Today, my half of the family came over for a lunch of soup and bread. I made some extremely simple mince pies that take about 20 mins from start to finish which I'd seen on Kirstie Allsop's Crimble Show. Chop up an apple, some plums and some hazelnuts and put them all in a bowl. Add some sultanas and cranberries, some vegetable suet and a liberal sploosh of brandy and swirl them about with a spoon. Cut a sheet of puff pastry into 16 or so squares, dollop a spoonful of the mincemeat mix into the middle and fold up the sides of the pastry, pinching the top as per one of the pics above. Cook for 15 mins. I used the left over mincemeat to make a swiss-roll version, with the addition of a few dollops of brandy butter put on the top of the mincemeat before cooking. I also whipped up a batch of brandy truffles. There were 30. I've just counted them and now there are 25. Hmm.....
I made Pj bottoms for my nieces (11 and 6) for Crimble which they opened before lunch. They love going through my button box and picked out some buttons which Grannie sewed onto the Pjs, so now they are properly Custom Made. They also took great delight in telling us that their cat Patch has peed on at least one of the presents under their tree. My littlest niece has been given a hamster for Crimble. His name is Chubby and he's already drawn blood, as she told me proudly while waving the ravaged finger under my nose. I suggested Chubby and Patch be introduced, at which point they squealed loudly. I do love those girls.
I popped into Romsey first thing for soup (no time to make it this morning) and to take Teddy to the V.E.T. He hates the V.E.T. as regular readers will know, so Poppy came along to offer Moral Support (which mostly consists of wagging her tail furiously at everyone in the place and sniffing the floor like a bloodhound). She went to investigate a basket by the door and then rocketed back into me when the thing lurking inside exploded in a terrifying eruption of needles and spitting. She was thoroughly confused and sat down very suddenly on my feet with her tail clamped between her legs and wouldn't get up again until the lovely Louise called us in. I said I would read her Scarface Claw so she'd be better prepared next time. I probably won't read her Hairy Maclary's Rumpus At The Vet, for obvious reasons.
Teddy broke down with a bad case of V.E.T. induced shivers and shakes as soon as he was put on the table (which worsened dramatically when she took his temperature- don't ask), so Pop came up on the table for moral support. I am Quite Certain my V.E.T thinks I am completely bonkers, a sense that was doubtless confirmed when both the dogs managed to trip me up as we were leaving by carrying out a complex and speedy version of Dog Knitting with their leads, using my legs as needles. I was glad to make it out alive.
I then drove to my friend Cal's house to drop off a bottle of damson vodka for him and his girlfriend Fi (top girl, with whom I have shared several empowering conversations in the bogs of various public houses late at night over the course of the last two years), and finally drove back into Romsey straight into an enormous queue for Waitrose, which we eschewed in favour of the back street near the library. I nipped in to town to get some more Christmassy Fabric for the third and final stocking I am making and as I was paying the chap behind the till said confidently these aren't for making things for Christmas which confused me a bit so I said yes, they are, at which point he gave me a look that I chose to interpret as impressed but was probably in reality bafflement.
I rounded off the trip by picking up soup, suet, watercress, plums and smarties in Waitrose (a nice, eclectic mix) while dodging lots of irate red-faced people who were doing their best to block the isles completely by placing their trolleys in stupid places, and had a nice chat with a lovely lady on the check-out who informed me she'd witnessed some Really Grumpy Behaviour from shoppers that morning that rather gave the lie to the whole Christmas Spirit thing. She told me I looked very calm, which I attributed to not having any energy left after rushing about like a
I got home to discover L had doctored my Merry Crimble message on the chalk board so it now reads Merry Crumble and is adorned with faces sticking out their tongues. It could have been worse I suppose (giant willies or swear words spring to mind), but perhaps we won't go there).
All Good Fun, eh?
Right, off to make supper and try not to stuff too many of the puff-pastry mince pies while so-doing :o)
How are your Crimble Preps going?