Saturday, 22 December 2007


Today, we baked.

We started with a Cashew Nut Loaf which will form my brothers' Christmas dinner (I do love vegetarians really). First grind your cashews. Actually a very nice recipe which I will remake at some point when Friend visits; interested bloggers will have to wait until then. Sorry.

Next a quick diversion to set the girls up with some instant dinners for the next few days. Chicken and leek with couscous (I'd photograph it but apart from pretty green freckles it remains pretty much the same as these meals here).

Mushroom gravy for the Nut Loaf.

Pause for lunch and an attempt to sit down. This is foiled by Little Fish, who firmly believes that if Mummy is sitting down then she should be on Mummy's lap. Which in itself is also fine, but she's now decided Mummy's face needs to be grasped firmly so that Mummy can see nothing but Little Fisj's eyes. Sweet the first time, infuriating the 6574654th time (and yes, C, I know you've told me a billion times not to exaggerate).

Phone call number one to Family Central; the extended clan is beginning to gather at my parents' house.

Brief escape to the shops as I discover the cream cheese I added to the couscous should have been saved for the cookies. Collect ingredients for Monday's veggie lasagne at the same time, get home and realise we used the last of the garlic in the couscous too. I must pick up some more tomorrow. Or serve lasagne with cheese bread instead. Toasted bread without garlic? It seems all wrong somehow.

Back home and onto the sweet stuff. Thanks to Laura for the inspiration and the recipes. I decided to give the apricot cookies a go - didn't have any apricot jam so used lemon curd, apple butter, and home made fruit jam. Lemon curd was maybe a little runny; it seeped all the way through creating a very sticky soggy bun type thing - messy and delicious. The jam and the butter worked nicely though. Treacle crinkles worked extremely well - I didn't bother with the suggested ice water and they seemed to come out quite nicely without it. I may have to try again with the ice water and see what difference it makes, or can anyone tell me? Laura?

Note to self - next time you bake biscuits from someone else's recipes, check quantities. I now have 7 dozen biscuits of different types. Since I am the only person capable of eating biscuits in this house, this could prove challenging! It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

Deputation from Family Central arrived halfway through the messiest part of the baking and helped us out. Phonecall numbers 2 and 3 from remaining members of the Family Central household.

Little Fish likes to help bake. She's quite good at creaming butter and sugar, and thankfully at the moment has not twigged to the fact that this is something which tastes rather nice. Instead she is deeply suspicious of any efforts on my part to sample the uncooked dough. Aren't I supposed to be the responsible one warning her about the dangers of raw egg? It's a good job one of us is sensible anyway. LF would also quite like to help get the trays in and out of the oven, and as soon as the oven is switched on, my job becomes more complicated, guarding the door and the controls with one leg whilst balancing mixing bowl on the opposite hip, and fending LF off with a gentle push, which sends her wheels spinning to the other side of the kitchen. Mog assists by kicking whenever LF passes, occasionally managing to trap her foot in the wheel spokes.

Phone calls 4 and 5 from Family Central come as I am loading the dishwasher for the third time in one day. Two phone calls from two different people, in the same house, telling me the same bit of information, namely that Niece would indeed like to be an angel at the carol service tomorrow.
Excuse me, I must go. There's an angel costume needing to be made.

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