On the shelf, days of Christmas

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It’s beginning to cost a lot like Christmas,

Credit cards and cash are flying here and there.

 

We’re beginning to spend a lot like Christmas,

Financial status? No-one really seems to care.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas,

Shopping trolly racers, do beware.

 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Tinsel, sparkle and bling, hanging everywhere.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

Christmas Carols, syncing, to prepare.

 

It’s beginning to remind me of the smells of Christmas,

mince pie aromas, wafting from ovens.

these days, we’re buying synthetic?

well, it’s cheaper, if you pay by a half dozen.

 

But, It’s beginning to worry me a lot like Christmas,

extravagantly buying gifts, much too fast.

this will be a new year reminder … after Christmas.

when we’re asking the banks for credit, loans and extra cash.

 

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Victoria Healing ~ 7.12.2017

Off the shelf days of Christmas

 

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Traditional Mince Pies like Momma used to bake

INGREDIENTS

  • 360g (2 cups) dried mixed fruit
  • 200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, quartered, cored, coarsely grated
  • 40g butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • White sugar, to dust

PASTRY

  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 160g chilled butter, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons iced water

METHOD

  • Finely chop half the mixed fruit. Place in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, apple, butter, brandy, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the remaining mixed fruit. Stir until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight, stirring occasionally, to macerate.
  • Transfer fruit mixture to a fine sieve over a bowl and stir to remove excess liquid
  • To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and process until the mixture just starts to come together (see tip 1). Turn onto a clean work surface. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use an 8.5cm-diameter round pastry cutter to cut 20 discs from the pastry. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut 20 stars from the remaining pastry.
  • Line twenty muffin pans with pastry. Divide the fruit mince among the pastry cases. Top with pastry stars. Brush lightly with egg and dust with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Now dig in.
  • Can be kept in airtight container for 3- days.

 

 

 

Eggnog or Snowball cocktails?

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Eggnog or a Snowball cocktails, which do you prefer?

remembering back, to ancient traditions of yester year.

now that my dear Mom and Grandparents are no longer here,

it would be nice to note recollections that i hold dear.

 

Reminiscing back to our Christmas tree, standing proud,

those baubles and tinsel all shining, blingy and bright,

waiting expectantly for Santa to arrive on his sleigh, on Christmas Eve night.

 

As kids, we were warm and cosy, growing up in the UK

but now as adults, we’re living in the warm tropics of our summer in WA.

I’m hoping to keep our origins alive,

for our children and future generations to remember us by.

 

The one and only time of year, kids were allowed any alcoholic drinks.

we didn’t understand then, that those Snowball’s and Eggnogs had bourbon tipples in.

wondering why we slept so well at night?

passed out-cold, snoring, we then forgot to wait up, for dear Santa to arrive.

 

Now I know that was no coincidence or chance,

our parents had premeditated those whole circumstances.

 

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That familiar smell of Turkey roasting in the morning,

knowing that something special was dawning.

 

Now, we are living in this sweltering 36 degrees of heat,

yearning for that warm, traditional, snuggly feel.

carols and Christmassy songs playing in the Australian shopping malls,

but wearing summery shorts and thongs, this doesn’t seem festive at all.

 

Barbecues on the beach,

surfboards, swimming gear,

doesn’t make you feel like it is Christmas at all here.

 

Craving back to those Christmas days of old,

hoping to see snow and feel that freezing, chilly cold.

warm sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves,

all in all, that tranquil feeling of cosy, warm hugs.

 

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Gazing entranced, into blazing coal fires,

hoping that when Father Christmas came, he would fulfil our wishes and desires.

with a little help from his elves,

who we had been told, ‘lived on top of the North Pole shelves’

 

Those good old days of supernatural, magic and mystery is hard to beat.

now those enchanting past memories appear to fleet.

 

This special time of year,

filled with sensations of kindness, goodwill and cheer.

i think that we adults must all feel the same,

wishing we hadn’t grown up and our childhood hadn’t gone away.

 

Gone are those days when we believed in this old mystery,

but wanting to preserve all of that influence in our family history.

now, our grandchildren are looking forward, to the magic of Christmas

writing to Santa, their letters and wish lists.

 

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We’re hoping that they feel as excited and happy.

then the joy of Christmas ‘now’ for me, is thinking carefully;

how can i help to give my grandchildren these enchanted dreams?

to help them believe that there are truly inexplicable, fairy-tale things.

 

Watching my grown children get into their own celebratory, festive spirit,

preparations for their own children to feel all the magic of this,

knowing that this wonder and joy, will continue on, to become, infinite.

 

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Victoria Healing ~ 2.12.2107

Eggnog or Snowball cocktail? ~ Hey Momma

Eggnog
Do you know where the tradition of eggnog came from?

While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain. “posset” a hot, milky,
 ale-like drink. By the 13th Century, monks were known to drink 
a posset with eggs and figs.

Christmas traditions explained: The eggnog. For some, it's not really Christmas until they've had a glass of eggnog. The frothy beverage is made out of eggs, sugar and cream and often flavoured with nutmeg and spiked with alcohol.

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Jamie Oliver’s – Ultimate Eggnog recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy or double cream
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 (130g) cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) Bacardi Dark Rum, or bourbon

Method

In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add bourbon or rum, and stir. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.

Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

Snowball Cocktail (English)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Warninks Advocaat
  • 25ml lime juice
  • Lemonade or soda (I use about 150ml, but enough to top up your glass)

Method

  1. Shake together the Advocaat (50ml) and lime juice (25ml).
  2. Strain into a glass and top up with lemonade or soda.
  3. Serve

A snowball cocktail is made with Advocaat, lime juice and lemonade or soda (although there are little variations about such as adding cinnamon or toasted marshmallows). For anyone unfamiliar, Advocaat is a creamy drink that tastes like a fruity custard with a little extra kick. I actually think it tastes lovely on it’s own in a glass with ice, but it also works really well as a snowball, use freshly squeezed lime juice rather than bottled as it’s much nicer that way.

Which do you prefer?

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