The Christmas baking has started, with a sudden realisation that Christmas is only 5 weeks away I thought we'd better get our skates on.
So I prepared a double batch of fruit mince (started with a Nigella recipe then tweaked it a bit). We used lovely Amarena dark coloured glace cherries, golden raisins, Rob's home brewed apple cider, and hazelnuts in place of almonds.
While that was cooking away I soaked three separate batches of dried fruit. A double of our standard fruit cake mixture to make two cakes as gifts, the pudding mixture (my grandmother's recipe) and a Gourmet Traveller pudding mix that we used for our Christmas cake.
The Gourmet Traveller mix includes the following:
300gm prunes, chopped
150gm each currants, dried cranberries, raisins and chopped fresh dates (we used dried ones this time)
100gm natural almonds, chopped
These are all placed in a bowl with the rind of an orange.
Then I warmed 100gm cumquat marmalade (we always have plenty of our homemade marmalade), 60gm quince jelly (meant to be quince paste, but we always have an abundance of jelly), 125ml muscat and 60mL brandy (meant to be Grand Marnier) in a saucepan over low heat until the marmalade and jelly are combined. This is then poured over the fruit and left to soak.
On Sunday I made the pudding and our cake (I use Stephanie Alexander's recipe from the Cook Companion). It feels like Christmas now.
Our regular menu has included over the last week:
Monday: Asparagus, broccoli, peas and broad beans.
Tuesday: Silver beet, carrots, parsnips and cauliflower cooked with a little water and butter.
Wednesday: Antonio Carluccio's tuna linguine: with garlic, ginger, parsley, chilli, tomato passata and of course tuna.
Thursday: Penne pasta with bacon, with our garlic, fresh peas and broad beans, and Parmesan.
Friday: Vermey's BBQ sausages in squishy bread and our home-made tomato sauce.
Saturday: Mt Gnomon pork rack with carrots, pink eyes and broad beans.
Sunday: Pan-fried pink eye potatoes with our carrots, broad beans and peas.
It may look vegetarian, but we had been out for lunch a few times last week and eaten meat then, so only felt like vegetables in the evening.
What's been on the menu at your home this last week?