Before we had children I was definitely a ready meal or eat out person. When the girl came along I suddenly developed a desire to make all sorts of things from scratch. I’m not a fabulous cook but I like to think that I can feed my family food that is nutritious, tasty, and last, but not least, not actively poisonous. Over the years I’ve started becoming a bit more ambitious. We bought a breadmaker, I make yoghurt (from a dried culture, nothing too technical) and I started making and decorating the kid’s birthday cakes. Last year I was brave enough to make a fruit cake and this year I branched out to chocolate cake.
Then (and I’m sorry to bang on about this again) we discovered the boy’s nut allergy. Just in time for Christmas, which is possibly the nuttiest time of the year. It’s not just the cakes and the bowls of nuts that we’re likely to trip over, but also mince pies. I had no idea that mincemeat had nuts in it.
I made my own mincemeat this year and it was curiously satisfying. I wish I could somehow have made you smell my kitchen on Saturday – it was the very essence of Christmas.
All I have to do now is master pastry and we’re away.