I did some guest blogging on a couple of other sites like https://thegrandparenthub.com/ this is a site that shares ideas and things to do with the grandkids and is full of inspiration. And then there’s my local ‘What’s In and What’s On’ website for my region https://www.innorthnotts.co.uk/ which is full of things to do and places to visit.
Travel played a big part in my life during 2018. South coast of England, east coast of the USA , west coast of the USA and Scotland. There is an old saying ‘travel broadens the mind’ so perhaps there should be a bit more of it.
The New Year is just around the cirner
2019 is already beckoning and it would be good to get to know my own country better. Perhaps an extended tour of the UK in a motor home? https://www.justgo.uk.com/ All suggestions gratefully received.
There should be more exercise. I could sign up for a ‘long walk’ or train for a half marathon. Again, all suggestions considered. I do need a challenge.
And then of course there is ‘sausage making’. I recently purchased a sausage maker. That is a story/blog, for another day.
It’s the best policy
I have to be honest and admit that I don’t like the turn of the year. The ticking of the clock. The anticlimax. The resolutions. The stepping into the unknown. But it is just another day with a different number when all is said and done… isn’t it?
So, with some trepidation I will welcome in 2019. It boils down to two things: being healthy and happy. That is all I wish for my family, friends and of course you and me.
Happy New Year dear reader, I hope it will be kind to us.
Roll out the fondant to the size of the cake, leaving enough spare to make the reindeer. Dampen the marzipan and place the fondant over. Smooth the surface. Leave for a couple of days to harden before making the reindeers snow scene.
Make the template
Find a simple line drawing or picture of a reindeer. Sketch onto a piece of card. It doesn’t need to be posh card, I used a piece from a tea-bag box https://www.yorkshiretea.co.uk
Cut out the shape and then… carefully and painstakingly cut out the reindeer.
Leave them alone
Put them on a board to dry out for a couple of days. Leave them out of reach. They become quite brittle and so need to be treated with great care.
Glace icing snow
Place three tea lights on the cake. up a paste with icing sugar and a few drops of hot water. Use this to make snow drifts in which the reindeer will stand.
Set the scene
With great care place the reindeer in the snow as in the picture. Use toothpicks to prop them up until they have set. Some of the legs may come off! In which case they become laying reindeer. Some of the antlers may snap off – in which case they become does!
In the woods
Trees can be made from simple, right-angle triangles. Lean three together in a puddle of glacé icing with a little icing spread on the edge where they join together.
Light the candles and turn out the lights for a stunning, Christmas centrepiece.
I have a confession to make which might shock: I don’t like cake. There, I said it!I don’t ‘do’ puddings and cakes.The only thing I might eat, to be sociable, is biscuit or cookie. So here is my mahoosive, celebration cookie recipe…
Don’t buy one, make one!
To buy a celebration cookie from a specialist cookie maker at the shopping centre can be fraught with problems.Celebration cookies can be expensive and they are difficult to get home.
It is far more rewarding to make your own.And it is really easy.
You will need:
Ingredients for one 14” cookie
225g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
175g dark brown soft sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
280g plain flour
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
340g chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate of your choice)
This is the perfect vegetable accompaniment to many of our favourite, comforting, winter dishes.It goes just as well with a hearty Cottage Pie as it does with Christmas dinner!And it’s the perfect fruity, side-dish for game – particularly venison.It is so easy to make and it freezes well.
It’s definitely a family-pleaser – even for those of us who aren’t that keen on their veggies… well not yet anyway!
750 gms red cabbage, shredded (coût out the core, as in the picture above)
Now is the time to harvest the lavender that is probably growing in your garden. If not your garden then someone else’s close by! Let’s make a traditional, English lavender bag together.
Granddaughter Evie came to stay and so she was put to work with the scissors in the garden. A good bunch of lavender spikes later makes a lovely display as they dry out for a couple of days – without water.
Ready to create an English lavender bag
OK so now we have our lavender spikes. Here’s what else we needed:
A meter of netting (cost £1.50 from the local market)
A meter of ribbon (cost .75p from the local market)
And of course… lavender spikes
And here’s what we did with the lavender
After leaving the lavender spikes for a couple of days to dry out pull off the flowers into a pile onto some paper
Cut x2 9”/23cm squares of net, lay one on top of the other for double thickness
With the net partially placed under the paper, push a quantity of lavender onto the net as shown
Draw up the corners and sides of the net without letting the lavender escape
My able assistant then tied a length of ribbon around the enclosed lavender – very tightly. Learning to tie a knot in the process.
A souvenir of a lovely summer
We made enough lavender bags to give to Mummy to make her drawers smell nice and even one for Daddy for the car. The smell in the kitchen was just divine. When we learned that the smell is ‘soporific’ and relaxing grandson Jack said that he would like one for his bedroom ‘Because sometimes it’s just too hard to get to sleep!’