I’ll give y’all a moment to recover from the surprise, possibly even shock, that there is actually something new on the site.
Yeah, things did get
a little very quiet on the posting front over the last couple of months of 2011. Well, I’m back, welcome to lizziemeates.com in 2012.
As I am still getting my new year’s ducks in a row, this post will be an update of what I got up to over the holiday period. It should come to no surprise (given how I spent Christmas 2010 and Christmas 2009) that a large portion of the time was spent cooking. I had opted again to cook the Christmas lunch, a thank you of sorts to my most-awesome Mum who has cooked more than her fair share of Christmas lunches and dinners over the years. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t keep her out of the kitchen completely, as she had the baking bug as well (wonder where I get it from?) and thus was determined to make mince pies and cakes that she had seen in a magazine. So, the kitchen had us both in it and saw much baking action and washing of dishes.
Mum had already baked her cakes (note the plural): a standard Christmas Cake and a Maple Christmas Cake (which had whole almonds and was so very nice). However, both needed icing. The Christmas Cake had a marzipan/royal icing topping with royal icing stars. The Maple Christmas Cake was more imaginative. Think: drifts of bourbon icing with prancing gingerbread reindeer amongst gingerbread trees covered in snow (well, icing sugar). It was pretty impressive, and delicious.
Then there was the mince pies. Mum had two varieties she wanted to bake and I had my Cranberry Mince Pies (the same I had made in 2009). Between us, we made five dozen mince pies. All I can say is: thank goodness for modern refrigeration. Mince pies (version 1) consisted of a standard mincemeat filling in a pastry case but topped with a Brandy Bakewell topping:
Mince pies (version 2) also had the standard mincemeat filling and pastry case but this time with an Honey Almond topping, which was ah-mazing. Kinda like a soft toffee but with almonds (so better than toffee):
Mince pies (version 3) were made with the cranberry mincemeat filling and had pastry toppings of either a star, reindeer or Christmas tree:
Also baked were some more vegetarian sausage rolls (same as the previous two years). These were cooled on an upturned meat rack, oh the contradiction! Then the prep for the next day’s lunch was started (and then continued the next morning). Christmas came around quicker than I anticipated and as a result the menu was pretty much the same as 2009 but with Cream of Tomato Soup (instead of the Chestnut Soup) and no Courgette Ribbons or celeriac (this could not be sourced for love nor money). I am also please to say that the desserts turned out much better than in 2009. No banana skin of doom this time.
The period between Christmas and New Year wasn’t so good as I was ill (if the scales are to believed I lost five kilograms during this period) so I’ll just gloss over this bit like it didn’t happen. However, New Year itself was awesome. I had bought tickets for my parents to see Million Dollar Quartet as a Christmas present, so we went and saw that on New Year’s Eve. It still has some shows left, and I would most definitely recommend going to see it if you’re in London. The performances are fantastic (Ben Goddard as Jerry Lee Lewis was phenomenal) and the music, well, it’s no surprise to say that it’s great fun. All in all it was a lovely way to end 2011.