Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Afternoon tea November 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauravw @ 2:06 pm

On Sunday afternoon we were very civilised: we had afternoon tea with my parents and some friends.

It had been a dark and foggy day, but the sun was just starting to make its presence known when we arrived at my parents’ house just after 2pm. Mum had lit lots of candles, and the house looked very pretty, with just a few hints of Christmassy decorations starting to appear.

I made the lemon fairy cakes you can see in this picture, finishing them just before we set off. That meant I didn’t have time to test them, but I needn’t have worried as they were very good. (This more than makes up for the poor cooking I did last weekend!). They are from a recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, a book I’ve been really pleased with so far.

Anyway, speaking of Christmas… how are your preparations going? I had planned to get all of my Christmas shopping done in November as I struggle to enjoy being in shops in December – I find it all a bit overwhelming. But I had failed to notice that December starts NEXT WEEK. So I might not quite manage to have finished by then. We’ll see.

And I think I am going to leap into Christmas rather early this year – I usually am rather slow to put the decorations up, but this time I think I will put them up early and enjoy them for longer.  Anna at Twelve 22 put her tree up on the 9th of November! I think I might do my decorations in the first few days of December, which is early by my standards.


Seasonal cooking failures November 14, 2011

Filed under: Food — lauravw @ 7:31 pm

I’m still here.

I’m just on a bit of a go-slow, and haven’t been on the computer so much. I have been doing some Christmas shopping – my aim is to get it all done by the end of the month, so that I can relax and enjoy December.

I have also been experiencing a (small) run of cooking failures. Well, failures is perhaps a little harsh, but successes they were not. Our neighbour gave us two enormous butternut squashes from her mother’s allotment, and we’ve really not done them justice. We have one left, and so I’m looking for recipes that will make it shine. Our mistake with the first one was to roast it – and leave it in the oven for rather too long. That resulted in a roast squash, red onion and creme fraiche pasta dish that was horrible. Inedible. Binned.

Being the efficient types we are, we’d roasted extra squash, to make into a risotto the following night (with plans for that to then provide leftovers for two lunches). But once you’ve over-roasted a butternut squash, you should just cut your losses and bin it. We didn’t, because we don’t like to throw food away. So we made a passable risotto – but didn’t bother preserving the leftovers.

Next up: cookies. Hmm. I tried a recipe for peanut brownie cookies, and again I think I overcooked them. They are somewhat crunchy. I had guests today, and didn’t offer them one, because I worried they might chip a tooth.

For tomorrow’s tea, I’m just going to heat up something from M&S. Hopefully that will clean the slate a bit.