Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: December 2016 (pre-Christmas edition)

Well, I know it's not the end of December yet, but I thought we'd have a whole bunch more photos once we'd got through Christmas.  So here's the rest of the month (also quite Christmassy).

Christmas lights at Calke Abbey


Toby


- has been really struggling with illness, poor boy.  He's had several occurrences of being sick in the night, plus hives and swollen eyes, plus a cold.

- was pleased to meet Marshall and Chase from the Paw Patrol at Markeaton Park.


- enjoyed a Christmas-themed Inspire Day at school - I got to go and do lots of crafts with him for a morning.

- managed not to eat all the sweets before making a christingle with them.



Theo


- was a sleepy shepherd in his first pre-school nativity.


- describes anything he likes as "so beautiful".

- carefully hung as many baubles as possible on the bottom branches of the tree.



- can tell you all the names of the Paw Patrol characters, but was not so sure about having his photo taken with them!

Thankful for:

- a lovely time at the Radio Derby carol concert, which I went to at Graham's suggestion (my husband has some of the best ideas).

- celebrating my friend Vivian's birthday with some delicious Indian food.  We went to the restaurant at 5:30pm which was brilliant - even after a leisurely meal I was still home before bedtime!

- both boys behaving perfectly at the barbers, resulting in some very smart haircuts.



Recipe of the Month:  Marzipan Cake


This is from a Nigella Lawson recipe which is very handy for using up leftover marzipan, should such a thing ever occur in your household.  The original recipe uses six eggs, which seems extravagant unless you're also trying to use up lots of eggs, so this time around I thought I'd try four instead.  It turned into one of those times when nothing is quite correct -  not enough butter, the last few drops in the almond essence bottle - but it still worked.  So much for all that stuff about baking being super-scientific.  Nigella's recipe is here (with a pretty picture); this is my adapted version.

200g softened butter
250g marzipan
120g sugar
1/2 tsp almond essence
4 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Chop the butter and marzipan into rough cubes.  Put in a food processor with the sugar and whizz until fairly smooth.  Add the eggs a couple at a time, blending between each addition, then put the flour and baking powder in and whizz one more time.  Pour into a greased 25cm Springform ring pan, or similar-sized round cake tin.  Bake at 170C for about 45 minutes or until firm.  Leave to get fairly cool in the tin.  It usually takes some gentle persuasion to come off the ring, if that's what you've used, but it should get there eventually.

Comments

John Evens said…
Funnily enough I'm always trying to use up eggs! Rarely have unconsumed marzipan in the house though.
Rebecca said…
Ah thanks for this much needed recipe. I haven't had a chance to make a Christmas cake so this might be a last minute Christmas cake.

Popular posts from this blog

Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk: Lees to Derby

These final two Bonnie Prince Charlie walks were quite a contrast: the first across empty fields and along quiet roads; the second crossing from country into city as I walked into Derby. I started both walks at the Great Northern Greenway car park, just off Station Road in Mickleover.  Walk 1 In order to keep walking the Bonnie Prince Charlie way in the right direction, I first found my way back to Lees by an alternative route. The first section, along the cycle path, was well paved. After that it quickly got very muddy. At least it's a popular walk from Mickleover to Radbourne, so it was easy to find the path.  St Andrew's, Radbourne, is rather dominated by memorials. It looks as if the preacher would be hemmed in by tombs!      I liked this bench outside, with the text, "The thoughtful soul to solitude retires". Writing this, I only just realised it was a quote. Turns out it's from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam . The rest of the walk certainly provided solitude,

A Place at the Table: Spiritual Formation Book 12

"God has ordained in his great wisdom and goodness that eating, and especially eating in company, should be one of the most profound and pleasurable aspects of being human." Miranda Harris had been intending to write a book for years. She'd got as far as a folder full of notes when she died suddenly in a car accident in 2019. When her daughter, Jo Swinney, found the notes, she decided to bring her mum's dream to fruition. A Place at the Table was the result. I thought this was going to be a nice friendly book about having people over for dinner. In one sense it is, but it's pretty hard-hitting as well. Miranda and her husband Peter co-founded the environmental charity A Rocha, so the book doesn't shy away from considering the environmental aspects of what we eat and how we live. They also travelled widely and encountered hunger at close quarters; the tension between seeing such poverty and believing in a generous God comes out clearly in A Place at the Table.

Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk: Longford to Lees and BONUS walk

The walk from Longford to Lees didn't include any churches. That was frankly not on. So I found an extra walk which included not one, not two, but three churches. Also it was shorter, because I didn't have time to fit in a longer walk that week. The next week I managed the churchless section of the Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk. It was a little more adventurous than I expected! Walk 1 (Three Churches) For this route I followed the directions given by Dave Welford on his very useful blog . As soon as I parked up by Sutton-on-the-Hill church, I heard the bleating of lambs. Spring must be coming. number 11 mum and baby   I crossed a field full of numbered lambs and ewes and came out in the middle of Sutton village. Turning left by the village preschool, I picked up another footpath to take me across the fields to Dalbury. A ruined cottage stood crumbling lonesomely - the Gamekeeper's Cottage, apparently.  I was amused by Dave Welford's comments about the miserable farmer who