doing Christmas


from a children's picture book by Sarah Garland gives you a good impression of my day except I was baking not roasting the turkey. I think most people do a version of Christmas which can be quite individual (as in SG's story) and really not the same as images from TV. We don't follow any of the world faiths so Christmas is about celebrating family and honouring the natural world and we like to feast, relax and enjoy being together. I am starting to move away from traditions I used to follow now I have time to think about what I believe is important so we have only sent a handful of cards this year and I've axed the newsletter in favour making a few phone calls. We are doing the réveillon style after dinner treats table to make up 14 courses - on Christmas day though as it fits better with everyone who is joining us. One of the courses is the heritage biscuits made in Switzerland and in Italy too. The recipe for ricciarellis is easy and I took photos on my phone to show you just how easy.
The 'mother' number to remember is 2. You will need then:
2 egg whites 
200g of icing sugar
200g of ground almonds 
2 flavourings - a teaspoon of lemon juice with the egg whites and the grated rind of an orange
The method is 'explained' in the photos.

I also make biscuits de Milan and for these I use cookie cutters. This year I did celestial shapes and used a cat shape too in honour of Suki, K & D's kitten.  
The ingredients for the pâte is:
200 g of unsalted butter which needs to be soft 
225g of caster sugar
a pinch of salt 
3 eggs
500g plain flour 
grated rind of 2 lemons
refrigerate the dough for a few hours before rolling out. 

There are many other biscuits de noël like the original brownie - next year maybe. I like to change things. 

This will be my last post until the new year. Our first guest arrives tomorrow and straight after Christmas we are going to Wales near Ceredigion to stay in a farmhouse until new year. It's my big birthday on the 30th so we wanted to do something different which would include my best friend Max. It looks as if it'll be mild enough to beachcomb!




once you are here refrigerate your dough for at least 2 hours
slice roundels with a knife and shape by hand 
use rice paper which is edible and completely non-stick
baked for about 10 minutes at 175C  - you can keep checking the biscuits, they won't sink.