Sunday, December 16, 2012


cc7 cc5 cc1

I was a bit of a grinch last year. Because all of my family (bar immediate) live in another country, it has sometimes felt like Christmas lost some of its charm when we moved. Last year I had just arrived back from Vietnam before Christmas, so I had some excuse as to why I didn't bother getting a lot of people gifts. It was still quite embarrassing being empty-handed when they handed you a beautifully wrapped, thoughtful present. On the other hand, I really hate the commercialisation of Christmas (especially in Australia - sorry), the crazy post-Christmas debt putting strain on families and the environmental effects of buying masses of highly manufactured, low-quality gifts produced in (often ethically questionable) factories overseas and all the waste it produces - all these things taking away from what Christmas should really be about.
This year I will be getting gifts, but be putting thought into what I buy. With a lot of my friends, we've decided to go for a nice meal instead of getting each other presents. I also loved Katie's Edible Gift Ideas article in this month's Delicious magazine (yours truly holding the box of meringues - famous, right?) and am planning to make a big batch of maple & cinnamon roasted nuts to give to work friends. And because that doesn't leave my other-than-for-Europe savings quite depleted, I can afford to buy those few close friends and family decent gifts that won't be long-forgotten by next Christmas.

PS. Photos from a recent batch of Christmas cakes I made. I think there's definitely mixed thoughts about this traditional cake, especially since so many people seem to really not like the ingredients that make up a big part of it - glacĂ© cherries, mixed peel and raisins. I belonged to this school of thought until I recently had some of the best Christmas cake I ever tasted and tried to recreate it. I won't include a recipe as I'm sure a a google search will provide you with one, but my tips would be to leave out the mixed peel (who actually likes it?) - use dried apricots instead, be heavy-handed with the brandy when soaking the raisins as well as pouring some over once baked (boozy cake = delicious cake) and not to be afraid of including lots more ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon than a recipe might recommend.

No comments:

Post a Comment