I'm quite happy to report that this year I'm not responsible for the full on Christmas feast. Much as I enjoyed preparing it last year, it will be nice to be off duty a bit this year. However, I have volunteered to provide the mince pies, so yesterday, armed with a copy of Good Housekeeping which has a truly sinful recipe including double cream in the pastry as well as orange zest and spice and cider and all those wonderful things that make the kitchen smell of Christmas, P and I took to the kitchen.
Now, I have a bit of a thing about knives and sharp things. My misadventures last advent haven't really helped with this. But my thinking is that if I teach the children how to use knives safely then they are less likely to get hold of them and fool about. So yesterday I took a deep breath and let P use a very sharp kitchen knife to chop up apples for the mincemeat. Obviously no photos as I was busy keeping his free hand and both my hands out of the way of the blade. He was actually very sensible and we both have all our digits present and correct still.
After that it was a bit of fun with the electric orange squeezer (yes, it could have been done by hand, but why not have the fun?), not to mention another lesson in being careful with a zester.
Then a first time stirring something hot on the hob.
Careful spooning of flour into the mixer for pastry...
...and more fun with pressing buttons that make things go whizz!
And lo! Batch #1 of the Christmas mince pies are nestled in the freezer ready for the big day.
Meanwhile, with the temperature a balmy 5 degrees above freezing, the snow is rapidly disappearing just in time for P's Daddy to have daylight time to spend playing out with him. Never mind- if that was November/early December then we may yet have snow fun to come this winter!