Pumpkin Soup

a weblog with an allotment attached

30 December 2009


Let’s just say that the past few weeks have been, well, testing.

We’ve had a kitchen built in what was our living room. Because nothing helps with thesis writing like major house renovations. And there’s no better time for such refurbishment than in the run up to Christmas, is there? It all came good in the end.

Finished kitchen

One of the fun things about having a brand new kitchen just before Christmas (and finally having some time thanks to completing a major piece of work for a mid-December deadline) is spending lots of time reading recipe books, planning feasts and cooking in it. Having caught this creative cooking bug, I decided that we should put our culinary energy into making hampers as presents for our nearest and dearest.

I am such a fool.

I probably ended up baking more biscuits in three days than I have in the last three years. If I see another pack of unsalted butter I might scream.

Still, I’m really pleased with the results:


I realise that hampers usually come in, well, hampers, but a reusable shopping bag made more sense to me (cheaper too…). Here you can see the fruits of my labours: chocolate ginger snaps; chocolate shortbread swirls; Wookiee cookies (choc chip cookies to you and me); blue cheese stars and spiced Christmas letters. For some reason I’ve not included the home-made apple chutney and pickled garlic in this picture. The scary cat picure is a calendar I had made up back in October from various photos I have taken over the year. I’ve done the calendars before but was had a hiatus last year (something to do with work and research and oh, that pesky PhD thing…). Owen made up some chocolate bottles to complete the hand-crafted collection. Each hamper also had a couple of shop-bought gifts in it to pad it out a little – I think in future I would do without these and get a nicer (larger) bottle of wine instead.

Everyone seemed to like their gifts so for a last-minute effort it was pretty good. Next year (next year – what am I thinking?) I think I will make a load of the biscuits doughs in advance and freeze them to spread out the ordeal that is mixing.

Or not. I clearly have not had enough. I have some freshly-mixed dough in the fridge ready to bake more tomorrow…

Filed under: Mulch — Clare @ 7:25 pm

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