Fellatio's Poncetastic Christmas Thread 2011 is.....

(858 Posts)
FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:14:28

open for business. Knock yerselves out. grin

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:20:50

And I suppose I should start with C&Ping this from last year for any FPC virgins:

*OK, first of all, I know it's still September by we need to start this thread now because as you all know, having a truly Poncetastic Christmas involves precision planning, strategy, bravery, heroics, and frequently martyrdom. A bit like the war in Afghanistan, only with nicer food and sparkly shoes.

So, if you, like me, actually want to make the next twelve weeks of your life a misery by hand-crafting your cards, finding a huge bucket for Nigella's turkey in brine, pickling pears, shrivelling oranges in a low oven for those rustic au naturel decorations, dragging half a holly bush back from the woods, and just generally being a smug annoying jobsworth ponce, join me on this thread.

Feel free to post photos of previous tree-trimming, cake icing or table centrepiece triumphs, discuss this year's bauble colour themes, debate the merits of Delia versus Gordon, road-test a selection of canapes and cocktails, (all in the line of duty) and link to lovely inspirational photos/craft ideas for a truly Poncetastic Christmas.

Warning: If your idea of a good Christmas involves Pizza, ITV, gravy granules or anything with 'Aunt Bessies' on the packet, this is not the thread for you.*

ForYourDreamsAreChina Sat 24-Sep-11 09:22:27

<claps hands and has at the chutney jars>

(s'me Bucharest btw!)

ForYourDreamsAreChina Sat 24-Sep-11 09:23:29

(I actually lay in bed worrying that it was late, that I hadn't yet done anything and whilst hyperventilating kept saying to myself like a mantra"but it will be OK, it's not too late, fellatio's thread isn'tup yet".grin

Yay! grin

This suggests you've escaped from the clutches of your mad house-buyer rather than being chained to the stairs to help with the painting or something!

PonceyMcPonce Sat 24-Sep-11 09:26:32

Woo hoo!

I have been waiting!

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:30:33

Do you suppose I can smuggle a huge frozen turkey in a sufficiently insulated coolbag into my hand luggage? I am already planning to taking a christmas tree as excess baggage.

SierraMadre Sat 24-Sep-11 09:33:27

Hurrah! The rear (Inc kitchen and bathroom) of the Sierra house is currently being rebuilt and the next time we will live in it will be just before Christmas, so as far as I was concerned, Christmas was just around the corner as soon as we moved out grin

Am having my parents, Dsis, BIL and DN for Christmas, so am determined to make it the Best Christmas Ever TM

pissedrightoff Sat 24-Sep-11 09:38:25

WHOO HOO, Here we go.

I had this marked on my calendar, DH thinks I have lost the plot!

Whaaahhooooo. Totes merryness all round.

Blackberry vodka underway since yesterday.

I made a couple of notes in my diary this year from Crimbo last year which I'm going to follow:

1. DO NOT buy Quality Street/Roses/Thorntons chocolates - they all now contain soy/soya and tasted disgusting last year (my non-fussy family actually threw half of them out!) - instead buy a nice box from Hotel Chocolat/Prestat/Chococo and buy less and enjoy it.

2. Make your Delia Cake (it might have been Good Housekeeping) as everyone liked it more than the M&S ones you'd bought previously

3. Yes, parsnips do cook right on the bottom of the oven beautifully in 1/5 -2 hours when there's no room - and you don't have to worry about them

I have already made great chutney for consumption and we're already eating it. And I'm going to handmake some nice cards - maybe cross stitch them as I'm now getting bored in the evening.

GossipWitch Sat 24-Sep-11 09:42:23

I am spending Christmas on my own with my kiddies, I am planning on making home-made hampers for family, plus home-made and recycled xmas cards, I'm also a pagan so I'll be doing Yule based things as well, but as my boy's friends and my family all have Christmas, I have to do Christmas too. Any ides would be greatly appreciated though, its the first time I'm doing the hamper's.

Hurrah! Marking place for later.

WorzselMummage Sat 24-Sep-11 09:45:51

I've been waiting for this, I got some amazing ideas from the poncetastic post last year and then got noro 5 days before christmas and spent the whole of Christmas week on the bog

We made felt robin Christmas cards last year and they turned out lovely


My Christmas cake is already done smile

Been trying to stay off MN but can't now can I??

We are back in Uk after 16 years and are in our new house which is a 3 Xmas tree house! Unfortunately the Holly tree in the garden didn't survive the builder moving it but we will be planting another.

