There are lovely homely baking smells in the kitchen – I’ve been busy lately. I made a Christmas Cake a few weeks ago, and it is all packed away ready to go on holiday with us. My Christmas Pudding has been bubbling away and looks and smells so nice. This is my Carrot Plum Pudding recipe which I made when the kids were younger – without mentioning the carrots of course! It is so nice and rich, with lots of fruit. Just because we celebrate Christmas in the Summer season down here in New Zealand doesn’t mean we still don’t enjoy a a nice stodgy Christmas Pudding served with custard and whipped cream! I’ll also be serving up a boysenberry trifle on the big day too as a lighter alternative. We will probably have a bit of both.
Christmas is all about tradition – and one of our family traditions is to have croissants with freshly cut ham off the bone and cheese for breakfast. These get popped into the oven for a wee while to heat through, and are a delicious way to start Christmas Day. Another tradition is to cook up a batch of decadent Chocolate Cherry Slice, which I did today. With a layer of melted chocolate on the base, and a delicious topping combining (amongst other things) coconut and chopped glace cherries, it is simply divine. It gets sprinkled with icing sugar when it cools down, and cut into squares, yummy.
I’ve also made a Carrot Cake for Robin’s Mum’s birthday today, and will be mixing up some cream cheese icing for it shortly. Sadly, I don’t think that she will be trying any, as she is in hospital and not at all well. But Robin’s siblings are getting together tomorrow to welcome their sister home from overseas so I’m sure they will appreciate a taste or two.
So that is all the Christmas baking done, thank goodness. Of course, there will still be a bit of food prep to do later on, salads to make and another tradition – chicken and bacon roll-ups to prepare. We cook these on the BBQ for Christmas lunch, and make lots, because they are just as tasty served cold in a salad or sandwich over the next day or two. The baking is not quite finished – I’m cooking a homemade chicken pie for dinner tonight. That smells good too, and it’s almost time to eat!
Hope everyone is getting through their own lists of “things to do before Christmas”. It can get quite overwhelming at this time of year, so we need to pace ourselves, and try not to get stressed.