Wednesday 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

The Irish Times had a competition about Christmas baubles, and after we did the tree decorating, I entered this picture. My Mum had given me the pink ball, along with a number of other family decorations, when she and my Dad returned to Ireland in 1983. She had initially received the decoration from her Mum when she emigrated to Canada in 1958 and remembers the decoration from her own childhood -- it has certainly stood the test of time! I brought the decoration with me in 1993 when I firmly moved to Ireland myself and it has been on my tree annually since then. I didn't win the competition, but must have been a runner-up as my picture and blurb were printed in the newspaper on Monday with only a few of the other entries.

Every time I bake something for xmas, I think it is the last thing I have to bake. My traditions though seem to never end! Yesterday I made the butter tarts, which have become an annual taste event for a few years now.

As if we don't have enough Christmas traditions in our house, I have watched a number of candy cane making videos and am seriously thinking of co-opting this as a tradition for future years! I thought this video particularly good as it gave the recipe and the woman is making them in a regular kitchen. They are truly home made!

"Ingredients: (this made 15 decent size candy canes, filled one jar with small candies, and still had some left over)

700g sugar
300g glucose syrup (corn syrup)
1/3 - 1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar (can be left out if you can't find it)
1-2 teaspoons of peppermint extract/essence
Red food colouring

Will keep for a couple of days. Keep away from humid spots. I stored mine in the fridge :) "

Happy Christmas and a Healthy & Safe New Year!

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