Xmas will actually be in Dublin but will still be decorating this house and will be doing food at my parents.

Fellatio - good luck with the move! I know some teachers in Quatar.

gapants Sat 24-Sep-11 09:47:24


I have made my chilli jam for some gifting.

Have looked out my florists ring for my wreath and have been spotting Holly bushed locally.

Have started to buy up booze. So far 3 bottles of Prosecco, one Bombay Sapphire and a Captain Morgans Rum.

MartyrStewart Sat 24-Sep-11 09:47:50

<Marks Place>

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:48:32

I luuurve your name Martyr! Did you change it especially for this thread?

MartyrStewart Sat 24-Sep-11 09:49:56

Nope, just fancied a name change grin <I was BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger>

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 09:50:39

Ah! Well it is very apt anyway.

LadyInPink Sat 24-Sep-11 09:55:03

<marks place too>

Have heard fab things about this thread and love doing a hand creative Christmas - am hosting this year so won't have to choke on mil's Aunt Bessie Roasties!!

Never too early for this sort of thread smile

Can I join in? I'm feeling extra pressure to make Christmas fantastic this year as last year sucked due to me spening half of December in hospital.

Do I have to make some sort of pledge?

<Stands up>

<Clears throat>

My name is BoysInTheHood and I promise to embrace all things christmassy and throw myself full pelt into the Christmas season, becoming as wankery over wrapping paper and baubles as is necessary to achieve Christmas greatness.

<Covers self in tinsel>

That do?

winefairy Sat 24-Sep-11 10:10:59

Finally! I was almost as excited about the start of this thread as Christmas itself! That can't be right, surely?

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 10:12:12

<takes Boys aside gently> Tinsel is ahem, 'inappropriate' my dear. Least said, soonest mended. wink

PonceyMcPonce Sat 24-Sep-11 10:17:11

I am going to have to work very hard this year. Promotional material which arrived with panto tickets shows captain hook has tattoos on his knuckles.

Not sure I can pull it off tbh

Maryz Sat 24-Sep-11 10:18:33


<<cuts and pastes onto every thread mentioning Christmas before November>>

[grumpy old Scrooge emoticon].

Maryz Sat 24-Sep-11 10:20:17

Oops, sorry, I've just realised this is actually in the Christmas topic blush.

Carry on saddos.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry <<flaggelates self>>

Catslikehats Sat 24-Sep-11 10:20:47

I am soooooking forward to ponctastic christmas ME edition, where a fondness for frozen turkey, cheap tinsle and tinned pate know no bounds grin

toddlerama Sat 24-Sep-11 10:21:28

Oh you have to let me on this thread! And I need to tell my sister about it. She isn't allowed to start christmas prep til after thanksgiving (it's emotional abuse really...) but we have a secret countdown the DHs don't know about. It can now be on here and we can feel validated by the other nutters organised people.

No, no - I am not having a word said against tinsel. I love it. Besides, what else do you festoon the tree with?

Fellatio I'm thinking it will be a no on the turkey wink

Laurie - what chutney recipe do you use? And if I make it now will it keep until Christmas and after? I would really like to make some to give as gifts.

Maryz grin

Schnarkle Sat 24-Sep-11 10:35:34


On pinterest full throttle from today. Between here and there it will be a truely Poncetastic Christmas wine

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 10:37:11

Look, people, this is not just any old Christmas thread, this is the world famous Fellatio's Poncetastic Christmas thread, <gets slightly carried away with own importance> and it must not feature tinsel <gavel>.

Them's the rules. You can talk about tinsel on the other Christmas threads if you so wish. They are not under my remit. Otherwise what is the point in keeping it Poncestastic? We may just as well do away with all other threads about Christmas and let all manner of riff-raff discuss inferior baublage on this one, and I am sorry but I cannot let that happen. You are still allowed on my thread but you have to keep your Plebian Predilictions for tinsel under your hat please. We have standards to uphold. It's a bit like being made to wear a collar and tie in the Royal Enclosure. grin

pallymama Sat 24-Sep-11 10:38:37

Just spotted this thread and squealed! blush
DH came in to check I was ok, so I explained. He backed out of the room slowly. grin
I've already made a lot of chutney, we had a glut of apples and tomatoes. Never made it before, so I hope it turns out ok. Used this recipe, but did it in the slow cooker. Smells nice, so if all else fails I'll heat it up and waft it about the house.

hooray!!!! grin

yet again i will be aiming for poncetastic but fear i may well fall short thanks to efforts of DH, DS (2.5yo) and DD (5mo).

besides tinsel what else is banned?

can i offer aunt bessies anything for the poncetastic room 101? grin

<quiet whisper> what do you put on the tree if not tinsel? blush

MartyrStewart Sat 24-Sep-11 10:53:04

I'm making Christmas bunting to go on the tree - Is that poncetastic enough or too last year dahlink?

