It has been a busy week. On Sunday we took twenty or so mince pies round to Venka and Jordan as the daughter and son were round for lunch. Dave had made a list of what was in mincemeat as there is no translation for them and we thought it would be easier to do it that way. It's safe to say that they went down well with all of them, so much so that I have been asked to make some more and some shortbreads for a party to celebrate the daughter's 50th birtday back in September. So more mincemeat has had to be made. They can be our 'present' to her.
|Something for us...cheese scones, yum|
Monday we made a hundred or so biscuits and iced them all for the neighbours etc. As well as the vanilla and chocolate shortbread we made ginger snowmen...which we had to taste just in case...they were lovely and I will certainly be making them again. They took up the whole day and have now been delivered and appreciated. Venka has had her cake, with an explaination about what it is. She was a bit overwhelmed, but whether it was the cake, biscuits or the photos we had printed out of the puppy, which it seems they are all besotted with, we have no idea. Lets hope it continues when shw grows up. She is off the chain at the moment and living in the recently vacated pig pen. She will be fine in there till the new weaners arrive in spring.
|Ginger snowmwn. Easy to make and delicious,|
|The marzipan just about stretched to two cakes|
|We decided to add the plastic snowmen and tree as they are traditional, but the rest is more modern with pearlised snowflakes|
|We favour the more simple approach for our own|
Yesterday we went into the city for lunch with a group of people we met over the summer, and some new ones. It was a get-together organised by David Morgan, the plant grower, and his partner Graham and it was a really nice event. We had a laugh and caught up with news...and on top of that had a nice meal. Unfortunately I had been awake since 3am and that meant we were shattered by the time we got home after calling in for some shopping, and had to give a party given by an ex-pat in the village a miss.
|We both had baked brie with almonds and blueberry jam (I could make them a chutney thet would work better)|
|Dave's steak and chips with peppercorn sauce. It smelt wonderful and he thoroughly enjoyed it|
|Crusted salmon, hollandaise sauce and scrummy potatoes. I can't eat big meals any more and we gave pudding a miss.|
Today I have been cooking. I am my mother's daughter and I find it hard not to do too much. I hope I have only done as much as we will eat. All thet remains to do tomorrow is potatoes and cream for the trifle. I made an extra pud for Dave, a half sized baked vanilla and chocolate cheesecake. He would rather have that than trifle....though he might change his mind as I used the raspberries out of the rakia wih some from the freezer. You can still have boozy trifle even if you can't get sherry!
|Home made fruity stuffing, bread sauce, apple sauce and Dave's goose breast, stuffed and wrapped in serrano ham, will have some thin pork fat sliced and laid over as there is no skin|
|Trifle, rather full with egg custard. We only have UHT cream so we won't have much on it.|
|You've heard of micro herbs? These are micro sprouts and caulis, but they are all our's. The caulis are going manky so we thought we had better use them|
|Grab and go olive and garlic and cheese and garlic bread sticks. Dry and plain for when you want something to chew on|
|Chocolate and vanilla cheesecake|
|You have to have sausage rolls don't you. These are made with my home made veggie sausages|
We have had lots of ding dongs on the doorbell today. Dave took Venka and Jordan to the market and since he came back he has been constantly answering the bell, recieving cards from our British friends (they won't all come in) and small gifts from the neighbours. Dave went round to our rear neighbours to see how Angel was as we had been told he would be in hospital until next week. But he was home and they were so pleased to see him, though Angel is very frail and showing his 83 years. They have help from a lady in the village and Dave has said he will help with chopping wood and such if they need him. Bless them, lovely people.
|Cake from our Russian neighbour|
|Chocolate and biscuits from our rear neighbours|
|A small bottle of rakia from Baba Danke........|
|....And some dried peppers|
All the animals have been enjoying the better weather. Splash spends a lot of the day outside playing and hunting and being chased by chickens and ducks. The dogs have also been playing and Bonnie has a spring in her step. albeit a lame one. The fowl are spending their time either sunbathing or scratching about at the far end of the plot. The bees have even been out and Dave says they are doing housework, whatever that means.
|The dogs look a bit bewildered with this weather|
|It's a bit hot mum....|
|Both after the same ball|
|Before boxing himself.....|
|....or Dave. I'll 'ave yer....|
As far as wildlife goes, there has been a lot of twittering going on as the birds enjoy the better weather. The hawfinches are still about and the black redstarts. They are hard to photograph with the sun being so low. The pine martens are screeching and chasing each other around the garden, Dave sees them when he lets the dogs out early. Splash doesn't take much encouragement to come in when they are about...he has no wish to meet them!
There have been no dramas with the Christmas tree. As expected, Splash desperately wanted to get up there to play with the shiny balls, but hanging plenty low means that when he has gone on there he has not needed to climb But like a naughty child who wants because you say no, if you don't make a fuss (or just squirt him with a syringe of water) he has more or less lost interest. Possible that wouldn't have happened if it had been cold and murky still outside and he had wanted to stay in.
|No-one can see me.....|
|....this is fun....|
|////just see if I can reach that one....|
Yesterday my blog reached 60.ooo page views and I would like to thank readers old and new for continuing to support and encourage, especially those who leave comments. Much appreciated.
So all that remains today is to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2015. I hope you all get what you wish for.