Day 17 – I swapped my Advent task today to make the mince pies – after all Christmas would not be Christmas without them even though I can only eat one or two as they don’t really agree with me now. I often bake these tiny ones as they make a lovely token gift and this batch was to take in to my old workplace for my former colleagues.
I was eager to try out the new kitchen tool I found at the local hardware store when we were in Scotland. It is a wooden pastry tamper – it cost about £5 and is double ended for pressing the pastry of small or large circles into the trays.
I was impressed – it works a treat and gives the pies a professional look. To save time I used the ready-made roll of all butter short crust pastry – I like the fact it has all natural ingredients. I was a bit disappointed that the finished pastry case is a little on the thick side; if I used it again I would put the rolling-pin over it to make it slightly thinner.
The thickness didn’t affect the taste though, the pastry was ‘melt in the mouth’ with no soggy bottoms. After a dusting of icing sugar I packaged them up onto these little white trays (I collected during the year from Chocolate Mini Rolls) lined with a doyley and added a sprinkling of confetti – green metallic holly leaves. I also took in a tray of the chocolates. Well it is Christmas.
It is getting very close now to the big day – most of my list has been ticked off and just a few bits and pieces left to do but if they don’t get done I wouldn’t be worried. The traffic in town and the village is building up and the shops getting busier so it is taking longer to do anything that requires leaving the house. I expect it will get worse over the weekend.
There still seems to be an awful lot of stock to shift in the shops and the prices are steadily dropping but there is nothing now that I need to buy. We have all the gifts ready and a spare emergency one just in case. My family Not so Secret Santa gift was for my younger daughter and she needed a coat that fit her now she has had the baby. I bought part of it for her birthday too (as it is in December) and suggested she start wearing it now rather than wait for Christmas. We wouldn’t normally do that but there was no point in her being cold until Christmas Day.
We have a family 21st party on Sunday at my sisters and then I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home.