Christmas Truffles

I’ve been having a mini-argument with Mark about the Taste of Christmas. For me, I think the flavour which comes closest to tasting of Christmas is probably treacle, with or without a liberal sprinkling of ginger and cinnamon. I love treacle. Mark doesn’t. Which I only found out when I made treacle-flapjack (no syrup, but treacle from the Christmas cake…).

But I thought, despite his dislike (or perhaps because of, so I get more), I’d try my hand at Treacle Truffles.

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As with all my truffle recipes, this one’s a nice, quick, simple one.

You’ll need a: Sploosh of double cream, gently heated with a Splodge of treacle (warm the spoon in hot water first and it slides off more easily) until almost boiling, stirred with generous sprinklings of ground ginger and cinnamon, and then poured over handfuls of dark chocolate drops. Stir until all molten and smooth and then pop into a fridge until firm and you can roll it into balls.

Best eaten at room temperature, so they’re slightly squidgy and not too solid.

Try not to eat them all at once. If you can.

Oh, and because of Christmas and its busyness, I’ve sadly been unable to play with creative words quite as much as I’d like this week, and next week looks quite full too, I thought I’d give myself a week’s holiday, so I’ll be back in 2015, starting up again on the 4th Jan., with a new story.

Happy New Year! May all your hopes and dreams for the next year come true 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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So, finally, the day has come. I always find I prefer Advent to the actual day. Something about the anticipation being exciting and fun, and the day being, well, a bit of an anti-climax. It’s fun, but then it’s all over. And then it’s turkey sandwiches for a week.

And, yes, again with the odd things, that’s a snow-globe in the centre of the cake. It’s a penguin in a blizzard, because whoever was putting it together put a LOT of ‘snow’ in it.

But, Merry Christmas to Everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful day. 🙂

A Visit From St Nicholas

‘Twas the Night before Christmas

And all through the House

Not a Creature was stirring

Not even a Mouse

Clement C. Moore

A Visit from St Nicholas is one of my most favourite poems. It’s one of the few from which I can recite more than a line, and Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a reading of it. Nor without watching The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, but that’s another story.

What’s your favourite seasonal read?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Part Two

This close to the joyous midwinter feast, the Grinch surveyed the world. His plans were coming together quite nicely. As always, every year, he had made long-term plans for the theft of this irritating happiness which permeated society. People shouldn’t be happy; they should be stressed and crotchety and miserable.

This year, he targeted the fools hard at work in the shops, the nasty people who encouraged spending and happiness.

His plans, thought out months in advance, were really quite simple. He would screw up deliveries and floor-plans, starting in October when the workers begin to plan for shop-moves and deliveries, and continuing to December. And so the stock-rooms began to fill, with boxes stacked high, towering dangerously, spreading into the staff-room, until the workers thought of anonymous calls to Health & Safety, for surely this should not be.

And then, just to be helpful, the Grinch sent out a memo, advising the shop-workers that there would be no more big deliveries from the first Tuesday of December, After then, it would simply be replenishing deliveries. The odd box here and there, maybe two or three at a time.

But the Grinch, his reading skills and numeracy – they were not so good. He did not read the memo, nor could he count the boxes he ordered to be delivered. And so the large deliveries continued. Not the card-replenishments, though, just the teddies and sweets. Until the week before Christmas.

With barely a week to go, and with an order to rearrange the displays, less than half would be replenished, with dozens of the same design. And so the stock-rooms filled again. And the workers despaired. They longed for Christmas for it all to be over, not for any joyous reasons.

And the Grinch was happy.

Cider Fruit Cake

This is a quick sort of fruit cake, so if you haven’t made your Christmas cake yet, this one might just do for you. It’s a melt-it-all-in-a-pan sort of a cake.

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Ingredients:

50g unsalted butter

200g muscovado sugar

approx. 250g assorted dried fruit of your choice

175ml cider

175ml water

1tsp mixed spice

1tsp ground ginger

225g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

Icing sugar to decorate.

To make:

Preheat an oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4.

Put everything up to the flour in a big pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for two minutes, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

Into a baking tin and bake for 25ish minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.