Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas cake 2010

I had no clue what to do  on my cake this year and then it came to me as I was trudging through snow and ice the other day.  I always make the cake myself and give it a good drinkie of brandy (to preserve it of course) and then spend hours agonising over what to do for the decoration.
After a few hours of faffing, this is the result - pics aren't very clear though, sorry.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not sure where November went!

It really doesn't seem long since I posted but the time has flown by and we're into December already.  Other than working, I've been doing a bit of playing here and there - mostly crochet and playing with my new 200 recipe cookie book :-)

I did go to visit my friend Liz in Hastings though, and look what I came home laden down with!  Liz managed to be in the right place at the right time when a wool shop had some stock ruined by a flood - all salvageable but not to be sold.  She rootled around in a skip apparently (I'm very proud of her for that, but glad I was in Portugal or I'd have had to be in there with her) and spent ages carefully washing her treasures.  Bless her, she showed me her finds and gave me, yes gave me all these beautiful yarns.  Aren't I the lucky one - thanks Lizzie.

Anyway, after a cuppa, much scoffing of biccies I'd taken with me and a lot of oohing and aahing at yarns and the beautiful things she creates up in her eyrie, she decided that sitting around nattering just wasn't allowed and I was going to do some papercrafting (at which I'm really rubbish, and try to avoid  like the plague).  I can't take any credit for the pleated star as she'd already done that bit, but I spent a very happy couple of hours cutting, gluing, sticking and colouring-in.  Not bad for a novice, but then I had a good teacher, lol.

It was a good job I went over to Hastings when I did because the weather turned foul after that and it was bitterly cold, even down here on the south coast.  I should've known better than to say we had no snow, nothing, zip, nada.  This was taken at about 9pm and I thought that'd probably be it

This was the result the next morning - 7 inches of snow which did not budge at all for the next 3 days.  Luckily for us, it rained heavily last night and it's all gone - our council isn't exactly what you'd call good at gritting/salting roads and pavements and the trudge to and from work the past week has been pretty horrendous.

Still, a girl has to cheer herself up when it's horrible outside and I had a recipe for Bailey's and white chocolate fudge which had been niggling at me for a few days.  I haven't made fudge for at least 30 years and I'd forgotten just how easy it is.

In went the cream, sugar and Baileys - melted and stirred slowly over a low heat until the sugar dissolved

Brought to a rolling boil with great big unruly bubbles and then turned down slightly

Stirred occasionally until the bubbles were smaller and more even and a small amount dropped into a glass of cold water formed a ball which could be scooped out without dissolving

Stirred in chopped up chocolate (I'd probably chop it even finer or even melt it next time).  It reduced to a lovely thick gooey, gorgeous-smelling concoction..

Finally - into the tin, smooth the top and wait patiently (not) to cut into chunks and then scoff delicately at every opportunity :o)

I took some into work this week and was told it was the best fudge they'd ever tasted.  The texture was really good and it sort of melts on your tongue, but for me there wasn't enough of the Bailey's flavour and I think I'd prefer a mix of milk & plain choc as the white choc was way too sweet for my taste.
The recipe I used can be found here.  Enjoy!

So, now the snow has disappeared, hopefully our supermarkets will start getting supplies again and I can trundle off in the next week or so to buy more ingredients to play with.  Life's a swine sometimes isn't it, lol.

Well, I've done the housework and it's raining/sleeting hard so I think it's time for playing hooky making crochet snowflakes for my friend's shop display, a nice cuppa and maybe the odd piece of fudge.
Have a lovely weekend x

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