Season's Greetings! Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas.
Here all is festive and twinkly. The tree is decked within an inch of its life, the wreath is over the mantel, the presents are all wrapped and I've made sure there's a Toblerone for me on Christmas morning. The house smells of pine needles, oranges, spices and nutmeg, which can't be a bad thing.
I've made mince pies - coo! The homemade mincemeat is gorgeous. The pastry is rubbish - too thick - so I definitely have a lot of work to do. Still, I am very proud of myself for having a go. Pastry freaks me out. By this time next year I want to be as blase about pastry as I am now about mixing up batches of royal icing, or making piping bags, or any of the other things I was clueless about last year. (It's good to have a goal, don't you think?)
The Key Lime Pie I was trying when I last blogged was delicious. I am glad to add that to my range of cakes, it was scrumptious. I used the 1st recipe from Domestic Goddess and it was dead easy. A tip for anyone who makes it - when you want to serve it, cut it with a hot knife; it makes all the difference.
Oh, and the big cake for the anniversary party... that's due Saturday. I'm still having kittens about it. Deep breaths.
My college course takes a two week break for the holidays. This is A Good Thing. I love the things I'm learning, I love my tutor to bits (she's fabby, you'd love her) and loads of the people in the class are top. I can do LOADS of things I couldn't do before. Not all that well, like, but I am improving steadily and I'm learning ever so much. But... it's on Thursday nights, my heaviest work day of the week and I am just so tired. A break will be nice.
As for being tired, that's partly down to 37 Christmas cakes. Or maybe 38. I've rather lost count. And that's without the 2 large ones and the 5 or 6 trial cakes. If I don't see another fruit cake until next autumn I will be a happy woman. I am so, so sick of them. This is the first time I have baked something to the point of being sick of it, and it's a bit weird. On the other hand, I think the finished cakes look absolutely lovely and I am very proud of them.
Z keeps asking what I'm most looking forward to about Christmas. I generally answer, 'Doctor Who,' which is mostly true. But above all I'm looking forward to a nice couple of days with the kids and Mark, not giving them just part of my attention because I'm trying to ice cakes or measure ingredients or juggle too many tasks at once. I have a fab family and I want a bit of time to enjoy them.