Someone find my motivation and push it though my letterbox! Please! I swear I had it a few weeks ago when I completed this little cross stitch sampler.
Following another morning in the kitchen, I’m finally sitting down; laptop on my knee, Christmas cards and new Swiss Roll tin on the coffee table by my side – more about the tin in a minute – feeling completely devoid of motivation. I’m in total procrastination mode.
I’ve spent many an hour in the kitchen over the last week but it’s only today that I’ve achieved anything towards the Big Holiday; and then only the first stage (fruit soaking) of the Christmas puddings which by anybody’s standards is a bit late.
I did bake a trial Yule Log, on Tuesday, and some Christmassy Oat Cookies on Wednesday but that doesn’t really cut it. Perhaps tomorrow, when the puddings are steaming and the Christmas decorations, or trimmings as they are known in this part of the world, come down from the attic I will begin to feel more festive.
To explain the Swiss Roll tin… our grandchildren are more partial to chocolate cake than iced fruit cake and so I decided that the crowning glory of this year’s Christmas tea table should tick both the chocolate and traditional boxes. I didn’t take a photo of my first attempt, inspired by Royal Recipes on BBC1 but my junior tasters found it a little rich for their palates and William, who has recently made Swiss Roll at school criticised it for ‘insufficient roll’. How very dare he! Mind you, he had a point. I used my 20x30cm traybake tin so I’ve invested in a 23x33cm tin which I trust will provide the correct degree of roll. (When I mentioned William’s comments to his Mum, she was aghast at his cheek. In her words, William’s own effort “resembled roadkill”.)
The Christmassy Oat Cookies were more successful. They’re delicious (note the edible silver dust, without permission, Kate had removed the gold dust on her last visit!) and the product of the aforementioned procrastination. A result of a conversation with Kate who called for advice on what she might cook with the nursery children during this week’s parent-helper stint. In her quest for a suitable recipe Kate reminisced about cookery sessions in the stark scullery at her Victorian village infant school – now, as a matter of interest, a small housing scheme.
I’m not surprised her memories of these early cookery sessions are fond ones. It was an opportunity to escape the classroom. Open-plan arrangements and free-flow learning weren’t a feature and definitely not suited to 19th century school architecture which often included living accommodation for the headteacher. I remember the nativity costumes, at Kate’s school, were stored in the old bathroom; the Banda machine (millennials, check it out on Google), in the front bedroom. The downstairs scullery, where the staff tea trolly also resided, was clean and tidy I’ll say that for it, but you could hardly call it child friendly. The out-dated accommodation undoubtedly contributed to the school’s sad demise in 2003.
With one less day until Christmas, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow finds me feeling more energised and focussed and with the Christmas cards ready for the post.