Friday, 21 December 2012

Oranges


I'll be honest, I'm not really feeling it today. I have a horrible head cold, my throat hurts, my joints ache. I can function just so long as I take cold and flu tablets - when they wear off, I know about it. I had a self-imposed and unusual (but very necessary) quiet day today. My parents are staying till Sunday. This morning, while they were out shopping and Bella was at school and Angus at nursery, I sat down on the sofa in the daytime and watched Downton Abbey and worked on my sister's scarf. Then, this afternoon, I sat down and caught up on three days of blog reading while my Mum (bless her!) did a huge pile of ironing for me. When she offered, instead of putting up the token fight like I always do I just said "Yes please." 

It's better to feel rubbish now than on Christmas day. 

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Anyway, oranges. They do seem to crop up a lot at this time of year. Last week John made the most amazing flour-less orange cake from the Polpo Cookbook. The sort of cake that makes you sit up and pay attention. It contains no butter either, just two whole oranges and lots of ground almonds, among other things. The lack of butter made me feel better about eating it with marscapone.

A while back, I dried some oranges. I cut them about 1cm thick and put them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Put them your oven on the lowest setting you can. You want to dry them, not cook them. It may take anything up to 12 hours. If you have a warm, dry place like an airing cupboard or next to a range cooker, that would work just as well. They smell wonderful as they dry out. I fully intended to make a wreath or some tree decorations with them, but totally ran out of time. So I have used them to adorn Christmas presents. I like the simple effect with the brown paper and leftover wool. 

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I am desperate for some sunshine, I don't know about you. We've had the most dismal, grey weather the last few days. It doesn't ever seem to get properly light. Even at 1pm it is gloomy and all the lights are turned on. Thank goodness for fairy lights to add some sparkle and cheer to the house. And today is the shortest day of the year, so things can only get better.

I'll be back again before Christmas, hopefully germ free and full of good cheer, with a glass of either something mulled or something fizzy in my hand. Maybe both.


28 comments:

Andrea @ little buckles said...

If you could just bring some of that cake over that'd be great, thanks :) Hope you're feeling better soon. I think I have the same thing and like you hoping it 'does one' before tuesday! xx

June said...

Hope you're feeling better soon. As I type this my throat hurts too! Hope that I'll be better for the Big Day! Take care,
June

Rainbow Vintage Home said...

Oh that's rotten - lots of people seem to be ill at the mo, I suppose it's that time of year but it doesn't seem at all fair! Still better now than next week as you said. I really hope you feel better soon, and can start enjoying mulled/fizzy treats and all the other lovely Christmassy bits & pieces. Love the look of that cake! xx

Jen said...

Sounds like my day too - except the 3 hours I did have to myself I scuttled around town getting last minute stuff done while I was child free! Is this proper 'flu' we have? My body is almost on shut down. Your oranges are enough to cheer us up though, and talk of a butterless cake? Well I'm feeling better by the minute. Here's to a feeling better weekend for us both! x

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Oh Gillian, I hope you feel better soon! It's rubbish feeling so I'll especially when there's so much to do, I'm glad your mums there to help! Hope you have a lovely, fun filled Christmas and that all the germs have gone by then! :) x

Morten and Me said...

Get well very soon lovely! We have that winter vomiting bug at our school and I keep having to avoid children holding the sick bucket! I do not want to be ill on the big day! Hope you can have a restful weekend, emotional stress takes it out of you more than you know so be kind to yourself. Love Nick x

Julia said...

I sure hope you are feeling well soon...in time for Christmas! How nice that your parents are visiting. And it's always nice to have mom help out when you are not feeling well. I hope you have a relaxing weekend! And the dried oranges are lovely and I know the smell wonderful! They are gorgeous with your gift wrap. I need to try the cake recipe...it sounds delicious and healthy!

Anna @ green tea n toast said...

Oh no, sorry to hear that Gillian. Hope you feel better before Christmas, there is so much going around. Sounds like you dealt with it in the best way though. Hope you have a really wonderful Christmas, can't wait to hear all about it. x

Greer said...

Can it be mulled AND fizzy? Hope you feel better in time for Santa! x

G said...

wow, those oranges are beautiful! I hope you are well on the way to feeling better already - get some hot lemon and ginger in you? if you like, you can also add some black pepper, helps to clear out the sinuses. x

Caroline South said...

Oh hope you feel better soon. We all have colds here too, though like you say hopefully it will at least be gone for Christmas day. Love the oranges, they look great tied on to the gifts like that. xx

sustainablemum said...

Hope you feel better soon. I know what you mean about the grey, it is really depressing to have your lights on in the house all day every day.

...Tabiboo... said...

Sometimes it's lovely to let mum take over - not that I would ever admit that to mine.

I hope you feel better soon and I'm sure just in time for Christmas Day.

Nina x

Suzie Williams said...

Aw, sorry to hear you feel so rough, but glad you're being looked after. Take it easy (if you can) this weekend, being poorly at any time is no fun but it's doubly worse at Christmas. Hope you're on the mend very soon. x

Julie said...

Hope you feel better soon. Make the most of your Mum being there to get some rest. The cake reminds me of Nigella's clementine cake which I've made a couple of times. I think I need to try a piece or 3 just to check though :-)

Charmaine said...

oh no, hope you feel better soon :) x

my little red suitcase said...

yes listen to your body, otherwise it's a classic mum gets ill once everythings done! hope you feel better soon and have a rest, Heather x

Tammy Chrzan said...

Love love love the dried oranges! How long do they keep for? Id like to try that! I'm

Tammy Chrzan said...

Sorry youre not well...i hope you feel better soon! I'm pisting from my phone and its not cooperating

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

So sorry to hear you've been feeling under the weather. Really hope you feel better soon and yes, a glass of mulled in one hand and fizzy in the other! Love your oranges. They look beautiful against the brown paper and white wool. I keep any I don't use one year in a paper bag in the airing cupboard for next year - they last beautifully. Take care. E x

Col | Hello Olive said...

Oh poor you! I hope you're feeling better. Will be happy to swop this unbearable heat for a day or two your cold weather! x

Renee said...

Feel better! Take a hot bath! Just got out of one to soak my arm. now having a glass of wine...it is almost 5 afterall : )
Renee

A Normandy kitchen said...

Hello Gillian,
Oh that grey at the moment!! Hope you feel better quickly, eat lots of clementines for the vitamin C! I bet the Oranges made the house smell wonderful, they look wonderful. Keep warm and happy!
Best wishes Ivan

Noelle the dreamer said...

Wishing you a prompt recovery Gillian!
Merry Christmas (lots of hot tea with honey might help?) and a Happy New Year to all,

the linen cloud said...

Sorry you've been feeling ill ... same here, me first and then the littles ... I figure we should be well over it by Christmas though ... fingers crossed ... hope you are much better soon ... love the oranges ... Bee xx

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

That cake looks amazing, ditto the cookbook! It is entirely your fault that a copy is now sitting in my Amazon trolley!

I do hope you feel better soon x

Sopa Azul said...

I really liked your idea of ​​dried oranges. I hope you feel better and can spend a happy Christmas with your family. A hug.

emma said...

get well soon Gillian! I know what you mean about the gloom - our lights seem to be on most of the day....

Merry Christmas to you and yours and eat lots of cake! love, emma x