Sian from High in the Sky has invited us to share a Christmas story in the few weeks before Christmas,
For the last week of the brilliant Christmas Club I asked my brothers for some childhood Christmas memories. I thought it would be fun to have some different memories from the same family.
I got three replies:
Going to the auction in the old cattle market with Paul and Dad.
Dad buying for the best price and size he could afford.
He also bought a chicken as well as a turkey one year.
Alan had a swing that used to hang between the kitchen and dining room on two large cup hooks. One year the turkey was suspended by it’s legs from one of the hooks, beneath the head of the bird was a small pan to catch the drips of blood. Ping ping ping came the noise of the dripping blood, yuk, what a daft thing to remember.
Oh yes, the turkey was also hung up in the garage one year.
Watching Mum plucking a turkey in the dining room.
Having watched Dad remove the lower part of its legs, one of us would chase the others around pulling the tendons to make the claws move.
Mum used to boil the neck of the turkey; it was a treat to suck on the meat before the others got to it.
Dad sewing up the beast after it was stuffed; he used one of Mum’s darning needles.
Mum, Dad, Uncle John and Grampy making up games to play. One game took place in the front room with the lights off. We had to wait outside in the hall until we were called in to the room. As we went in, one at a time, you were guided to the far side of the room by one of the adults; a light would come on from behind a sheet. As the light moved up, down, sideways, you had to follow its path with your face really close to the sheet. The light would move a bit faster, then it suddenly dashed over to one side and you could see it was a candle. At that point you were hit in the face with a soaking wet dishcloth.
You couldn’t make this stuff up could you?
Merry Christmas from Gerard
An oversized turkey, a tiny oven and Mother’s special stuffing recipe.
I am now convinced that our Mother had the sole responsibility of sustaining “Chiltern Herbs” in business. From about September each year a few plastic packets of the pale dust were bought each week from Sainsbury’s in Aylesbury.
I remember, as Christmas day got nearer, the basket on the kitchen cabinet door was filled to capacity with packets of stuffing mix. Christmas eve was spent in tears not through sadness but peeling and chopping the world’s largest sack of onions to mix in with the stuffing. It was then carefully divided into smaller bowls ready for family who had left home to collect for their Christmas dinners because Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without that stuffing.
Years later one family member wanted to recreate the family favourite. The biggest shock was that Sainsbury’s no longer sold Chiltern Herbs stuffing mix – no call for it they said! I wonder why? (because our darling mother had passed away) I tracked down the illusive dust in a Waitrose store in Wales – needless to say it was now sold in posh packaging and the most expensive thing on the shelf of ingredients. A twenty minute queue in the post office and £2 in stamps later, it was posted off in time for Christmas with love and fond memories of Mother’s special stuffing recipe.
Merry Christmas from Alan
Martin & I swinging the 26lb fresh turkey (guts an’ all) as it hung from hooks in the dining room, dripping blood everywhere and missing the newspaper put down to keep the floor clean, getting caught by dad again!!!
Having to wait until after the queen’s speech before we got to open all the family presents!!
Merry Christmas from Tim
Not so different then? Merry Christmas to you all x