How was your Christmas? I hope you ate well, laughed lots, and hit your desired balance between fun and rest, food and activity.
|Kendal town centre|
We returned yesterday from our four days in Cumbria, England's Lake District region and a particularly beautiful part of the country. It was very different to a hot Australian Christmas! Our base was in Kendal, the largest town in the region and just on the edge of the Lake District National Park. I had no memories of the town and was surprised at how attractive it was, as well as how large. Our holiday cottage was nicely located for the town centre and plenty of countryside walks.
You may remember my worry about organising food for this trip. As we travelled by train, we needed to carry everything by hand and also keep cold things cold. A suitcase half dedicated to food helped with the former, while a cool bag and carefully chosen foods helped with the latter. I also recognised quite early on that life would be easier if I bought most things rather than made dishes from scratch.
|Christmas Eve dinner|
|Christmas Day lunch wraps|
The green salad, wraps and hoummus did double duty for Christmas Day lunch, which was quite unconventional as we ate it in the middle of a 4 hour hike. It was a lovely way to spend the day, and fortunately we had mostly fine weather and above freezing temperatures. In addition to salad and hoummus wraps, we had a generous assortment of snacks for the walk, as fitting for Christmas Day. They included Kendal mint cake, the sugary confection that has fueled climbs of Mount Everest as well as more modest pursuits.
|Christmas Day biscuits|
The walk itself took in a range of terrains and views, and every one of them was stunning. I would have been taking photos constantly if I wasn't also trying to keep my hands warm inside my gloves! Even with that constraint, I had my camera out quite regularly.
|Christmas Day hiking|
Our main Christmas meal came in the evening, when our appetites were whetted from walking. When planning it, I had to take into account that we wouldn't have a proper oven, as the place we stayed had a combined microwave oven - not at all the same thing. I ended up buying a selection of VegiDeli products that I cooked on the oven setting of the microwave and crisped up in a pan at the last minute. They included vegan Thai 'fish' cakes, southern 'chicken' style pieces, and sage, onion and cranberry bites. We liked them all, especially with mango chutney, which I carefully carried north as an alternative to cranberry sauce.
|Christmas dinner preparations|
Rounding out the VegiDeli items, we had baby carrots cooked in the juice of one orange and a tablespoon of honey; mushy peas; and baby potatoes cooked half in the microwave until softened, and half on the stove top with olive oil, onion, oregano and salt to give a crispy roast-like finish. Before the main meal we started with a Waitrose French onion and red wine soup.
Mr Bite's desserts revolved around mince pies and a chocolate bombe pudding, whilst I enjoyed plum bread (a bit like fruit bread crossed with plumb cake) and soy custard together with berries.
As with all good Christmas meals, we had enough leftovers to take care of Boxing Day lunch and the items were equally enjoyable reheated. It was an unusual Christmas Dinner, but managed to feel Christmassy and special without much active preparation time required.
Our other days in the area were spent similarly, with a good mix of walking, relaxing and eating. We enjoyed a day in Windermere on Saturday, where snow topped mountains provided the perfect backdrop to the small town and lake below.
|Windermere and surrounds (clockwise from top left): Snowy mountains, |
Bowness-on-Windermere town, veggie burger lunch, walk trails.
What did you get up to this Christmas?