Hopefully Christmas cake is made and pudding too, if you make it from scratch. I have also made homemade mincemeat this year which I love and makes a real difference in those mince pies! I have enough jars to get me through the holidays.
Another delicious recipe idea is Christmas muffins. A delicious way to use up leftover jars of mincemeat after Christmas or to christen a new jar, whichever way, they are great with a cup of coffee over the Christmas period.
As you know I have been to many Christmas fairs and markets this year. I still have my visit to Cologne, Germany next weekend to experience a true German Festive market full of smoked fish and lots of gluewein! On the 14th December I am really looking forward to ‘a night of cheese’ at Borough Market, London a real evening to wrap up warm and sample some amazing cheese and wines.
Last night I continued my festive mood by visiting Fortnum and Masons, for Fortnum’s Christmas Shopping Spectacular “the only date for your Christmas diary, with events throughout the night”… it was as expected a really wonderful ‘night out’. I arrived about 6.30pm and the shop was beautifully decorated and buzzing with people and great jazz music. I joined a friend down in the Wine Bar on the Lower Ground Floor and we sipped champagne while listening to the live jazz and soaking in the atmosphere. There were popular guided tastings every 30 minutes at The Crypt with Bruichladdich Whiskey Distillery and lovely smells from the Fresh Food Fair, featuring oysters, blinis and more.
On the first floor I enjoyed watching the ‘Cooking the Cook Book’, followed by Mixology demonstrations on the trusted ‘Champagne cocktail’ and ‘The Old Fashioned’ . Further on to the 2nd floor there were again beautiful Fortnum treats luxury scarfs, hats and perfumes and complimentary treatments for some of the ladies who were shopping. I left walking down Jermyn Street (I would highly recommend the Christmas lights down this street) warm with all the lovely bubbles I had drunk, smelling divine from perfumes and potions and another few Christmas presents ticked off with some traditionally British Christmas fare!
A favourite company I have come across on my shopping travels has been Tipple Tails. They make delicous rich fruit cakes with a twist! They come in apple, cherry, ginger and chocolate and are really as good if not better than homemade. They are moist, packed full of whole nuts and fruit and for anyone running out of time or who want to give that really special cake to a ‘foodie’ in their life I would look no further. They come in their own little tin, and are shipped direct to your door. Their website is really great fruit cake.
This weekend its a busy one with Christmas shopping, school Christmas fairs and of course more markets around the country. I am running my ‘Christmas Treats’ workshop for children. We are making lots of sweet and naughty gifts and treats to enjoy over the next few weeks… excited about the Gingerbread fudge, I think even Father Christmas would enjoy that on his busy travels!