On Sunday we had a full-on festive day here at Inverleith. I began by putting on Christmas music and cleaning the house top-to-bottom to prepare for the glittering decorations. My favourite CD is Christmas Crooners, great for getting me into the Christmas spirit. Then we popped on The Nighmare Before Christmas while we got out the tree and began to decorate! Horace was very interested in the tree. Of course she spent the first night pulling off the lower baubles once we had gone to bed! The cheeky madam.
She also made light work of pulling down my lovely little twigs decoration. I bought some 'snow twigs' from Sainsbury's then popped them in this Ikea jug and hung some decorations from Paperchase for a little hearth-side colour. The stag and bambi are also from Paperchase. Shank of Egg, I love that shop! It's like crack for me. I can't go in there without buying something.
Albie was in on the act too! Here he is in his lovely snuggly winter romper. So cosy and cuddly! He is on the verge of crawling and thankfully hasn't noticed the Christmas tree yet. I will wrap some presents today and use them as a barrier around the tree.
After watching the Muppet Christmas Carol I disappeared into the kitchen for a little baking. Every year I make the same Nigel Slater mince pie recipe from a torn-out magazine page. It's now splattered in goodness knows what, and is all crispy and sticky. I love recipes that way- used! It's just a rich shortcrust pastry with orange zest, which emits a gorgeous fug when the pies are baking. That orange-scented warmth means that it's Christmas. I made two batches and froze one raw for next week.
I used my iPhone for the images as the dull grey winter light meant my pictures were pretty rubbish. The sun is shining today, all the snow has been banished and the blue sky is rather glorius. However, it is bitingly cold and my car door was frozen shut! The festive day was topped off by more cooking, in the form of a tasty festive chesnut tart. Yum! I made it slightly differently as I don't have a pan you can put on the hob and in the oven, so instead I caramelised some shallot and red onion with butter, soft brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and the chesnuts, then I just cut the pastry into individual tart bases, spread on the mixture then baked until the pastry was crisp. Then I scattered over fresh thyme and some lovely creamy Somerset goat's cheese. Delish!
My Christmassy extravaganza was completed yesterday when I had my friend Jo over for the day. Gingerbread latte preceded a little cocktail I made up called a Fiery Jo- Morgan's spiced rum, lime cordial and ginger beer with nutmeg grated on top. Yum! Then I made her a Christmas dinner- turkey, roasties, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, sprouts with chestnuts, maple roast parsnips and vichy carrots. NOM! She is going travelling tomorrow and will Christmas in the UK. Not anymore! Christmas dinner followed by Christmas pudding. Perfick!