Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Christmas!

The shopping is done, the cards have been written and the presents are wrapped.
 The cake is decorated too.
I seem to have gone a bit mad with marzipan stars this year.

Family are arriving later today, so it's time to relax, sit back and enjoy a festive time of family fun.

Wishing you a wonderful time this Christmas full of love and peace and joy.

Annie and Mr Digandweed

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas countdown - week three...

We had snow.
But not as much as we were expecting.
This was the view last Sunday from dear daughter's flat in Nottingham.
There was just enough to magically transform but not enough to make travelling difficult.

And the mince pies have been made.
Some to eat now and some to pop into the freezer to be enjoyed when the Big Day arrives. one long tart .

That's one more thing crossed off the list!

Wishing you a good week ahead.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas countdown - week two

Home-made mincemeat is one of my absolute favourite things to make at this time of year.
A little chopping, mixing and stirring, preferably with a few Christmas Carols playing in the background, is the perfect antidote to the frenzy which can so often engulf us.
And as for the taste - well I could happily eat spoonfuls of the stuff straight from the jar!

This is the recipe which I have used for the last few years and which I think is delicious.
It is a recipe which I adapted from a Waitrose magazine and uses coconut oil instead of the more usual suet.

Here is the recipe again if you wish to try it.
Don't be put off by the amount of brandy. It soaks into the fruit overnight and makes the mixture deliciously boozy.
Since the mincemeat is not cooked or heated in any way, I keep it in the fridge and use it to make the mince pies within a few days.

Excitement for the Big Day is mounting here and this year Tiny Girlie is 3 and beginning to understand a little more about Father Christmas.
There have been a couple of Santa sightings so far.
Last week, when we were shopping in Cambridge, he popped his head around the door of the cafe we were in and gave everyone a cheery wave and earlier this week made an appearance along our road riding on something which resembled a fairground ride.
No sleigh or reindeer in sight!

And snow .... if the weather app is correct, we are fully expecting to wake up tomorrow morning to a world transformed by a blanket of pure white!


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Christmas countdown - week one.

And so December is here and it's ok for a few twinkly lights to start appearing around the house!

I spent a happy half hour fashioning this star from a few spare twigs I found at the back of the shed and then winding ivy and lights around it. 
Pinterest has a lot to answer for!

And December, of course, also means baking and more specifically baking the Christmas cake.
After last year's success with this recipe for a chocolate Christmas cake and following a request from younger dear daughter, I have made the same cake again.

Fear not, it is still the rich, fruity, boozy cake beloved by so many, but with the addition of some luscious melted dark chocolate.

Here it is in its naked state straight from the oven, ready, when cooled, to be tucked into a tin and anointed with brandy at regular intervals over the next few weeks.
Are your festive preparations under way yet?
Some people have had snow I hear, but not us - unless a few brief flakes over the space of 5 minutes counts!

Wishing you a good week ahead.