Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas is Coming...Mince Pies

This blog is officially a year old, and at this time last year we were in the process of moving (we moved on 22 December) and didn't manage to do many of the Christmas traditions that we usually would, so this year I am making up for it!

So, even though it is more than a month until Christmas, I made mince pies using my own homemade mincemeat (a la Nigella - the recipe was Hettie's Suet Free Mincemeat - but even though I would like to think of myself of a Domestic Goddess, I am really a Domestic Slut!). As usual I had to adapt the recipe slightly, mainly because I couldn't be bothered to go to the shops and also because of an impatience to get started. So I omitted the lemon juice and blanched almond and substituted sherry for the brandy. It produced a Christmas scented, sticky and not too sweet mincemeat.

250g Demerara sugar
250ml Medium dry cider
1 kg Cooking apples, chopped
1/2 tsp Mixed spice
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
250g Currants
250g Raisins
75g Glace cherries, chopped
75g Blanched almonds, finely chopped
Rind and juice of 1/2 Lemon
90ml Brandy

1. Dissolve the sugar in the cider in a large pan.

2. Add the chopped apples to the pan, then all the other ingredients except for the Brandy.

3. Simmer for approx 30 minutes until pulpy.

4. Take off the heat and stir in the brandy.

5. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars.

If you still feel in a Christmas mood after reading this, look back to my entry last year when I made a Gingerbread House

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Christmas Fair

Just returned from my first fair with some money in my pocket, despite my son wanting to buy lots of cakes from the cake stall! I wasn't really sure what to expect and although I didn't have a steady stream of customers, I did make fourteen sales, and a couple of other people took my card. Definitely encouraging!

What I did find strange was that no-one looked at any of the jewellery on the display stands, only the items flat on the table - I wonder if that is normal?

And now for a website!

Thought it was about time that I got around to setting myself up with a website, and so here it is: . Some parts are still under construction, but the structure is there. I would really welcome any feedback.

Many thanks

Monday, 8 November 2010

Preparation Time

I am now beginning to have a little panic over the fair that I am doing at the weekend with little nagging thoughts like, "Do I have enough stock made?" and "Will anyone buy anything?" coming into my head. And I am also thinking about how I can make my stall look both professional and festive! With this thought, I have been scouring the streets looking for branches blown down in the storm last night which I will spray silver and use to hang bits and pieces off.

I have now got to the point where I have priced most of my jewellery, but am wondering whether to make still more!!

Roll on Sunday!