Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post; I love to read about all of your Christmas decorating preferences and traditions. Life's been very hectic around here lately, and I'm really looking forward to having some time off work when term ends. My warm bed is feeling more and more cosy on chilly mornings, and I keep thinking that surely it must be the weekend? Now that it is, I can look back at some of the creative things I've been up to lately.
I decided it was time to make mince pies, because if I leave making them until Christmas itself they get left in the tin, overlooked and ignored because of all the other treats around. I still haven't got round to making my own mincemeat yet, so used shop-bought which I think still tastes nice. I made the pastry, cutting out bases and stars for the lids. Then put them into their trays and popped a teaspoon of mincemeat in each one, finishing with a star on the top. I started topping them with stars years ago, and now that's how I always make them.
After baking, I let them cool and dust them with icing sugar (the children always referred to it as 'snow' when they were little, and liked to choose the one with the deepest drifts on it).
We ate them warm from the oven with a cup of tea. Delicious - such a sweet, spicy, Christmassy taste. Doesn't this little pink rose from the garden seem incongruous at this time of year? The roses flower sporadically right into December, and as the weather gets colder their perfume weakens. Soon they will stop and we will have to wait until May to see them again,
Remember these squashes? I cooked them using the River Cottage recipe, and they turned out really well. They were delicious with their cheese and leek filling and a sprig of thyme from the garden.
My crocheted snowflakes have turned out well. I had planned to design my own this year, but time has been against me so I used the same lovely pattern that I used last year. You can find it here. After darning in their ends I pinned them out on an old towel and spray-starched them, leaving them to dry overnight. This is where they really begin to take shape.
Here they are almost finished.
Finally I added some thin organza ribbon and hung them in the sunlit hedge this morning for their photo-shoot.
The light brought out the sparkle in the yarn.