Festivities begin

This evening we have eaten oat cakes, some topped with flavoured creamy cheese and others with lobster mousse with cognac, sprinkled with lemon rind. We have bottled the sloe gin we made and are rather pleased with the results. It’s hearty stuff. After two bottles, there was just enough to have a tiny glass each but after a couple of sips I could feel the effects, so for pudding I’ve put chocolate orange ice cream on a bed of passionfruit middle and topped it with some of the sloe gin from my glass.

Mrs Beeton style mulled drink
Mrs Beeton style mulled drink

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Lobster mousse
Lobster mousse

My family have a tradition where, probably as a consequence of my granddad being a butcher, we have pork pie for Christmas day and because wheat free hot-crust pastry is no mean feat, my husband is currently in the kitchen making enough pie for 8. Lucky he’s done a pastry course and isn’t squeamish (he’s told me proudly he’s doing things properly- boiling up the skin and fat to make a stocky jelly.)

The other day we were reading Mrs Beeton, as you do, and were looking at her cocktail and Christmas drinks suggestions. So then my husband made us a lovely cocktail, with fortified wine- a mix between a sherry and a port, with lemon, spices and tangerine. It was a beautiful thing.

Preparations for Christmas continue tomorrow. This year I am cooking ‘the big thing’ on Christmas day itself (round my Mum and Dad’s house), so I’m heading over there tomorrow to think about peeling pounds of potatoes and making gingerbread stuffing.

Merry Christmas to all!

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