December at Prospect Cottage.

In Cooking, Ireland on December 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm


Yesterday we awoke to see the mountain tops covered in snow. Not enough to cause the disruption of last Winter when we had temperatures of -17 at this time…very unusual for Ireland. Although the mild Spring like conditions of November have gone the days are still pleasant enough. Walking or working outside in the cold and then retreating to the cosy warmth of the house gives one an appreciation for the comfort within. Seems more right somehow to have snow and cold at this time of year. I like the seasonal differences in the weather.


The Sedum looks very Christmassy with it’s dusting of snow. Speaking of Christmas it seems to have taken a back seat this year…so many people are worried about the economy and the possibility of the Euro being abandoned. The recent Budget once again hit the poorest in our society…unemployed, people on community employment schemes and single parents…and all the while the rich fat cats pay very little. Alas…it seems to be the same story the world over…no coincidence methinks. There seems to be a global conspiracy to make the rich richer and keep the poor impoverished and downtrodden. We are lucky as we own our own house and property…mortgage free. By the way, do you know the meaning of mortgage? It comes from 2 French words: mort meaning death and gage meaning grip. So many people in Ireland are now held in this death grip with properties often only worth one third of what people have signed up to pay for them.

Meanwhile here in Arigna I have been working for the last few days making items for the Winter Fair in Carrick-on-Shannon. The Fair runs over 2 days…Saturday and Sunday. Andy is manning the stall today and I will do tomorrow. The one in Manorhamilton last Sunday was excellent. About 40 stalls and a great crowd turned out.

Pictured above are Melting Moments…one of my best sellers. They look very pretty when finished with a dusting of icng sugar. They melt in the mouth and are lovely with tea or coffee.

To make them you need: 150g butter, diced. 75g icing sugar, sifted. 25g cornflour, sifted. 150g self-raising flour, sifted. Raspberry jam. Icing sugar for dusting.

Heat the oven to Gas 4 or 190 celsius. Cream the butter and icing sugar together. Then add the flour and cornflour. You will have a soft squidgy dough. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place in baking cases placed in fairy cake tins. using a teaspoon dipped in hot water make a small indentation in the top of each one. Bake for 15-17 minutes. While still hot drop a little jam into the centre of each cake filling the hole. When cool dust with icing sugar. These keep well in a tin for several days.


I also made Millionaire’s Shortbread…a delicious if calorie laden treat of shortbread covered with a layer of fudge and finally a topping of good quality chocolate.


For the more health conscious there is the option of  Cranberry and Walnut Muffins! I wonder which will sell out first?

  1. The Melting Moments look so good! I’m going to try to make those. I just have to convert Celcius to Farenheit yaay Google!

  2. That millionaire shortbread looks to die for!! Everything looks so yummy!!

  3. I didn’t know about the origins of the word “mortgage”. So many people, including friends are struggling with negative equity and inflation now.

    The recipes are very cheering, Bridget. Your recipe for Melting Moments is different to mine so i’m going to give it a whirl for our christmas visitors. A great excuse for home baking!

  4. Loving the wintery Christmasy feel eminating from Arigna, lovely to pop in and visit the very heart of the house. Can almost smell the baking and the warmth…. a sprinkling of snow, lets hope it stays like that!

  5. I’ve just made a batch of quince jam, and I feel certain that it is no accident that this coincides with reading your melting moments recipe. Sweet destiny, I embrace you!

  6. Well, just a tempting post all together between the gorgeous scenery and the scrumptious goodies! Margie

  7. I was in London last week. I walked through one of the poorest parts of London on my way into the City and then walked past diamond jewellers with men buying diamond jewellery whilst sipping champagne. The contrast was disturbing, and depressing.

    On a happier and lighter note those treats look lovely and are making me feel peckish.

  8. Oh Bridget, the origins of “mortgage” was too scary. You are so right about the struggles of the majority to benefit the very few. Worldwide. I think the word is out though– I have hope for 2012. In the meantime, I LOVE ‘fairy cake tins,’ sounds so much better than ‘cupcakes’.

  9. Nice post of good, bad and delicious. Good luck on Sunday.

  10. Good morning Bridget, your baking looks so delicious! I’ll try that shortbread recipe, looks great. What are “fairy pans” .. they sound sweet. The frost covered sedums look great!

    I agree about the economy, there does seem to be a similarity, the “haves” and the “have nots” unfortunately. Greed, and the Fracking, just doesn’t seem right at all.

    On a good note, hope you sell out at the sale (and I’m betting that the chocolate will sell out first!)

    Frosty morning here in Victoria, BC .. going outside to take some pics! 🙂 A.M.

  11. A post of two halves. One grim. One comforting.

  12. Yeah, I agree that it does seem appropriate to have a dusting of snow at this time of year, we have had white ground for most of the last week and loving it 🙂

    Hoping to get in to see you tomorrow at the Winter Fair in Carrick – I will have to keep my eyes off the Millionaires Shortbread though – it could do serious damage to my intentions to remain sugar and grain free over the Christmas.

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