Let’s Embrace The Winter Weather, Rather Than Denying It!
We’re well and truly heading into the Christmas Season, so if you’re yet to truly get into the Festive Spirit, then it’s time to have a good hard look at yourself. This year, Harold’s taking an early holiday so that we can prepare the house for one of our biggest Christmas seasons yet.
The kids are still a little oblivious and we’re half tempted to keep them that way.
Although I’m a strong believer in celebrating Christmas, and encouraging the anticipation around the season, Harold has never been one for it. Coming from a fairly well-off, yet distant family (he doesn’t mind me saying, really!), the Saxbridges’ Christmas celebrations were terse, cursory affairs that served as a reminder of their emotionally frigid relation to one another.
Before Alex and Milly came along, I used to take Harry to my parents’ for the holidays.
A few days in the glorious countryside of Dorset were always a treat. Yet that sparkle of joy, that only children can provide, was always missing. This year, my parents are coming to stay with us here in Kensington and I’ll, hopefully, be able to show Harold what a real family Christmas feels like.
I love the Christmas season.
I love the colours, the feeling of optimism and most of all…the food! During December, we not only get to indulge an extra glass of wine (or two!) during the evening, it’s also socially acceptable to start eating all the foods that we dare not touch throughout the rest of the year. All manners of cheese, chocolates and (of course) loads of baked goods! For that reason alone, I always aim to shift into the Festive Season much sooner than most people.
This Festively Spiced Gingerbread Recipe is easy to do, fun for the kids and will tease even the most stubborn of Scrooges into embracing the Christmas spirit:
Gloriously Spiced Gingerbread
[Makes around 30 or so biscuits – may vary on size of your shapes…]
For the biscuits:
300g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/2tsp ground cloves
2tsp ground cinnamon
3tsp ground ginger
225g unsalted butter
340g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
75g, crytsal ginger, chopped finely
For the topping:
Around 250g icing sugar
Hundreds and thousands
Silver chocolate balls
Any other topping of your choice.
Firstly, sift all the dry ingredients (safe the spices) together in a mixing bowl,
Give the butter and sugar a good beating, then gradually beat in the egg. Slowly add this mixture to the dry ingredients to make the dough.
Throw the crystallised ginger in and give it a good mix.
Roll out the dough to around 3mm, then sick it in the fridge for a half hour to set.
Now comes the fun part! Grease a tray and grab the kids. You can buy cutters at most superstores, but there are also a ton of other ones online, should you crave something more unique.
Once you’ve got our shapes cut out, stick them in the oven for around 10 minutes – once removed, poke a little hole in each biscuit, so they cool a little quicker on the rack.
When the biscuits have sufficiently cooled, mix up the icing sugar, then go crazy!