Monday, 24 November 2014

Stir-up Sunday

We're hosting Christmas for the first time this year. I'm so excited, but we have some big shoes to fill. My folks are a little hesitant - it's the first time in 35 years that they haven't hosted, so we're busy making plans to ensure that everyone has a lovely time. I love a tradition, and I know that by having it at ours it means that the usual rituals will happen in a different location, that present opening will be a little odd, that there won't be a wood burning stove crackling in the background (we'll have to improvise), that seating will be a little haphazard in the unfinished sitting room and that it will mean a drive rather than a driveway wave, but I really, really hope that everyone enjoys themselves. Now that we have the kitchen, the Christmas traditions we started in the old flat are now back on the agenda. I joined the masses on stir-up Sunday by making Hettie Potter's mincemeat recipe in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess - it's the best peel- and suet-free mincemeat I've come across and is done and dusted in an hour. It did lead to a discussion about suet and its future. In 15 years, the only time we've bought suet was to make authentic dumplings in a beef stew. We never make steamed puds, or suet pastry and we rarely have dumplings in a stew… Do you use suet? What do you use it for?

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