‘Twas the day (and night) before Christmas

Our Christmas eve was fairly busy….. cooking, cleaning and setting up. All the usual bits and pieces you need to get done before a big day of present opening and eating. Most of the day was spent setting up and cleaning, all while Anto went to work, followed by starting his ‘festive 500km’ bike challenge (in the hot). It didn’t look like Nanna was going to make it out of hospital for Christmas so Astrid and I along with Granny and Gramps paid her a Christmas visit in hospital, just in case we didn’t make it up the next day. Astrid was lucky enough to open her present of washable markers and proceeded to test them out by drawing all over the hospital, bed, floor and herself! Nan seemed to enjoy the visit and getting to give Astrid at least part of her present.

 As the afternoon wore on the cooking commenced. The stuffing was prepared. The 6kg turkey was delivered. The fresh cranberry sauce was made. The vegetarian roulade and it’s assorted stuffings were made. The salted butter caramel icecream was completed (we can confirm that both Astrid and my dad thought this was a hit as they demolished the bowls). Anto got to work on his long and complicated gravy stock and all that was left was the raspberry, marscapone and white chocolate tart and the stollen. Every Christmas eve we make a cranberry stollen to eat that night and the next day. Astrid quite enjoyed helping to ‘mix and knead’ the stollen this year, even if she didn’t understand why the uncooked dough was not as tasty as other things she had recently tried, like icecream! Once out of the oven the stollen was delicious with some fresh butter. Luckily it always makes up more than we can eat 🙂 As we cooked and prepped we nibbled on stollen and mulled wine, feeling all festive…..


With the munchkin in bed we cooked away, with the idea of not leaving ourselves too much to do the next day. Crepes were made for the Christmas breakfast and the tart was coming along. Just as we were nearing completion for the night and the kitchen was all clean and sparkly waiting for the onslaught of the next day……… the chocolate tart case fell apart 🙁 Not just a crack……. totally disintegrated. The pastry had never looked right the whole way through making it but I persevered having not used the recipe before and not knowing how it was ‘supposed’ to look. It turns out it was an American recipe and I had converted the butter measurement incorrectly. Our early night was in jeopardy as the pastry took quite a while to make, with rest times and blind baking. Rather than a last minute dash to Woolies before they shut we decided to have another go. This time with the correct butter measurement. Anto baked long into the night while I readied the room with the Christmas tree and all the presents. My there were a lot of presents and most of them seemed to be for Astrid! Her new trike had a ribbon added and we were right to go. Even the stockings were in place

 How did the pastry go? Well sometime well after midnight Anto got it done, ready for the filling and raspberries the next day. Not perfect but it ended up looking and tasting pretty damn good!

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