CaptainHornblower Sat 24-Sep-11 11:03:34

<Rolls up sleeves>

Poncetastic thread appearance is this kick in the arse I need to get going on cake and mincemeat. Ocado order on Monday will be full of dried vine fruits and Pedro Ximénez.

Delia cake, as general consensus seems to be that it is The Best. Am on the lookout for a new mincemeat recipe.

Also planning appropriately Christmassy poncetastic tableaux in which to take photo of cherubic toddler for Christmas cards. Is it too much to ask for a small amount of snow in October?

Just marking my place

<<I am BabyDubs, I am addicted to Christmas smile>>

Oh Yeah.

Cake, done and being fed weekly. Delia's natch, it IS the best.

Pudding done, Mary Berry's, feeding it too from time to time.

Mincemeat being done tomorrow actually. Can post my recipe on here should anyone want a squizz.

This will be my first Christmas in England (and therefore a cold one) in 8 years and I am VERY VERY VERY excited.


aStarInStrangeways Sat 24-Sep-11 11:44:33

i was dreaming about this thread the other night, wondering when it would appear blush

so this will be our first christmas eve/morning at home, as we now live within striking distance of both sets of family <yay>, which means we can have a tree, decorations and poncy breakfast for the first time ever. HOORAY! i'm not overstretching myself though as have incessantly demanding but lovely baby DD as well as DS now, therefore e.g. hand stitching cards is probably beyond me, but making yummy dried orange decorations is probably not.

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 12:23:29

Can I join in please?

I've been pissing all my mates off by telling them I have nearly finished all my present shopping. The only one who isnt miffed is the one who is worse than me!

I've wrapped and labeled everything I have bought so far with 4 layers of different coloured tissue paper, gold ribbon and home made tags. I'm just doing an online shop for my mincemeat ingredients and for some materials to make garlands and a weath out of herbs and berries.

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 12:24:59

I also have 3 carrier bags of apples so if anyone can think of something I can do with them instead of pie and crumbles I would be most appreciative.

KinkyDorito Sat 24-Sep-11 13:14:37

I am so pleased! I thought it was tomorrow. I'm having a crap, crap, crap time and relying on you all to cheer me up with your Christmas poncetasticness.

Squitch Sat 24-Sep-11 13:26:28

Shamelessly lurked during the last thread, but have found myself getting a little bit excited about the new thread blush so i'm delurking for this year.

And yay! for Pinterest - ooooo so much ponce!

MartyrStewart Sat 24-Sep-11 13:27:55

Lill - here

PonceyMcPonce Sat 24-Sep-11 13:35:28

I am going to have to work very hard this year. Promotional material which arrived with panto tickets shows captain hook has tattoos on his knuckles.

Not sure I can pull it off tbh

Shinyshoes1 Sat 24-Sep-11 13:41:37

woohooo I wanna join, I love peop[le who love christmas as much as me. I've been doing a countdown to christmas on my FB page with hints and tip and moneysaving tips and offers on toys etc. blush

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 13:42:14

Thank you Martyr. I'll do this on Monday and leave it in the cooker while I'm at college.

I have been hoarding crochet lace this year, I am planning lace as an alternative to ribbon/bauble string/tinsel. It might look terrible, which is OK as I have many, many boxes of other ribbons blush, but I am hoping it'll look fabulous against the green spruce.

It's about now I crack open years worth of stored Country Living and similar Christmas magazines and pore. Pore in a porn-y way grin

Huzzah for Fellatio's thread, long may she ponce.

<stands up to be ponced>

<whispers> maybe the time is right to reclaim tinsel? Maybe it is so uncool as to be cool?

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 13:55:51

Er...no. When people stop wearing tinsel on their head or worse - out of their trouser fly, then we can maybe think about reclaiming it. IMO.

Tinsel in trouser fly? shock
Definitely not poncetastic

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 14:06:22

All I can say is...thank fuck I dont work in an office anymore.

Tinsel in trouser fly shock

Okay, I'll give up tinsel as long as I get extra fairy lights.

Should I confess that I'm vegetarian and I hate Christmas pudding or should I keep that to myself?

