I've ordered Christmas and Boxing Day food from Booths and it will all be delivered to my door. How deliciously bone idle of me! Now I've got plenty of time to fiddle about doing all the Chrismassy things that I enjoy.
I've photocopied some images from our trip to the Christmas market and made them into cards. They were liberally sprinkled with glitter before being put in the post.
Next task, mincemeat. I make a fat-free version using as many homegrown ingredients as possible, apples and juice, lemons and walnuts.
1lb soft dark sugar
15 fl oz apple juice
4lb chopped cooking apples
1 teaspoon each of allspice and cinnamon
2lb of dried fruit, currants, raisins. I also put in chopped apricots, cherries, whatever!
4oz chopped nuts
grated rind and juice of a lemon
Dissolve the sugar in the apple juice, add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil then simmer for half an hour until you have a soft mash. Bottle while hot.
It makes about 7lbs (a generous 3kg) of mincemeat.
I've made a far smaller mix of Christmas gingersnaps (Julpepparkakor) than usual, the recipe is four times the amount that I've made and produces 300 biscuits. This year I'm trying to show a little restraint!
3oz soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2oz butter
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and bicarb of soda
Boil together the sugar, treacle and water. Add the butter to melt, then cool. stir in the dry ingredients. Work the dough until smooth. Roll VERY thinly and cut out. Gas 3-4 for approx 8 minutes.
Then comes the fun of icing the shapes to look festive!