Friday, 23 December 2016

Homemade Mince Pie Puffs and Roasting Chestnuts

Sometimes we find we dream about these perfect days and try to set them up for the kids, only to end up getting so stressed that you actually ruin a day and give up trying to do nice things. This has happened to us so often, making an experience picture perfect and then actually regretting that you even woke up. What I am learning as the children grow up is that sometimes these moments come best when there is less instruction and more "winging it" happening. Our weekends are precious time anyway so having a "Christmas day" can actually be quite difficult to achieve, but the Saturday just gone, our time at home really was a blessing. I had been reading that morning about the atrocities of Aleppo and thinking about how easy life in Lincoln is. Here I was about to stand and make mince pies and what some people are witnessing at this same moment is complete horror. In a way I think that set my mind for the whole day, just to enjoy what was happening. We turned the TV off and actually put on Christmas music and just enjoyed it. The children asked a few times but they had their toys out and in the end entertained themselves for hours. It just so happened that in this time I was able to produce some mince pie puffs which were warmly welcomed by myself. but Rob unfortunately was worse for wear from an outing the night before which meant he didn't get the full pleasure from having them warm.
These were a very quick and easy treat which I would urge you to have a go with as it literally took me half an hour to have two batches made. It is the most simple method ever: cheat and buy your puff pasty and cheat and buy your mincemeat! Hey, who knew I was so domestic! Seriously though, the point of these is to make something you can enjoy quickly. 
So cut your pastry to shape, you will need a piece for the bottom and a piece to go on top so make sure you have enough cut before you start. 
Fill with a teaspoon of mincemeat. Place lid on. Crimp edges with a fork. Cover in egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Rest on a cake rack and then dust with icing sugar. No joke, DONE!

They really are that simple!
To add to our seasonal abundance of fun we also decided to try roasting some chestnuts on our stove. Our fire is a closed one, so Rob sat with the door open and his pan of chestnuts resting on the hot wood underneath.
I should have really done a bit more research into how to cook them, but as far as I was thinking we just left them until we heard a couple pop and then excitedly cut into them whilst burning our fingers.
It worked really well and with some Cadburys Festive Friends (love them) we had a little Christmas feast. 

As we sat there with the kids I couldn't help but think about how lovely a day I was having. I wasn't stressed, I had achieved the things I wanted to do and the children were happily entertaining themselves allowing Rob to recover and me to just get on. 



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