Friday morning

Mince pies ready for the freezer.  They are made with the orange pastry according to Nigella.  It was very short and difficult to work with so I rolled it between two sheets of cling film but the finished result is delicious.  In the box are the dozen saved but I did make a few more which we had to sample.  I think I may make yet another batch as a dozen will not go far between 6 of us.  I used shop bought mince meat which I have enhanced with a couple of spoonfuls of brandy.  I am hoping that a quick blast in a hot oven will revitalise them once they are out of the freezer.  

The weather here has done a real about turn it is +5 ° this morning quite a change from -4° yesterday.  According to the weather forecast it is supposed to be wet and windy but as yet is still and dry.  

Today we have a bit of a treat I have ordered some mussels from the fish monger which we will collect on our dog walking circuit this morning.  So lunch will be moules mariniere with a good splosh of white wine and lots of parsley.  I watched the finals of master chef last night and was delighted with the results.  That they ended up with joint winners was only right and fair as there seemed no way to divide the two finalists who had been neck and neck throughout the competition.  
For supper we will be having some of the pheasant breasts that I put through the sous vide.  Hopefully they will just need a quick fry to crisp the outside and then a splash of cream to finish them off.  They will be served with some mashed potatoes and crisp green salad.  

Mike restocked the medecine cupboard so if any of us keel over during the holiday period we are all set up.  I am hoping that this will be a prophylactic move and we will all come through unscathed.  I do,  however,  have memories of trying to cook a Christmas lunch while frying with fever and I don't want to repeat the experience ever again.  I must admit that Christmas begins for me when the shops shut on Christmas Eve and I breath a sigh of relief - what we don't have we go without.  It is a nice feeling when the cupboards are groaning with goodies and I feel that we don't need to go out for days maybe weeks while we munch through all the bits and bobs.  The garage is converted to a large walk in fridge and is ladened with good things to eat.  I must admit I love all the left overs and enjoy making dishes with left over turkey.  Mike is particularly fond of cold turkey with a devil sauce which is like a spicy hollandaise.  

3 oz butter
4 egg yolks
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Dijon mustard
Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp cream or milk

Make as for hollandaise, I have put no quantities on the spicy ingredients as they are very much to taste. 

I must admit that I like the Hairy Bikers turkey and ham pie with a set cranberry jelly top.  I think these would make very nice individual pies and use up the left over cranberry sauce.  So to that end I think I may make up a batch of short crust pastry and freeze it in anticipation or even vac pack it and keep it in the fridge.

Well folks thats about it for this morning my kitchen is littered with baking tins all washed and now dry enough to put away.  Have a good one and let me know what preparations you are making to make the big day easier!!!!

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