I Love the Smell of Mince Pies in the Morning

Every year in the run up to Christmas I promise myself I will bake things in advance and freeze; I will be prepared and not spend Christmas Eve running about in a frenzy trying to get the last presents wrapped, all the food prepared for the next day, and a decent amount of sherry drunk.  However every Christmas Eve you will find me in the kitchen until late at night, recruiting anyone unfortunate enough to be near at hand to peel veg, wrap the final few presents and make sure my sherry glass is topped up.  But this year I have no excuse, this year neither of us are working in the run up to Christmas, and so time is something we have plenty of.  This weekend I finally got around to planning what we’ll actually be eating on Christmas Day (Christmas Eve is always the same, Nigella Lawson’s Coca-Cola Ham, accompanied by mashed potato and cabbage – a nod to my Irish roots) and we’ve spent the last few weeks eating up leftovers from the freezer so it’s ready to be refuelled with festive loveliness.

Yesterday was a good day.  A day spent mainly in the kitchen, whipping up mince pies,

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sausage rolls

christmas-baking-010and cherry and pistachio stuffing.

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The soundtrack to my activities were familiar, and unfamiliar, Christmas tunes, courtesy of 6music (the station of choice for our barn – though not the boy’s choice, he often just urges for silence, probably so we can hear his screams and shouts that bit better).

A dint has already been made in the mince pie numbers, as the boy has developed quite a taste for them, and surprisingly he even likes my homemade ones.  The sausage rolls are also somewhat depleted but the responsibility for that lies solely at J and I’s door.  The remainders have now been safely stowed away in the freezer, to protect them from further snaffling, and ready for defrosting when the big day comes.

And as well as all this, I’ve also deposited a batch of apple sauce in the freezer (to accompany roast pork, as none of us are huge turkey fans).

As you can probably tell, I am feeling VERY proud of myself.  Because I’ve never actually got around to doing any of the things I promise to do in advance before (because, let’s face it, there’s always something that needs cleaning, washing, feeding, that takes priority), but all this preparation means more sherry drinking, or I may even have moved on to Baileys by then, and less time stuck in the kitchen on Christmas Eve.

Now I realise this is turning into a slightly smuggy – “ooh, but look JUST how organised I am” post.  It isn’t meant to, I’m just pleased I have actually started, as it really is a first for me.  However, just to reassure you, throughout the baking extravaganza I was constantly ejecting the children from the kitchen, the boy has had his advent calendar confiscated for kicking me in the boob (ow, ow, ow!) and they both tested the English Port, which we’re currently brewing in the spare room – fortunately it’s not fermented much yet, as I can’t imagine how much more annoying they would be drunk.  Well, maybe after some of the mind-boggling conversations we have, I can.  And it’s not a pretty sight.

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