Our cheap and cheerful Xmas

Here is what we are planning for our own Christmas. As we are in rental (again), we have not unpacked all the decorations, so it's down to a smallish artificial tree and other random bits and pieces scattered all over the kitchen diner and hung on the banister of the staircase (a wooden nativity, a soft Santa with fake pine reindeers, sundry candles, tinsel garlands and ceramic festive figurines).

I got a tiny tree from a charity shop to sit on the huge TV (my partner is hoping it will die soon so he can buy an ultra slim one, but it's still working well so we are stuck with the 45kg monster).

Some decorations are hanging in the lounge, partially hiding the mound of boxes we cannot squeeze in the garage (click here for photo of our wall of shame).

As mentioned previously we are going for an Italian menu. We are finalising it but these are the options:

Smoked salmon
Affettati (slices of Parma ham, Bresaola and salami)
Duck pate' served with toasted chunks of bread

Ravioli with ragu (meaty sauce)
Roast beef in wine sauce with fried carrots


Other dishes that didn't make it include: Russian salad (insalata russa), cappelletti in brodo (stuffed pasta in broth), brasato al barolo (sliced roast beef with Barolo wine sauce), capon (fattened castrated cock), panettone farcito (stuffed panettone with all sort of goodies), castagnaccio (chestnut pudding), panna cotta. These are all traditional dishes in northern Italy.

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