"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's!"
To his astonishment she capped the line:
'You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin's,
When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey -- '
--George Orwell, 1984
How is it that someone with quite a few pints of Czech blood but not an ounce of British blood in her winds up obsessing over an Anglo- Christmas? It's not that I've stopped coveting my mom's Czech cookies, it's not that I've turned my back on St. Nicholas Day or Ježíšek or anything, but the things I've gotten attached to over the last few Christmas seasons tend to be on the British side of things. I'd never had Christmas pudding until I made my own, in fact I used to scoff at the mere suggestion of Christmas pudding, but then it all started to make sense to me (fruits confits, alcohol, hard sauce--what's not to like?). I honestly can't imagine Christmas without it at this point, but more importantly I can't wait to make it.
This being the case, I have officially begun preparations for the coming holiday season. Having candied my orange and lemon peels, I've begun to create of list of how exactly they'll be deployed in the coming weeks:
mincemeat (a first)
panforte (another first)
pannetone (yet another first)
Along with preserves, cookies, and other confections, my schedule will be full until 2006. Let's hope things go off without a hitch. You can be sure that I'll be keeping you abreast of all the details.