While technically I began my xmas cooking in September, as I made quite a bit of damson chutney and knew I would be giving some of it away, the idea of xmas cooking really begins when I start the puddings - once Hallowe'en is over and done with. My husband was also decanting the plum liqueur around this time, so with all the leftover fruit, I made a few jars of plum vodka jam. The alcohol cooks off, but there is a nice bitter flavour left, which makes the jam more like a marmalade.
Two large and two small finished puddings. We always have a pudding for my husband's birthday (Dec 8) instead of cake.
Before the end of November I made the annual tried and true apricot-pineapple with almonds jam. A couple of them will be wrapped and given away.
Quite a lot of damson liqueur was made, the by-product being lots of alcoholic fruit. Since the plum vodka jam was very tasty, I knew exactly what to do with the leftover fruit! Again, some of this will be given away at Christmas!
There was a teacher's strike day on Dec 2, which was great timing for us as we had our family day of making gingerbread cookies. We decorated them the next day and sorted out everyone's rations!:)
I was thinking that the cranberry clementine with brazil nuts was the last pre-xmas item on my list...
...but then I remembered I had to make the custard to go with the birthday pudding (and put some in the freezer for New Year's). Since egg whites don't go into custard, they are used to make coconut maccaroons, an annual Christmas treat that stays at home!