Friday, 14 December 2012

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Hopefully, assuming we don't have a problem with our flight.  We are now all ready for Christmas - presents are wrapped, food for the hamper is made, Milly's rag doll is almost finished and the spare room has become cardboard box city from all the deliveries.  Must do something with those in the new year.  I'm thinking play shop.

This week we made biscotti (or sausage biscuits as miss likes to call them) and its a recipe from good food, so I'll just give you a link to that below.  We stuck almost to the recipe but I substituted cherry for cranberries, just because I like them.  We did, however, do a very very quick gift craft which makes a relatively low cost gift a little more personal.  Its another of those where you do most of the work, but such is life with kids and crafting.

Here Comes Santa Claus

You will need:

A vase big enough to put your entire hand inside
A sharpie (remember those from the labels?)
Paper and pens
Sticky tape of whichever brand you prefer

Cut your paper so its no larger than the height of your vase

Ask your child to draw whatever pictures you (or rather they) want.  Milly decided on Father Christmas, a snowman, a helicopter cat and a round Christmas tree. 

Cut out the pictures you want to put on to the vase (I decided on Father Christmas and the snowman, plus her name) and tape them on the inside.

Trace around with the sharpie.  You might need to do this a couple of times because the pen doesn't always draw that well.  I should imagine it would be better on a ceramic but then you have the faff of getting the picture on there in the first place.  Its one for us to do in future when Mill can be trusted to not draw a helicopter cat on something.

Remove the paper and allow to dry.  Jobs a good un.

I haven't tried to wash these so I have no idea if the picture is going to wash off the minute it touches water, but I don't think it really matters since they still have a vase at the end of it.

We've also been tagging and wrapping.  The bird seed feeders now look like this

Home made bird seed feeders
Bird Seed Feeders with a touch of Christmas Sparkle

and our Christmas hampers look like this (minus the bag of biscotti)

Small Christmas Hamper
Christmas Food Goodies

if you want a list of the recipes I've used here you go:
Spiced beetroot and orange chutney   This is lovely and can be done at last minute
Spiced plum chutney  I make this every year.  Its a bit late for it to be ready for Christmas but its still suitable for a gift with strict instructions to leave it for a few weeks.
Christmas Cake I make mine in October but there is no reason why you cant do a last minute version.

Champagne and Strawberry Jam  

This is my recipe and it makes an 8oz jar of jam .

You will need :

200g strawberries
180g jam sugar
1 large bottle of champagne (or cava)
1 lemon.
A saucer in the fridge

Chop the strawberries in to 4 and add to a pan with the sugar.  Leave for about an hour for the juices to start flowing (or don't if you're in a rush).  If you want big chunky strawberries at the end, leave overnight.

Add a squeeze of the lemon and about half a glass of champagne.  Get your saucer ready.

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring as you go, and then bring to the boil.for about 5 minutes (double check after four).  Remove from the heat and spread a little on the saucer, give it a minute and then push it about a bit.  It should be all jammy and thick and wrinkly when you push and not sloppy.  If you have slop, give it another minute or two and retest.

Allow to cool and then pour in to sterilised jam jars.

Drink the rest of the champagne to celebrate.

Christmas Biscotti / Sausage Biscuits

The biscuits are simply shortbread with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and topped with cane sugar.

So, its been a busy old week.  There are other things I will show you in the new year but since they're gifts for people who read this blog they're staying under wraps for now.

So that just leaves me to say have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year xxx

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