Shineyshoes I do that too! One of my friends deletes me each morning and then adds me back in the afternoon after my christmas post is done shock bloody scrooge! I love Christmas smile

Bellavita Sat 24-Sep-11 15:16:35

RockStock, Mary Berry pudding you say.... I have three of her books! <<goes off to have a look>>

Which Delia cake? There are several in her book, is it the traditional Christmas cake?

Am going to add all the ingredients to my shopping list for next week.

Oooohhhh! Count me in! DH won't let me talk about Xmas until December <deprived wife emoticon> though I have sneakily trained DD1 how many days away it is so now she does an enthusiastic countdown every morning grin That'll learn him. I have poncetastic aspirations, but sadly up til now quite mediocre outcomes. This will be my first Xmas in ages without my parents here sad so would really like it to be spectacular!

Boys, I am also veggie and hate Christmas pud. I ponce it up in other ways grin
I hate mince pies too, as it happens.

tummytickler Sat 24-Sep-11 15:25:51

I need to ponce on a budget this year, so will be looking for lots of hints that i can pull of for next to zero money.
Dh will breath a sigh of relief now as I might stop talking to him about Christmas!

ForYourDreamsAreChina Sat 24-Sep-11 15:45:20

I want to know which Delia too....I presume the traditional?

Because last year, I did Nigella <bows reverently at my all time favourite cookbook> the one with prunes and orange juice and chocolate. (FFS- I should have known, really) and it was erm, interesting. But after we all had a piece on Christmas Day, no-one ever had anymore and we gave it to the birds in August. (I think the urban foxes ate it actually, the birds just sat there, going "no way, that's not Christmas cake")

I thought tinsel was OK if it was vintage 1970s tinsel? <goes and fetches last year's thread to check>

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 24-Sep-11 16:03:33

Hallo Halloooo! I am so very excited to be joining you Ponces here on this thread; I was not here last year. But I have read both threads twice and am fully up to speed. I spotted the rookie mistake earlier of a newbie covering herself in tinsel. Tinsel !

I have already flicked quickly through my Xmas magazines in a vain bid to decide on my 'theme'; and my Delia and Nigella Christmas books are next to my bed. Sarah Raven's will most likely be on its way soon, from Auntie Amazon. Any others anyone can recommend?

Ooh, and I am a third veggie who does-not-like-Xmas-pud (nor mince pie or Xmas cake), and very pleased to be in the miniest of festive quiches with Sue. My talent is for figuring out how to make any recipe chocolatey. This comes in handy at Xmas.

Goneonfortoolongnow Sat 24-Sep-11 16:28:26

Ok. have to join as we are having our first christmas in our new house and I intend to go christmas mad.

1) Which christmas cake is it from Delia?

2) Which pud?

3) who timetables what.

I am hoping to secretly beat the MIL at her own game, hahahahahahaha grinwink

Goneonfortoolongnow Sat 24-Sep-11 16:31:18

Now, having bought an apple mountain in from the orchard (poncetastic! its really 12 trees at the bottom of the garden) looking for a Nigella chutney with star anise which was yummy three years ago.

Also a veggie pud not liking mince pie disliker hater of Christmas cake

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 24-Sep-11 16:34:23

Oh I'm in.

But this year in new house with an aga and very apprehensive about baking christmas cake in it.

Have a hankering this year for some ahem tasteful outdoor lights - I fancy a white reindeer in the garden you know made of lights - have I gone quite mad? Will my garden look like something off of Shameless?

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 16:35:12

Actually i think tinsel might be on the verge of an ironic retro comeback. So long as you can pull it off in an ironic retro stylee I have decided to allow it.

MurunBuchstansangur Sat 24-Sep-11 16:37:06

yes yes.

I am a novice. I need specifics, and possibly a link to laat years poncery?

MurunBuchstansangur Sat 24-Sep-11 16:37:52

*last blush

FellatioNelson Sat 24-Sep-11 16:39:08

I burnt the christmas cake when I cooked it in my Aga. I think the rule of thumb with things like christmas cakes in Agas is you can't go too low or to slow. I have moved away from my Aga house now and I'm going to try to make a cake when I get to my house in Qatar, in an oven that even my husband tells me is crap. If he can tell it's crap, then it MUST be bad!!!!

Hurrah for the sub-quiche of Veggie Pud'n'Pie haters.

For candle-loving people, the Hallmark outlet shops (I know, who knew?) has unpopular Yankee candles very cheap. Lots of the Christmas flavours were there, when I looked this week. Those big fellas, in the jars, were just under seven pounds I think,.

