Everything to do with XMAS!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hayles66, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. ipadbraincell
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    Been many years since adults in my extended family bought presents between each other, partners still buy for each other as everyone buys for any kids.

    we just decided a nice card means far more and remembered with more affection longer than a packet of dodgy socks of a colour you'd never wear, or a box of bathroom salts of a stench you bin on Boxing Day, to kill the smell of the decaying salmon sandwiches left over because everyone stuffed the dinner in.

    The Wife's birthday is Christmas Eve, so is her younger sisters, her older sisters birthday is on the 19th December (obviously she was the parents experimental timing sighter, sort of an early bouncing bomb ;) ).

    We all get on great together, looking forward to the meals drinks and bad jokes already!
  2. Hdchiky
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    Hayles66 - I think it is great the way you are about Christmas. I think I have all of the same movies you do and it does not feel like Christmas if I do not get to watch most everyone of them at least once. I love the Hallmark Chrismas shows on TV too! I am older now, the kids are grown and gone, each with their own little families. It is just easier for Grammy to bring her prezzies to their house so that is what I do. One of the daughters likes for everyone to be there first thing Christmas morning and we just fix easy breakfast food - breakfast pizza (bicuits as dough, spread with eggs, ham, bacon, hash browns, cheese, etc) coffee, juice and maybe some Monkey bread. The being together is the best part. I use to put up a 10' tree, fully decorated (I never did like the trees that were -designer...) I always liked my tree to have ALL kinds of ornaments - old and new and lots and lots of lights. I use to do the village thingy too - the little lighted houses - I have HUNDREDS of those things - just packed away now. Seems kinda sad..all the trouble I use to go to and now barely get a small tree up. I use to say I hoped I never got like those HUMBUG folks - now it seems I am one! Oh well, you keep believing... there is a Santa Clause!

    Chiky
  3. Hayles66
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    Of course there is a Santa Clause. You have to believe!! I love the spirit of Xmas more than the commercial side. The kids think we are nuts but I think secretly they love it. Get a couple of villages out, you know you want to! Cotton wool snow and some straw for the stable. It's a pain but my sister-in-law and I decorate our houses to help get into the mood. Sheer laziness otherwise. I know that by the time new year gets here, I'm thoroughly sick of it but right now, I'm in the mood!! My kids still live with us so we are different to you, Chiky. We watched The Santa Clause the other night but didn't watch last night because I was on my own and fell asleep. We will probably watch the second one tonight. Yes, I love that sky channel as well! Loads of new cheesy Xmas films but I don't care. It's Xmas! There's also a music channel on sky that plays Xmas songs too. I love the top 100 Xmas songs program's as well. There is a film coming out by our famous Aardman Productions who produced our Wallace and Gromit films. I think it's called Arthur Christmas. So will watch that as well! I'm so sad but I love it.

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  4. Hayles66
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    Well! We didn't watch any films last night, we both fell asleep on the couch. Woke up very late and stumbled to bed! The joys of getting old! I'm hoping to watch The Santa Clause 2 tonight. I might start making mince pies and the xmas cake today. Colleague at work has already made the Xmas cake. It's best to make it early so that it matures before Xmas day. I pour liquor on it every couple of weeks. Anyone else made the cake.

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  5. Kaykaykay
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    I've been pouring liquor into myself, but I don't suppose that counts.
  6. Hayles66
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    Well, of course it counts! I've been pouring Archers and lemonade, Baileys, red and white wine down my throat for years and especially while making the said Xmas cake, pud and pies. Part of the cooks prerogative surely?

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  7. Kaykaykay
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    Lol. You made cooking suddenly seem more appealing to me.
  8. Hayles66
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    You should see my hubby and I cooking together. Liquor is the only thing keeping us both sane. We can't be in the kitchen at the same time.

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  9. leelai
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    My mum still makes the Christmas cakes for our family. A few years ago she started putting a thick chocolate icing on them after they've matured. Just delicious. I eat it in very thin slices, so I can savor all the flavors. But I must say I eat quite a few slices at a time.
  10. Kaykaykay
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    Whatever it takes! Cheers!
  11. Hayles66
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    I love Xmas cake especially my own as it has everything I love in it. I pour Archers (peach schnapps) over it and apricots, nuts etc... I'm not a big fan of mixed peel or large cherries so they tend to be left out or chopped up small. It's weird but I love fresh cherries but hate those sweetened cherries.

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  12. Hayles66
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    Cheers to you too! Hubby now wants to do the pudding today so watch out for the fireworks. He's usually the cook and I clean up after him. He has no sense of tidiness. It's total devastation after he's been in there. It's a good excuse to break open the sherry or brandy, don't you think?

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  13. Hayles66
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    Here is our recipe for the cake

    Cooking time: 3 hours - serves 12
    Ingredients
    300g/10 1/2 oz Sultanas
    200 g/7 oz Seedless Raisins
    125 g/4 1/2 oz Apricots Chopped
    100g/3 1/2oz Mixed Peel
    125 ml/4 fl oz Dark Rum
    100 g/3. 1/2 oz Glacé Cherries
    30ml/ 2 tbs Ginger or Apricot Jam
    40g/1 1/2 oz Almonds
    40 g/1 1/2oz Ground Almonds 10 ml /2tsp Ground Mixed Spice
    225g/8 oz Butter Zest of 1 Orange
    225 g/ 8 oz Light Muscovado Sugar 4 Medium Eggs
    225 g/8 oz Plain Flour




    Cooking Instructions
    Soak fruit in Rum overnight. Next day, roughly chop cherries and stir into fruit with jam and almonds. Preheat oven 150°. Grease and line 8 in/20 cm round cake tin. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs gradually, continue beating mixture.
    Sift flour with spice and fold into mixture, stir in fruit and mix. Spoon into tin and level surface. Tie a double thickness of brown paper and newspaper around outside of tin. Bake for 3 - 3 1/2 hours or until knife comes away clean. Allow to cool. Turn out and wrap in clean paper and foil. Soak in liquor every so often to keep moist. Store in cool dry place for 2/3 months to mature. 3 weeks after baking, pierce cake with skewer and pour over some rum. Boil some apricot jam and brandy to create glaze, put roast almonds, apricots, walnuts, pecans, dates on top with glaze dribbled on and leave to dry. Store until needed.

