My Christmas hampers are coming along nicely

I’ve had a busy week and …

♫ ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ ♫

… in my home.

I’ve pickled 3lbs of onions (much to son’s disgust as he wasn’t impressed with the smell of them!). I’ve already given out a large pickle jar of them as it was my mechanic brother’s tip for replacing the brakes on my car. I guarantee his won’t last until Christmas lol!

I’ve made 3.5lbs of Christmas chutney and 7lbs of mincemeat. I have been making good use of my new Kenwood - have now tried out the food processor for chopping the onions and dried fruits and it made short work of them. I’m still very impressed.

I have a litre of cranberry and orange vodka festering in the shed and the Christmas puddings are mixed and waiting to be steamed tomorrow. (Shall do them in the slow cooker as it’s much easier.)

I have ingredients in to make little chocolate stirrers which turn a mug of hot milk into hot chocolate. I can make them nearer to Christmas.

I will also be making little Christmas cupcakes and have the ingredients in store for those too. Little fruit cakes laced with booze and topped with marzipan and icing which will keep for a week. Not as rich as a traditional Christmas cake but easier to make.

I shall be making dad some treacle toffee and some fudge for another family. I may make some shortbread if there is time as that uses very few ingredients and is so easy to make (especially with my Kenwood Prospero).

I shall be giving my hairdresser a homemade gift this year as I normally buy her a bottle of Bailey’s and it gets more expensive each year. I’ve kept all my receipts so I can check the costings later to see if it has turned out cheaper.

I couldn’t go far this week anyway as I didn’t have the car and walking needs a lot more thought, the weather has been mostly pants, so this has kept me out of mischief :slight_smile:

I’ve checked out Jo’s Blue Aga website for inspiration plus BBC Good Food and a few others. The main problem has been limiting myself as I want to make all of it. The other added benefit is that, for everything I make to give away, there is some left over for the cook, apart from the vodka :slight_smile:

Tracey xx

Mmmmmm they sound delicious my mouth was watering reading your post Tracey, might have to go hunt out sone chocolate now, just hope the kids haven’t had it all! Great idea for gifts and I bet they are a lot less expensive than shop bought gifts and more personal too :slight_smile: Sue x

…and I thought I’d been busy and I’d done well with chrisrmas shopping. You have done brilliantly, well done, I am well impressed. Cheryl:-)

Wow Tracey!! Can I book into yours for Christmas Lol

I’ve run out of jars now so I’m begging them from other people as I still want to pickle some cauliflower just for me. I still have some pickling vinegar left and when I buy those jars of mixed pickle I eat the cauliflower and throw the silverskin onions away as I prefer the big, brown pickled onions. (I’ve just realised why I’m single lol.)

There’s always a silver lining to things. I find it increasingly difficult to go out shopping for Christmas presents but I can still make it round the supermarket for half an hour at a time as I have the trolley for support. I can sit down and make things, it’s quite nice to put the radio on and peel a big pile of onions or sit there pricking a big pile of cranberries with a fork. It kind of reminds me of my childhood when my mum would be busy pickling and making jam. (I used to love making jam but you have to watch over it for a while and I’ve had a few mishaps. I will have to be extra careful when I make the sweets but at least they are super quick to make.)

Tracey x