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 16:46:30

Last Christmas I tried so hard - made own cake, own puddings and decorated house in super poncetastic style (see fireplace photo on profile for an example) and then DH and MIL both came down with swine flu. MIL nearly died. Christmas was crap to say the least.

This year all my family will be frog marched for flu jab in November.

Have started stock piling booze and planning gifts - scaling back to children only (apart from DM and MIL and FIL).

Is it too soon to make Christmas cake? Is stir up sunday for puddings or cake as well? Last year I made both on stir up Sunday and it was all fine.

Bohica Sat 24-Sep-11 16:48:15

I'm a poncetastic virgin and would really like to join in.

I have magazines and I'm willing to work hard!

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 16:48:29

YY to interiors magazine Christmas edition porn. I have about three years worth of Christmas copies of English Home and Country Homes and Interiors.

I think CH&I is better than Country Living now, for poncey porning.
English Home is a new one on me <adds to list>

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 16:57:13

English Home is the best - you haven't lived. I don't get Country Living anymore -not enough pics of people's houses for my taste.

It has gorn orf, true.

I have high hopes for Period Homes.

Bellavita Sat 24-Sep-11 17:02:00

RockStock, I need your Mary Berry pudding recipe.

Georgi, no not to early at all.

girlywhirly Sat 24-Sep-11 17:05:39

I'm in too, was in last year as well.

Hazel, chocolate roulade with oranges and Cointreau or Grand Marnier cream inside makes a fantastic Christmassy dessert, looks like a Yule log and is much lighter (so can fit more in after lunch!) Also, you do the roulade bit the day before, and then on Christmas morning you just whip your cream and pile it and orange bits on and roll it up, leaving it in the fridge to chill until needed. This wasn't a recipe from a Christmas book either, but it occurred to me that it was pretty festive.

I shall be back again as I'm still in post holiday mode and there are loads of jobs that need doing, paint shed, dig out compost bin, nothing festive!

TinyPawz Sat 24-Sep-11 17:05:59

Bliss! Unfortunately I'll be in Kabul alone over Christmas so marking my place to "feel" christmasy although not actually doing any of the hard work. Hope that is ok?

RumourOfAHurricane Sat 24-Sep-11 17:07:44

Message withdrawn

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 17:10:51

you can watch itv if Downton Abbey is involved.

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 17:12:06

English Home - Period Home and something is rubbish.

Is Period Homes or whatever it is crap too? I was going to try that one.

OK, English Home it is. And I have to watch ITV for Downton and XF. I realise they are both low-brow nonsense but I luffs them.

Georgimama Sat 24-Sep-11 17:20:25

it is if it's still the way it was when i stopped buying it a few years ago - too many unattractive worthy types making cotttages out of dung.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sat 24-Sep-11 17:36:54

Marking my place.

Not sure how much time i will have to devote to ponceyness this year, but I will be trying my poncey best.

I'm thinking popcorn garlands, big church candles with cinnamon sticks stuck around the outside like a collar, and maybe the same with candy canes.

I also bought a large cotton santa's sack in the new year sales which I will appliqué ds's name on. I've also got some fabbo gingerbread men and snowmen buttons to go on there. I just need to locate the sac blush

PastGrace Sat 24-Sep-11 17:45:09

Can I join in too please?

Is there any way to have a poncetastic modern Christmas interior? I'm still living at home (namechanged, was DoubleDegreeStudent) so will be doing the traditional stuff there, but my sister and I are sharing a modern London flat and I want to decorate here too. I need guidance please! Will try and find traditional photos to add to profile

Agapanthii Sat 24-Sep-11 17:52:54

Oh how I need to join this thread of like-minded people. I have been playing Disney Christmas albums in the car with the kids since August and I made it to Liberty's Xmas shop on the day it opened ( two Sats ago) and started buying decorations already, much to my DH's horror and shame.

I'd like to throw the cat amongst the pigeons and state that Delia's cake is not a patch on Merry Berry's. Discuss. Ducks

MamaGeekChic Sat 24-Sep-11 18:40:44

I've been lurking on this site for ages and just had to join after reading this thread! Can I come in? grin

gapants Sat 24-Sep-11 18:52:14

No Tinsel, instead i thread popcorn with dried berries to make my garlands for the tree.

