Where has December gone? The boys and I took a flying (literally) trip to Chicago at the beginning of the month to see my family and since then I've been playing catch up with the laundry, cleaning, decorating and shopping. And now the Critic and his sons are off fetching my mother-in-law from Kent and I'm frantically trying to clean, cook and wrap presents simultaneously. I also need to make tomorrow's Christmas pudding. If you have never tasted an English Christmas pudding, you are missing out on one of the season's greatest treats. The recipe I adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe is straightforward and just about foolproof. The most difficult part is steaming it for over three hours - but while you do, the house will smell so tantalizingly Christmas-y that you'll want to faint. Seriously. In addition to the pudding, you might want to throw together a batch of creamy eggnog, heavy on the cognac to help ease the pain this evening while you try to put together the three million and one pieces in the Playmobil Circus your eldest son is receiving from Santa. (Better tonight than tomorrow morning amidst all the chaos of wrapping paper and Christmas breakfast!) Or you might prefer a hot buttered rum? Barrett's recipe will fit the bill perfectly. Or better still, his Glögg recipe, which puts my rather basic mulled wine (wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, oranges stuck with cloves, star anise, nutmeg) to shame.
Goodness, I'm feeling less stressed already.
Merry Christmas everyone! Have a cookie - you deserve one! ;-)