Well the amaryllis made it for Christmas and so did we. There have been times in this turbulent year when I doubted that I would see Christmas but here we are all safe and well. The birds are all cooked and the duck demolished. I cannot recommend more highly the idea of brining the birds before roasting it does make a big difference. The other main thing to make life easy is to remove the wish bone before cooking. This allows you to carve with little skill and still have nice slices.
We didn't have any small children opening presents but the dogs took their place well and got thoroughly over excited ripping off wrapping paper and then going quite mad with their new toys. They charged about chasing each other and retrieving the toys until they were exhausted and collapsed to sleep until lunch. Everyone was pleased with the duck and there was nothing much left after we had had a go at it. I carved the cold turkey and the ham ready for today so all I have to do is heat up the bubble and squeak and generally throw things around. Mike will go and fetch our first lot of guests at 11am so I have plenty of time to sort out the table and run a hoover over the floor. I think the kitchen floor could also use a quick wipe over and then make sure the toilets are pristine and we are ready.
The photo is of Basso opening his present you will note that he has taken it into his crate where he goes with all precious things. It is his place of safety and anything he considers special is immediately taken to the crate.
Oh you should see my stock pot the soup is going to be fabulous - and that is my favourite bit of the whole thing........