Squitch Sat 24-Sep-11 18:53:18

I use gingham ribbon threaded with little silver bells for my tree instead of tinsel - is that poncetastic enough? I feel like I need to aim MUCH higher

Bella it's the rich fruit cake one that I make for my Christmas one. Page 603/4 ish I think of the complete cookery course, the one published around 1988 ish (it was an 18th birthday present so I can be that precise!). I then follow her celebration cake recipes and measurements for marzipan and royal icing.

I have tried so many different ones over the past 20 or so years and this is my favourite version. I made mine a while ago, pudding too, and feed it weekly with an egg cup of brandy.

I'll post the Mary Berry pudding recipe shortly - need to clean and feed my filthy daughter before she touches anything in my house grin she just found the hidden paint

<<punches Agapanthii>>

IwoulddoPachacuti Sat 24-Sep-11 19:41:05

This thread is a sign! I have my fruit soaking ready for me to make my cake tomorrow (delia - did Nigella last year and it was just ok)

We are also going to go for a woodland walk tomorrow to get pine cones to spray paint for use as a table centre piece [preen]

I am so excited, I love this whole season, dark nights, Halloween, cosy fires, bonfires......let the countdown begin! wink

Mary Berry's Christmas Puds - this makes two 2 pint ones one for me

8oz golden caster sugar
8oz vegetarian suet
12oz sultanas
12oz raisins
8oz currants
4oz candied peel, chopped
4oz plain flour
4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
2oz flaked almonds
1 lemon, zest only
5 eggs, beaten
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
5fl oz brandy or rum

Lightly grease two 2 pint pudding basins.

Mix together all the dry ingredients, then stir in the eggs and brandy/rum and mix well.

Spoon the mix into the basins. Put a circle of baking parchment and foil over the top of each basin and tie securely with string. Make a string handle from one side of the basin to the other so it is easier to pick the basin out of the pan after cooking.

Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid. Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the boiling water up from time to time, if necessary. If you do not have a steamer, put the basins in a large pan on inverted saucers on the base. Pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam as before.

Cool. Change the baking parchment and foil covers for fresh ones and tie up, then Store in a cool cupboard until Christmas Day.

I ‘feed’ the puddings every couple or three weeks with brandy as well.

To serve, steam for 2 hours or remove foil/parchment and cover with clingfilm, pierce a few times and microwave on high for about 10 minutes.

deemented Sat 24-Sep-11 19:51:53

No offence Fell, but you're a bit late - have a looksee here

prolificwillybreeder Sat 24-Sep-11 19:53:46

Hurray! Hurray! I have already sourced my new cake tin!

saxony Sat 24-Sep-11 21:39:08

Excitedly marking my place!!

Eeek. All this has done is made me feel a little inadequate and panicky.
And I am a really really really knit-your-own-yoghurt type person.

Do need inspiration for those bannister garlandy things. I have never had a bannister before, but have holly and ivy and evergreenery things in the garden, please point me in the right direction.

Just found this!

Bought my first Christmas present today - a copy of Kafka's short stories for dd1! smile

Georgimama Sun 25-Sep-11 06:04:59

Ah but dee, they are being all practical and homespun on that thread, and our primary goal here is to be a poncy as possible. Bring on the pretension.

Squitch Sun 25-Sep-11 08:06:51

Norks I'm going to do my bannister this year (never got round to it before) I think I'm going to make this though (well something that vaguely resembles this anyway) rather than anything too vegetationy


BerryLellow Sun 25-Sep-11 08:19:29

Ooh I want to join in this year, our first Christmas in our own home that's not a rented heap! I have so far made chutney and have the stuff to make blackberry vodka in my kitchen.

Have also been pinning things to my Christmas pinterest board with gay abandon for the past few weeks grin

<punches air>

YES! Thanks for starting this thread again Fellatio, I love it more than dh grin

If anyone has a fan oven I worked out the timings for Delia's cake last year and can dig them out as she doesn't tell you what they are and the year before last I <whispers> burnt mine blush

Can we have a review of magazines when people buy them so I know which ones to get?!

I love Christmas <happy sigh>

UterusUterusGhali Sun 25-Sep-11 08:51:20

Ah, I was thinking about this thread the other day while making chutney. Glad to see it back.

I'm rubbish at following quichey threads, so I'll mainly lurk if that's ok, bursting in to give my twopenn'orth every now and again.

BTW, does anyone know if you can make chutney with canderel? My DSDad is diabetic but loves cheeses & chutney etc. In fact any diabetic Christmas treat recipes would be greatly appreciated.

trumpton Sun 25-Sep-11 08:53:40

I, ahem, am going to KNIT my Christmas baubles from THIS BOOK I have my double ended needles ready to go. Poncey enough?

