For me, there’s nothing better than a baking day. Sure, it means there’ll be mountains of washing up to do. Sure, you might end up feeling queasy from eating so much sugar. And sure, the mess will inevitably spread across your entire kitchen and maybe into the living room as well. But it’ll be worth it, because the fruits of your labour will make it so.
And if a normal baking day is wonderful, then a festive baking day is most certainly on a whole new level of wonderful-ness. Each year the thing I look forward to most about the lead up to Christmas are baking days like this one. Where pans sit simmering on the hob, full of spicy chutneys and fruity mincemeat. Where the house winds up smelling more festive than if you’d lit a thousand Christmas-themed scented candles, and you begin to feel the first flutterings of Christmas spirit.
Earlier in the week, I had such a day. I made a batch of Nigella’s cranberry and port mincemeat, and then some of her famous mini star-topped mince pies. They turned out sort of rustic (I’ve not yet mastered the art of shortcrust pastry, since I only really make it once or twice each year), but tasted no less delicious because of it. The other thing to come out of the kitchen on Tuesday (other than several clouds of icing sugar dust and a dog who tried to run off with a mouthful of dried cranberries), were these white chocolate + coffee popcorn balls. I didn’t quite catch them in time to roll them up, but they taste just as divine in popcorny-clumps. Jason and I can’t leave the jar I’ve stored it in alone…
More from my seasonal to-do list series ::
Try this :: a hot chocolate picnic.
Try this :: go walking somewhere new.
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