Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘christmas fair’

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?

As November Ends.

In Animals, nature on November 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the month draws to a close the weather has become a little colder…we were spoilt by the mild conditions of October and November. Still no heavy frost…lots of rain though. The sun is low is the sky…less than a month to go now before it starts its upward journey and the days once again start to lenghten.

 

In the garden the plants seem to have been fooled by the Spring like Autumn. I have never seen Borage to be still producing flowers into November…and this plant is outside!

 

 

 

The Fatsia has produces it’s odd little flowers…last year they were destroyed by hard frost. Daffodils and Crocus are budding early…as are so many other things.

 

The grass in the fields continues to grow which keeps the animals happy. Last year we were feeding them hay throughout November. We have hay in store so if the weather suddenly turns we are prepared. Lots of food in our own store too. We were snowed in last year for 2 weeks at end of November into first week of December. Then we had a thaw before being cut off again for 2 more weeks which included Christmas Day.

 

Daphne is looking very cuddly at the moment as she has grown her Winter coat…she’s takin no chances with the weather!

The dogs and I continue to have twice daily walks on the lane regardless of weather. The low sun gives little Lettie the shadow of a Great Dane…and me a giant. Yes…I continue to be amused by the long shadows…I’m easily entertained really!

 

In  the kitchen work continues turning the Summer fruits into jams and chutneys. I have booked a stall at the Christmas Fair in Manorhamilton next Sunday so will sell the preserves there. I will also do some baked goods…Almond Tarts, Melting Moments and Caramel Slices are always good sellers. So…a busy week ahead for me.