Have also made Raspberry gin, Summer fruit vodka and Christmas vodka. cake ( Delia ) and cannonball shaped puds next week.

MrsKitty Sun 25-Sep-11 08:57:08

Oooh can I join you?! Just getting DD's birthday out of the way (tomorrow), and then I'll be prepping Christmas!

I read last years thread from the link earlier, and think this is the place for me!
Have made bramlble brandy , limoncello and the sloe gin is in production.
Christmas cake ? Hmmm . I've done the Nigella one where you soak the minced up fruit a couple of times and it's very good , thinking of trying Delia this year ( I also have the dog eared, food stained 1980s vintage complete cookery course )
I'm doing an evening class in floral art and ( excited ) will be learning to make festoons and Christmas wreath !
DH likes tinsel .... What do I do ? Shall I just hide it away ? Or should I allow him 1 length ?

MrsSnaplegs Sun 25-Sep-11 09:28:08

Um not sure I am capable of doing all the card making and stuff but found this for fellatio christmas in Qatar and this community from last year Qatar living who may have some advice grin grin

Doilooklikeatourist, I'm afraid liking tinsel may well be a 'leave the bastard' offence. Just say NO. grin

Happy Birthday to MrsKitty's DD for tomorrow.

Giganticus - I do the Delia cake in my fan oven at 130 with a cartouche on for the first 3 hours, then an further hour or so with cartouche removed. Seems to do the trick.

I can't do any Christmas shopping for another three weeks and it's almost got me to the stage where I may need to cut my hands off... We move back to England in a fortnight and I have had to put a self imposed ban on any further doings until we're back. IT's VERY hard indeed I tell you.

FellatioNelson Sun 25-Sep-11 09:47:30

I agree about the magazines Georgimama - Country Living is almost exclusively about identifying chicken breeds and full of weird people doing lifestyle pieces on how they run a 'business' painting pebbles they nicked off Cornish beaches, or selling honey from their own bees. hmm Not enough Hardcore House Porn for my liking either.

MrsDistinctlyMintyMonetarism Sun 25-Sep-11 09:48:29

Right, I would normally just lurk on this thread (although I love love Christmas) but this year, this fecking year I'm going to be in the middle of a Queensland summer.

Shit bollocks tinsel twatting fairy fuck.

No no no, this is not right. Last year, cute (twee even) country cottage surrounded by snow, open fire etc etc.

This year huge open plan thing, no fire, pool, tiny (shit) oven.

Neeeeeeeeed help. (and surreptitious drinking of Christmas wine to get in the mood)

CL used to be ace though, for Christmas porn, and my stash goes back to the mid-80s so I am still fond of it grin. I may also have a couple of CL Christmas books.
The blessed 'Pets Pin Up' type features make me itch now - people writing in with the likes and dislikes of their rabbit. More poncey pics, not so much with the nonsense.

GossipWitch Sun 25-Sep-11 10:00:03

I have a small problem though i cant stand turkey and neither can ds1, so I've decided to do pork instead, also none of us like Christmas pudding so I'm doing a yule log instead, also I think it'll tie yule and Christmas better too smile.

FellatioNelson Sun 25-Sep-11 10:19:01

I lose patience with people who say they don't like turkey. you are buying rubbish turkeys and then cooking them all wrong. there is no other answer. And get a grip with the Christmas pudding will you? Just train yourself to like it - like we do with olives and oysters. It is your Poncestastic Duty to like christmas pud.

FellatioNelson Sun 25-Sep-11 10:19:33

Sorry about random lack of capitals there. blush

MrsSnaplegs Sun 25-Sep-11 10:23:13

Gossipwitch nigella Christmas has a lovely chocolate pudding for those who don't like Xmas pud we had it last year and it was gorgeous!
Also a nice rolled pork loin instead of turkey
Sorry FNblush

Georgimama Sun 25-Sep-11 10:34:46

You've been told gossipwitch (although I agree half of dislike of turkey is down to crap meat - get yourself a free range Norfolk Bronze, preferably organic, and it's like eating a whole different meal). Ditto for christmas pud - if you buy £4 asda pud no wonder you don't like it. I've never been that fussed about the stuff but the ones I made last year (and it's so easy, honestly, I am no Nigella I assure you*) were to die for.

*arse size similar though

What about non-turkey dinners for vegetarians? Fancy something different this year. Last year I just did a big dish of dauphinoisse and then everything else except the turkey.

