Christmas cornucopia

Christmas news snippets…

World’s oldest Christmas Tree
A Christmas Tree bought in 1886 and standing just 14 inches tall will be part of one Bath families Christmas decorations for another year.

Authenticated by Christies auction house in London and the Guinness Book of Records, the green raffia tree has been in the Family for 3 generations and is acknowledged as the oldest Christmas tree in the world.

(as reported in the Daily Mail).

Why the road grit didn’t clear the snow
An interesting little snippet I heard on the Buxton local radio news, in response to motorists criticisms that the road gritting wasn’t clearing snow and ice accumulations laying in the roads and verges.

According to the local highways council spokesman, road salt/grit will only ‘melt’ snow and ice accumulations on the road where temperatures are less than minus 8 degrees. Any lower, and the salt has no effect.

The only thing that would have a direct effect on the frozen snow accumulations was direct warm sunshine, but don’t go breaking out the sun cream just yet.

5 Minute Brussel Sprouts – Recipe
Why the humble Brussel Sprout should have such a bad reputation amongst diners (especially younger ones) is beyond me. Perhaps it’s the way they’re cooked, and more often than not end up looking like stewed fruit, devoid of all colour and texture.

Here’s a quick 5 Minute recipe that’ll change your mind.

You’ll need Brussel Sprouts, garlic (optional), a little oil (olive is better), a couple of stock cubes (dissolved in about half a small cup of boiled water) and a pan (preferably non-stick) with a tight fitting lid.

Method: Take your peeled sprouts and cut them in half lengthways (stalk to top).
Heat a little oil in your non-stick saucepan and fry the chopped garlic (optional) and the sprouts for a couple of minutes until the sprouts are bright green. Quickly add a few tablespoons of the strong stock mixture to the pan, close the lid and holding the lid down firmly, shake the sprouts inside occasionally on the heat. After a couple of minutes, they should be crunchy but cooked.

What you’ve done is actually a mini-steaming – all the colour and taste is preserved.

Go on, give your sprouts a humble 5 minute make-over but if you’re thinking of saving them for Christmas Day, have a practice a little earlier. You’ll never eat Brussel Sprouts any other way ever again.

These stories and much more feature in today’s Homeowner Newsletter, emailed to over 300,000 homeowners – read your own copy online by clicking here.

photo credit: andre natta

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