Got to keep on plodding onwards.
Get back on my little donkey and keep the mixed metaphor show on the road.
You could just give up at this time of year. You could climb under a duvet with a few packets of cream crackers and hibernate until March. There would be no earthly reason to get out of bed or leave the house if it wasn’t for Christmas.
I can’t say that I am planning for Christmas, or getting ready for Christmas or looking forward to Christmas. What I am doing is using Christmas. I am milking Christmas. I am inhaling from it as if it was a helium balloon that might give me a lift, a giggle, any kind of help to get through these dark, leaden days.
The girls get home from school and head straight for the Advent Calendar.
It has been a fixed bright spot in every day.
We’ve cheated a lot.
I’ve made hot chocolate many more times, and with far more indulgence, than the calendar dictated.
The first mince pies were slated for Saturday. They went down a storm (ka-boom). I used the mincemeat that I made here. The pastry recipe has been in my hand-written notes for as long as I can remember.
Wherever I see margerine in a recipe I substitute butter. Life’s too short for margerine. I don’t know who gave me this recipe but I use it every year, exclusively for mince pies, and it is really good:
8 oz plain flour
2 oz icing sugar
5 oz butter in cubes
Yolk of 1 egg
tablespoon of ice-cold water
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Sieve the flour and sugar together, singing White Christmas as you go.
Rub in the butter with your fingers until you have something that looks like breadcrumbs.
Mix the egg yolk and water and lemon juice together and then use this mixture to bring the pastry together.
Press the pastry into a disk shape, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge until you are ready to make the mince pies.
Naturally, I didn’t take a single photo of the fun part; Use a cookie cutter to cut circles big enough to line a bun tray. I like to top mince pies with hearts or stars and let some of the mincemeat peep around the edges.
Bake at 180C until golden (20 minutes-ish).
Small Girl painted the tops with milk. Eggwash would have given a darker colour but I literally did not have the willpower to crack another egg!
This quantity made twelve mince pies plus a ginormous one which Middle Girl made for herself.
Don’t forget to dust with snow.
Add random embellishments as required to make you happy.
It’s the kitsch that make Christmas.