Good morning, everyone.
I seem to have dropped back into the stupid o'clock waking habit. I suppose it's because I have Christmas stuff on my mind but it's very annoying. I like an early start but . . .
Oh, what a lovely day I had yesterday despite the damp fogginess and gloom. It was the shortest day but I got a lot done.
I started off with the tea loaves: a basic and very simple recipe that I glammed up with cranberries and spices before baking in two 1lb tins. Oh, it did smell nice and the glory is that a) it has no fat and b) it is moist enough to enjoy without any butter (although butter would be great!). They are sliced and frozen now although I might possibly admit to a sneaky slice with my mid morning coffee.
I paid Sainsbury's an early morning visit and, apart from the internet shoppers, it was very slack. Not the least bit of a hassle at all and I got everything on my list. Now it's just a very small shop at Morrison's for some veg and dairy on Saturday and then if we don't have it, we won't have it.
Then I set to with the veggy 'sausage' rolls. This is the recipe I use, but I get puff pastry from the shop rather than make my own. Thermione came into her own here, making the breadcrumbs, finely chopping the onions and mixing the whole lot together before I rolled the pastry and made them up. They're now in the freezer, uncooked, having been frozen on a baking sheet before bagging.
While I made the rolls, Thermione earned her Christmas space by kneading the bread dough which is now two 1 lb loaves guess where - yup, the freezer!
When I was in the garage getting out the Christmas tree on Wednesday, I noticed a box with a cookie press inside, something I had forgotten I had. So I brought it in, looked up a recipe and had a go. It has lots of Christmas shapes - tree, snowman, candy cane, bauble and the recipe made loads although it wasn't as easy as I expected and quite a lot are a bit ragged around the edges. However, I will forget about making shortbread now and have these instead.
I wasn't all that happy with the stuffing I made earlier (I knew I should have got Paxo, not Morrison's) so I made a bit more. Stuffing is complicated as I need gluten free, vegetarian and sage and onion with added ham to suit all tastes. However, fortunately, the gluten free stuffing mix is also vegetarian friendly and I added a bit more sage, onion and some dried cranberries to zing it up a bit so I only have to make two lots, not three. We do like our stuffing in my family! The other stuff I made won't be wasted as it is frozen is more or less single portions and, apart from having as stuffing, will be useful when making veggie burgers and all sorts of other patty-type things. Guess where it is now!
On reflection, isn't it a jolly good thing I defrosted and generally cleared out the freezers the other week?
AND loving having a reliable dishwasher again. It made all the difference yesterday.
Today the turkey comes to stay for a few days. I do housework, general clearing and tidying, make sure my menus are OK and complete and then - I think I will sit and watch Christmas films. Miracle on 34th Street and The Muppet's Christmas Carol are both lovely.
Well, let's get started. I have a dishwasher that needs unloading, a downstairs to tidy ready for the cleaner and coffee to make. Real coffee today, I think.
Have a good day!