I love Christmas baking, really I do, but this year I have found it something of the frustrating challenge to get what I wanted to do, done. And in the end I have given up on the rest of my list so there will be no lemon butter or beetroot relish in the Christmas hampers. I’m a little disappointed in myself and not having been more organised and I think the gifts look a bit sparse this year, but hopefully what I have made will be well received.
This week has been mince pie week – I really should have started a week earlier and put some in the freezer. Making mince pies is about the only time you’ll get me making my own pastry, sad but true. I’m not great with pastry and I do usually struggle to get this bit right. Like with the fruit mince, I use my grandmother’s recipe and part of the problem might be the fact that she wrote out the ingredients and quantities, but then helpfully the method section is made up of two phrases: 1. Rub in butter… 2. Usual method. That’s it! I always have to ring Mum to get a bit more information which gives me a somewhat vague idea about what ‘usual method’ means and I’m left to figure the rest out on my own. The first lot of pastry turned out well, but for some reason half the pies on one tray stuck (leaving a few dodgy looking ones we had to eat ourselves). The second lot of pastry was a bit too dry and crumbly, but came together in the end. I finished these ones off last night at about 10pm with the help of Mr Good, as I just didn’t think I was going to get it done at all. I had to abandon him half way through when Baby Good woke up and he finished them off himself, now that’s dedication for you. Thanks Mr Good!
And finally to bulk up the presents I experimented with a mango chutney that was …. wait for it…… made in the microwave. Possibly not quite as nice as a slow cooked stove top recipe, but tasty, easy and fast – exactly what I needed. According to the recipe, it’s perfect for using on ham or left over turkey. And in keeping with the quick and easy theme, this was a very quick snap I took of a couple of the jars of chutney – I hadn’t even managed to put labels on them yet.
I hope you’re Christmas preparations are all just about completed so you can relax and enjoy the day. Though if you’re hosting lunch at your house you might be just getting into it.