I didn't realise that I was in such need for retail therapy until I went shopping to our (not so big) local town. The first thing I did was to buy myself some Cath Kidston pyjamas and these lovely Moshulu slippers! I only had two hours before Raj's Class 1 nativity play so I quickly knuckled down and got on with the task in hand - buying christmas presents for other people. Still it got me in a good mood and I got quite a lot done in the end. It's amazing what you can find when you actually look around - there were CD bargains in Woolies (Woolworths that is), lovely new calendars and diaries in Oxfam. I got some Willard Price books in an antiquarian bookshop, goalie gloves in the sport's shop and upmteen lovely stocking fillers elsewhere. So I think I'm mostly done what with the Amazon order too. I have to confess that I also bought something from them for myself - the Pride and Prejudice DVD (with Colin Firth ofcourse). I don't usually spend christmas shopping time and money on myself but I felt I deserved a treat or rather I wanted to treat myself with the plant dyeing money that I made this autumn - so there we are. I'm a happy bunny and I haven't even received any presents yet!
There isn't much to write about at the moment so I thought I'd share another christmas idea with you. Each year we make stained glass biscuits to hang on the christmas tree. They're basically a shortbread recipe with a hole in the middle that's filled with sweets. The sweets melt and when the biscuits hang on the tree they look lovely with the fairy lights shining through them. So if you want to make them you'll need:
- 6 oz plain flour
- 4 oz soft butter
- 2 oz sugar
- a packet of bog-standard boiled sweets
First take the sweets and smash them with the end of a rolling pin or hammer and put them aside:
Make the biscuit mixture by creaming the butter and sugar togther and adding the flour. Bring it together to form a ball and roll out thinly:
Then using whichever cutters you have cut out your shapes and then take a smaller cutter and cut a hole in the middle of the biscuits. I have some small shapes but I ended up using the lid of a bottle of echinacea for the circles!!
Don't overfill the centres as the sweets leak over the sides and don't forget to make holes for hanging the biscuits up.
Bake at about gas mark 4 for 10 - 13 minutes. I set my timer for ten minutes and checked them. The smaller ones overcooked at 13 mins but the big ones were just right.
Leave them to cool for a few minutes and then thread with gold string or whatever you fancy:
Then hang them up on the tree and eat the slightly overcooked ones. Raj and I made these together yesterday afternoon and he gave some to his teacher and friends today as it was the last day of term.
I'm feeing really relaxed at the moment and I think it's because my sister is hosting christmas lunch this year. We're going there for five days and boy am I looking forward to it - I've hosted christmas for the last two years and now it's someone else's turn to do the big supermarket shop and plan the menus.....I'll help ofcourse but I'm not running the show. Huge sighs of contentment..........