December – the month of all things festive and treats.
Make – Christmas Pudding Playdough
Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make playdough there is no going back. Especially when my kitchen cupboards are full of flavours and colours to make the basic dough different. I’d go as far to say I prefer the texture of homemade playdough to the pre-made version. Like the majority of playdough recipes this is non-toxic but isn’t advisable to eat due to salt content.
As it takes minutes to make and costs pennies I don’t get too fussed if, shock horror, the colours get mixed up.
Christmas Pudding Playdough
Makes enough for 2-4 children
- 500g plain flour
- 6 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 375ml water
- brown food colouring
- 2 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp rum extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a saucepan mix together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the food colouring to the water and mix well, then add this coloured water and all remaining ingredients to the saucepan with the dry ingredients.
- Keep stirring the ingredients on a medium heat until they clump together and come away from the saucepan (not too dissimilar to making choux pastry).
- Turn the dough out on to a piece of greaseproof paper and leave until cool enonough to knead. Knead until smooth and pliable.
- Store in a ziploc bag.
Eat – Festive Punk Afternoon Tea – Baltic Social, Liverpool
The visit to Baltic Social in Liverpool on Christmas Eve has been a long time coming. In fact it was Hub’s Christmas pressie from me back in 2015. He had a requiest for an alternative afternoon tea and this certainly ticked the boxes.
The location is a bit odd in a old warehouse down the dock road, but even with it’s hipster vibe it was warm, welcoming and a great way to celebrate a belated Christmas pressie.
We started with a savoury selection of pigs in blankets, sausage roll, burger, fries and more followed by mince pie, ginger cake and even more sweet treats; oh and don’t forget the cheeseboard. Thoroughly stuffed.
Get – Cheeseboard
All Decembers (in our house anyway) include a good cheeseboard of some description. When I discovered this play cheeseboard from BigJigs I decided that our in-house cheeselover LB would love it for Christmas.
Read – Nigella Christmas
I hold no apologies for this. With all the Christmas cookbooks on my bookshelf I’ll always go for Nigella Christmas first. Her Christmas Rocky Road is a tradition here and I may have just scoffed the last delicious square.
Go – Evening with Claire Hutchings
Masterchef Professionals finalist Claire Hutchings has been running a pop-up restaurant at Seasoned Cookery School for the last few years. This year we decided we finally needed to make a visit and we were certainly not disappointed. The 5-course tasting menu was superb and Hubs enjoyed the paired matching wine flight. Given I’m not usually a big fish eater the gently poached Thai salmon with cucumber noodles was the stand out dish for me. I also discovered a new favourite gin for me – Ophir. Perfect served with basil.
A quiet January planned with nothing on the calendar. Who know’s what we’ll get up to.