blogs and websites to see the wonderful things people are doing to create festive decorations…so much easier and up to date!

I read a fabulous post by one of my favourite bloggers, Frugal Queen recently….she draws attention to the excesses of the season , not only with gift-giving but also with the excess food we all consume and waste. It is astounding how much food gets wasted by people all over the world…given the plight of people in the Phiilipines, this year I plan to be really conscious of wastage and over -eating.  Although Christmas here in the Middle east is usually played down a bit, in the past few years, the Malls and stores have gone all out with decorations and displays. They reap the benefits in hugely inflated sales and record footfall….everybody, of all religions falls for the hype , the glitz and the glamour.

image via http://betterdecoratingbible.com
image via http://betterdecoratingbible.com

I  try to stay out of the malls and shops and aside from my immediate family, I tend not to spend money on gifts. I do decorate with a wreath and a tree, but my apartment is really tiny so I can’t really do any more than that even if I wanted to.

image via themaisonette.net
image via themaisonette.net

I do however, lust after the gorgeous houses featured in international magazines from the US and the UK with snow covered gardens, crackling fires and meters and meters of natural pine garlands, liberally covered in cranberries and pine cones….oh how I would love to be curled up in front of the fire in my cozy sweater, sipping a cup of eggnog! The reality is a rather stark one  I am afraid! While December is our coldest month, the temperature rarely drops below 18 degrees during the day, so a light sweater and a pair of jeans is quite sufficient and a fire would just be too warm I would imagine….last year my sister and I spent Christmas with our mother in England and I loved being really cold …bundled up in scarves and coats …at the appropriate time of the year. Unfortunately it did not snow, despite my wishing for it, but it was a great experience anyway. I walked in the chilly, crisp air every day and felt so alive!I know most people would think I am insane, but after 14 years of constant sunshine and heat, I loved the heavy skies and drizzle.

42nd UAE National Day…

image via Google
image via Google

 

Today is the 42nd UAE National Day…42 years ago the various individual Emirates got together and decided to unite and become the United Arab Emirates…good decision! Since then the UAE has gone from strength to strength and become a force to be reckoned with. It’s also an amazing place to call home! I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to live in this tolerant and constantly evolving society.

On a sad note, I cannot stop thinking about Paul Walker and his sudden death on Saturday in a terrible car accident.

image via www,ixdaily.com
image via www,ixdaily.com

He was only 40 and really in the prime of his life… he seems to have been a really nice , normal guy , who valued his privacy and was very involved in numerous charities. Even though I was never a major fan of the Fast and Furious movies, it has saddened me to hear of the sudden loss of someone who had so much ahead of him .

R.I.P Paul Walker.