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  14. Hayles66
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    Here's the mince pies

    Prep. 20 mins, cooking time 12/15 mins Makes 2 dozen

    Ingredients
    225 g/8 oz Plain Flour
    100 g/ 4 oz butter
    1 Medium egg, beaten
    15 g castor sugar
    Homemade mincemeat
    50 g/2 oz Hazelnuts chopped
    Rind of 1 lemon
    Topping
    100 g/4 oz Ground Almonds.
    2 egg whites, lightly whipped. Equipment: cookie cutters and largest cutter
    50 g/2 oz caster sugar. Sift 'n Stor 2 bun sheets (greased)
    50 g/2 oz Demerara Sugar. Mixing Bowl. Pastry sheet and rolling pin




    Cooking Instructions
    Sift the flour into a bowl with the Sift 'n Stor. Dice the butter and rub in to form fine bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt. Beat the egg and the caster sugar together. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and stir in the egg mixture. Bring the dough together, seal the bowl and chill for 30 mins.
    Meanwhile, mix the mincemeat, hazelnuts and lemon rind together. In a separate bowl, mix the almonds, egg whites and caster sugar together to form a sticky mixture, set aside. Roll out the pastry on the floured pastry sheet and stamp out 24 rounds using cookie cutters, making sure they are large enough to fill the pat tie indents. Fill each pastry case with the mincemeat mixture. Top 12 with the almond mixture and the Remaining 12 with cut out shapes from cookie cutters.
    Sprinkle all the mince pies with Demerara sugar and cook at 200°C for 12/15 mins. Dust some mince pies with icing sugar and serve.

    I especially love the almond and egg white topping to this

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  15. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Excellent reason. I clean after my husband cooks, too. From the mess he leaves, you'd imagine he was a blind cook. I have to give him credit for cooking, though. If it were left to me, we'd be eating out of boxes, cans and bags.
  16. Hayles66
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    Here is the Xmas pudding

    Cooking time: 3 hours makes 6/8 servings
    Ingredients
    3 oz Apricots
    85 g/3 oz Dates
    85 g/ 3 oz Seedless Raisins
    60 g/ 2 oz Almonds
    85 g/3 oz Ground Almonds
    60 g/ 2 oz Chestnuts
    30g/ 1 oz Dried Figs
    30 g/1 oz Chopped Hazelnuts
    85 g/3 oz Cherries
    60 g/ 2 oz Mixed Peel
    115 g/ 4 oz Muscovado Sugar
    45 g/ 1 1/2 oz Suet
    150 ml/5 fl oz Guinness
    30 ml/ 2 tbs White Rum
    30 ml/ 2 tbs Brandy. 30 g/ 1 oz Softened Unsalted Butter
    60g/ 2 oz Self Raising Flour. Pinch Ground Cinnamon
    60g/2 oz Fresh White Breadcrumbs 60 g/ 2 oz Chilled Unsalted Butter
    1/2 tsp Ground Mace or Nutmeg. 2 Eggs beaten
    1 lemon and 1 orange grated rind 15 ml / 1 tbs Golden Syrup


    Cooking Instructions
    Put all fruit and nuts to soak with 75 ml (5 tbs) Guinness, all the Rum and Brandy. Mix well, cover, leave over night. The next day mix remaining ingredients with fruit and just enough Guiness to give a dropping consistency. Spoon into a 1.25 lt (2 pint) pudding basin and press down with back of spoon. Cover with a large round of grease proof paper. Top with a similar sized round of foil. Fold both across centre to make a lynch pleat. Tie with string under the outside rim, add a doubled loop of string over the top to create a handle. Set basin in steamer fitted over saucepan of gently boiling water. Cover tightly and steam for 3 hours, topping up with boiling water as and when necessary. Cool completely. Cover with fresh foil but leave greaseproof paper in place. Store in cool dry place or freezer for a year. Thaw completely before reheating.
    To reheat, steam for 1 hour. To microwave - 4. 1/2 mins on high
    Storage. ( November 24th or Sunday before advent).



    All the ingredients have been changed if there is none available. Just substitute something else. It's the only time I actually bake if I can help it.

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  17. Hayles66
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    Hayles66 iPad Expert

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    Absolutely agree! Snap! He's the chef for all things English and I make the Indian, South African and Italian stuff

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  18. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Indian, yum. Just having leftovers now.
  19. Hayles66
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    Hayles66 iPad Expert

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    Chicken Tikka Marsala is my favourite and my mums curry. So simple to make and I usually add other things to it. I try and eat Indian, Italian over Xmas as well because there is only so much turkey/ goose you can eat surely! Hubby is shaking his head right now. He loves his meat!

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  20. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    How about beef or lamb vindaloo? I think southern Indian food is more vegetarian, but you can curry pretty much anything, can't you? And most of the Indian sauces I've had would work with meat, too, I think.

    Good chatting with you. Now I'm going to have a lie down to digest my Indian.

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