Christmas Countdown Sundries

Vanessa with advent calendar

Photo Credit: Vanessa-Jane Chapman 2014

Let me start by asking you the question on everyone’s lips at this time of year – where do you stand on Brussels sprouts? And I don’t mean literally, like when you accidentally stand on a cooked one on the kitchen floor and it squishes on to the bottom of your foot creating a dangerously slippery surface on your slipper-sole. No, I am of course enquiring as to whether you love ’em or hate ’em? There is a genetic reason why some people hate them (Google it), and the Brussels sprouts hating gene is apparently present in about 50% of people, so that explains why this festive veg divides opinions as it does. Let’s see if the 50% split applies here (I’m in the love ’em half myself) –

Now that you’ve done that, you might like to read a funny post about Brussels sprouts from the ever-entertaining Mike Allegra.

Now that we’ve covered sprouts, let’s cover this poor man with a hot warm towel!

Polar bear plunge

Polar bear plunge Calgary 2013. Photo credit: Sue Slaght

Fancy doing this icy plunge yourself? Beautiful as it looks, I think I’ll leave it to my amazing blogging friend Sue Slaght from Travel Tales of Life. On New Year’s Day, she and her husband Dave are doing a polar plunge into the icy water pictured above. They are taking part in the 6th annual Calgary Ice Breaker Polar Dip  to help raise money for the SA (Servants Anonymous) Foundation  who work to stop human trafficking. Sue explains more here  and her fundraising page is here.  Good luck Sue and Dave!

Right, so I’ve given a shout-out to Mike, and to Sue, now who was the other person I wanted to give a shout-out to? It’s on the tip of my tongue…think, think, think….oh yes! It’s me! Those of you who don’t follow my Sugarness recipe blog, won’t have seen the recipe for these Baileys chocolates I posted a few days ago –

Baileys chocolates

Photo credit: Vanessa-Jane Chapman 2014

I was rather pleased with how they came out, and with the gift boxes I found to pack them up in. There’s still time for you to make them as last-minute gifts, oh yes there is! Click here for recipe. No, no, absolutely no need to thank me, just send cash.

And finally another question – how come you never hear anything about the tenth reindeer ‘Olive’? You know, “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.”

(I know, groan!).

Well, festive wishes to those who want them, and see you in 2015!

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67 responses to “Christmas Countdown Sundries

  1. Vanessa thank you so much for sharing our post and fundraising efforts. So appreciated.
    As for brussel sprouts one has the gene and one doesn’t in this house. I have never met a vegetable I didn’t like so that narrows it down. 🙂
    Happy happy holidays to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome – I know quite a few people around the world do New Year’s Day cold water dips in the sea or wherereve, but I haven’t seen any quite as icy as yours, I can’t imagine what it’s like! The pictures look fabulous though. I’m with you on vegetables, happy to eat any of them! Happy holidays Sue 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes the hole actually has to be cut with chainsaws in the ice. I suspect it is all going to be very shocking. Happy Holidays to you as well Vanessa!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It sounds outrageous! I imagine you don’t stay in there very long though! I shall think of you on the 1st while I’m sitting by an open fire sipping hot mulled wine…ok, I don’t actually have an open fire, but I do have mulled wine! 🙂

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          • It is very fast so you will need to be quick with the wine Vanessa. Jump in, the rescue divers guide you to the edge and volunteers help you out. Outrageous but hopefully with the intent of shocking people to action in dealing with this horrific world wide problem.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Olive, ha ha ha ha that’s very good. I hate sprouts by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holy sweet mother of Jesus I love Brussels sprouts. But I never get them. My wife won’t cook them. She says they stink up the kitchen. What rubbish! She didn’t mention that before I proposed.

    I don’t hate myself enough to do a polar plunge.

    Is this your last post of the year? Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Best of the best to you in ’15. Thanks for all your visits and comments over the past year. Much appreciated.

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    • Did you not include the sprout part in your vows?!

      I think it’s my last post of the year, but if the inspiration takes me, I might do another one before the year is out, we shall see! Otherwise I do have a post planned for 1st January, so that will be my next.

      Thank you for your visits and comments in the past year too, and if you don’t post any more this year then I’ll see in you 2015!

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  4. Happy – warm wishes to you too, Vanessa! All the best, my dear! 🙂

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  5. Love Brussel sprouts and with so many ways to cook them, you can have a different type every night of the week! 🙂 Do you hear that Mike?

    Sue can do the dunking. B-r-r-r. I’ll read about it later. We have that New Year’s Day here as well. My goosebumps are getting goosebumps and I’m not even near the water!

    Merry Christmas Vanessa.

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  6. Can you guess which way I voted?

    Have a Merry Christmas, my friend! (I’m sure the Baileys chocolates will help with said merriment.)

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  7. I think of Brussels sprouts as quintessentially British for the holidays. I love ’em, although at the moment all food, including coffee, sounds atrocious. I can hardly make myself eat. (just had abdominal surgery, for those who don’t know). Btw, in the 28th century, after Belgium ceased to exist as an entity, the origin of the name Brussels spouts was forgotten and they became known by folk etymology as bristles sprouts.

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  8. Brussels sprouts are one of my VERY favorite veggies. Must do more Googling and research, as suggested!

    We have a “Polar Bear Plunge” here in Topeka, but for me that is a big hellz no! Braver people than I am!

