Good morning, everyone. It's raining again - I've just dodged the raindrops to get to the shed for a few bits and bobs. Beeb says expect heavy rain and a moderate breeze today so it's just as well I have absolutely no plans to go anywhere. Tuesday and Wednesday I have 'essential' things to do but not today.
Yesterday was lovely. I know I say that a lot and I know I'm fortunate to be able to say it. After a restless night, I came down very early and got started on finishing off the stollen before I started the social mediating. It came out absolutely lovely and already I am thinking I might make another one. I think the (fortunate) slowness in rising was partly because it was an enriched dough but more likely to be because, when I checked, I saw that the yeast I used was ridiculously old. Actually, it's lucky to have risen at all, in truth!
Anyway, it eventually rose satisfactorily, I baked it and it is absolutely lovely. Of course, Beth, Alex and I sampled a bit and the rest is now sliced, wrapped and in the freezer. It goes stale quite quickly son that's the best place for it. Also - out of sight, out of mind.
The beef went in early to slow roast to its heart's content and, by lunch time, it was so tender it pretty much melted in the mouth. Diane will shudder - I know she and many others prefer their beef rare!
The cake is now decorated. I'm not sure but Beth says it looks lovely - and it will taste as good as it smells, I hope.
So that's another thing ticked off the list!
Dessert is mince pie and/or Christmas pud and there will be a cheeseboard for any of us that has enough room.
In the afternoon we watched 'Miracle on 34th Street' followed by 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' until it was time for Beth and Alex to go home.
Today the diary is blank. I think I will make up the stuffing and pop it in the freezer and ditto for Beth's vegetarian crumble topping which is just a mixture of flour, butter, oats and cheese with some seasonings. The bottom is just a beany tomato mixture and it's one of her favourites. The pigs are already in the freezer so it's just a case of getting everything out on Thursday evening and letting it defrost slowly in the fridge (if there's room) or in the shed, if necessary.