I have been working hard at not getting me knickers in a twist (as they say) over Christmas this year. So far so good, but there are a few things that haven't happened yet, cards to relatives in the U.S. in particular.
Above is a picture of the mince pies I made. I made my own instant mincemeat. I completely winged it, but it worked. Two apples, handful of raisins and dried cranberries, dash of vinegar, sugar, various spices and a bit of vegetarian suet. And it was very nice.
For The Girl's birthday party I was dabbling with the idea of a red velvet cake. It's the stuff of myth in my mind. I had always heard of it, but had never seen it. So I did some research and made a single egg batch on Sunday. Weird cake. The common recipe ingredients were oil, buttermilk and red food colouring. It had the texture and flavour of a muffin. Not very cake-y rich and in real life, the colour is quite off putting. So the general consensus was that it was ok, but not for a birthday cake. We are leaning towards a creamy chocolate cake with a Oreo cookies and frosting topping. I don't know how many trials I'll be able to fit in before the birthday party next Monday. I have to make gingerbread cookies tomorrow for a demonstration and more mince pies for departmental do on Thursday. But that is the nice bit of my job.