    This was a very entertaining post, festive yet not overly into the holidays. 🙂

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  9. Have a wonderful Christmas Vanessa! If I don’t see you till next year have a fabulous New Years also! I can take or leave Brussels sprouts. I used to hate them, but I cook them and have learned to like them. Somewhat. LOL

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  10. I used to eat Brussels sprouts and now I don’t. Not sure where that leaves me. But I doubt I can introduce them to my kids at this point. Somehow I don’t think that would go over too well…

    Merry Christmas, Vanessa!

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    • I’m now wondering why you stopped eating them. Did you have a bad sprout experience? Do you prefer not to talk about it? Ok.

      Merry Christmas Carrie! Loved the old family photo on your last post by the way – nothing wrong with all them bangs!

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  11. Olive the reindeer. That’s up there with a joke someone told me yesterday: What’s green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you? A pool table. Yep. Feel free to use it during a lull in conversation in your holiday partying. 😉

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  12. I love Brussel Sprouts, but only a few and then I’m ready for something else to eat on the holiday table. Have a happy Christmas!

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  13. Okay, I’m still laughin’. “Olive the other reindeer.” Ho. Ho Ho. I’m using that one today. Have a Happy Holiday.

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  14. Happy Holiday, dear! I love all vegetables except onions and brussels sprouts. Go figure. More for you though!

    (Wait, I don’t like olives either…reindeer flavored or other type)

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  15. Ohhh that polar bear plunge is a local event here in BC too! I would freeeeeze eek!! Happy holidays to you 🙂

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  16. Look at those yummy candies. I want to eat them all up, Vanessa. But then you have them packaged in that beautiful little box. Oh, it’s so lovely, now too lovely to eat. I’ll have to check out your other blog. Happy Holidays! I love Brussels sprouts, by the way, but it depends on how their prepared. I like them a little crunchy. 🙂 not overdone.

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    • Even though I like doing a lot of cooking, I’m not always so good at dainty pretty things, so I was really pleased that these chocolates, and the box, looked pretty and dainty! I’m with you on the Brussels sprouts, they’re not pleasant if they’re overcooked, they need that bit of bite to them! Happy holidays Amy, have fun! 🙂

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  17. Cheers to those crazy enough to do the polar challenge … especially for a good cause. Thanks for the holiday cheer and bestivus of holidays to you … besides, I think you will like this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QfdLbpITc0 … 🙂

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  18. Yes, just saw your chocolate recipe and it looks divine! My sister swears by a great recipe for Brussels sprouts that tames the bitterness, but I don’t believe her. I can do without them!

    Merry Christmas!

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    • I understand, I think I would be dubious if someone told me they had a recipe using cilantro that tamed the soapy taste! Why risk it when there are so many things we already like that don’t have elements needing to be disguised!

      Merry Christmas!

      Like

  19. Pingback: I Bear Sprout Recipes! And Gifts You May Actually Want! | heylookawriterfellow

  20. Did you know there’s an “Olive, the other reindeer” picture book series?

    So, if my husband and I both like brussel sprouts, how do we explain the genetic mutation that is our son, the one who hates all things green, including brussel sprouts?

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    • No, I didn’t know about the picture book! But funnily enough, ever since I wrote this post, I keep seeing things about Olive the other reindeer popping up here at there, and I’d never heard it before! (Isn’t that always the way?).

      Maybe your son will like brussels sprouts more as he gets older?

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  21. There is a Brussel Sprout in my house? Something has gone wrong with the world!

    If I can do the dunking on this side of the world – it’s summer 🙂

    Merry Christmas

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  22. I can handle the sprouts if they’re a small part of something else or smothered in a heavenly cheese sauce. 🙂 But otherwise, no thank you!

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  23. Love the sprouts. And did you know there’s a recipe for sprout cake out there?

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  24. I have to say that I LOVE sprouts. They are a vegetable that we always have in our freezer and tend to be first choice veg most of the time.

    Sprouts are for LIFE not just for Christmas!

    Happy Christmas 🙂

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    • Yay, another sprout fan! You have them all year then! I tend to save them for Christmas – I like things to be seasonal, we can pretty much get everything all year now, but I like looking forward to having different things in different seasons, so I save the sprouts for Christmas! Hope you had a good Christmas Pete 🙂

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  25. My great great great great-aunt Olive told me she wasn’t allowed to join in any reindeer games, thus she was not included in the song.
    However, Auntie Olive loved Brussels Sprouts, as did my great great great, well you get the picture – everyone in the family – including my parents and my guy and my kids. Thus, the genetic thing is an actual fact. If your great grandparents loved Sprouts, so will you and your great great grandchildren yet-to-arrive.
    Phew.
    Happy New Year – I’m going to celebrate with your chocolate recipe. xo

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  26. That’s a great story about Auntie Olive and the Brussels Sprouts – I can see a picture book of it now, we must get Mike involved, it’s a winner for sure!

    Happy chocolate new year to you! 🙂

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  27. It really depends on the brussel sprouts. If they are sauteed in butter and bacon, I love them. Otherwise, they are bitter and I’m not a fan. 🙂 Love those Baileys’ chocolates, they look amazing. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Nutmeg on them doesn’t hide a thing.
    Hope your “In-Between Holidays Week” is restful and fun! (and those do too go together!)

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  29. I heard on a podcast just yesterday that Dan Aykroyd and Carrie Fisher went on a date back in the 70s and Aykroyd he had to perform the Heimlich maneuver when Fisher choked on a brussel sprout.

    Like

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