Bloomin' love Christmas pudding though but cba to make one - Duchy Originals is the way forward.

winefairy Sun 25-Sep-11 10:40:47

Oh dear. I fear I may be forcibly removed from this thread. I don't like turkey either GossipWitch. Or Christmas pudding. Or Christmas cake. Or mince pies.

<hands back shovel. Stops digging hole>

But I do love Christmas. And I don't do tinsel. Fellatio, I shall attempt your palate training bootcamp idea.

<chains self to thread with fairy lights and refuses to leave>

Grandhighpoohba Sun 25-Sep-11 11:14:55

Turkey not essential IMO - Glazed ham or goose much more traditional!

KinkyDorito Sun 25-Sep-11 11:30:16

I am turning to you all for help through my first Christmas at home (all being well, if DD doesn't end up in hospital which is the WORST CASE SENARIO. Imagine, hospital Christmas dinner.)

So, I am going to make my first Christmas cake. I have picked Delia and will be soaking my fruit (and possibly myself) in amaretto.

So, when should I start soaking my fruit? And when should I make the cake?

Thank you in advance for help and guidance through this unknown territory of Christmas prep which I now find myself treading.

I was never fussed about turkey tbh but we did it because it's christmas.
Last year tho I bought an organic kelly bronze turkey (think that was it's official title) from the posh butcher. It was £90!!! shock
BUT it was beautiful! And I picked the carcas clean and we had leftover in the freezer for aged which reheated well and didn't dry out.

I will do the same next time I cook Christmas lunch. I am a convert! grin

MamaGeekChic Sun 25-Sep-11 12:02:40

Raspberry Gin! Please someone enlighten me... I need to have some grin

trumpton Sun 25-Sep-11 12:40:37

Raspberry gin
Bottle of gin I used 70cl .
1 lb of frozen raspberries.
1 lb of golden granulated sugar.
Into an old squash bottle ( Caveat...I have no young children who might think it was squash )
Shake and leave a week and repeat over a few week period.
I think I left mine for about 6 weeks.
Strain through a sieve lined with kitchen paper or clean muslin .
I am using vinagrette bottles that I have washed and sterilised.

Tabbykat Sun 25-Sep-11 12:56:41

OOh, please can I join! Need to get DD1's birthday pirate party out the way next Sunday, then can focus on all things Christmas - can't wait! Really want to do blackberry vodka but there seems to be a dearth round here at the mo - will have to finding better picking grounds...

Georgimama Sun 25-Sep-11 13:00:35

I know they are pricey (I am going to have to find another source, the farmer we have had ours direct from for the last 10 years isn't doing them this year) BUT compare that to the cost of a restaurant meal for the whole family. It's worth it.

KinkyDorito it is NEVER too early to make one's Christmas Cake or Pud. Soak the fruit in the booze for a good 12-14 hours and then once it's made wrap it first in greaseproof paper and then in foil (both double layers). Feed it weekly with an eggcup of brandy or whatever dark spirit you're using to soak the fruit. On the under side, 15-20 holes with small skewer and then pour the booze over.

We're having a huge rib of beef this year, and a whole glazed ham. But I agree - the more one spends on the turkey, the better it is. And I brine mine first for 36 hours too. Make sure it's out the fridge for a good 8 hours before putting it in the oven so it's room temp and I work to 15mins per pound, plus a final blast for 25 to crisp the skin <drooooooool>. Always produces beautifully moist breast meat and perfectly cooked dark meat too.

I don't stuff it, rather make and cook the stuffing separately, and the sausage meat too. Usually shove an onion or two, whole head of garlic, unpeeled but halved, half a lemon, and a job lot of rosemary.

Bloody hell. I want Christmas Lunch NOW.

OracleInaCoracle Sun 25-Sep-11 13:18:56

<marking place to read through at leisure this evening>

Georgimama Sun 25-Sep-11 13:21:59

by the time I had finished reading Rocksock's post there was a line of drool hanging out of the corner of my mouth. I looked like my labrador.

BeaOnSea Sun 25-Sep-11 13:29:28

I can live without tinsel but please tell me that teeny white fairy lights are okay.

I usually have hundreds of them inside & outside on the trees.

I will leave this thread in shame if they are not allowed.

deemented Sun 25-Sep-11 13:32:03

£90 for a turkey??? £90???!!!! <faints dead away> I paid £40 for my turkey crown last year and nearly had a fir at that!

I don't get a whole turkey - i get a crown and butter baste it. Alway moist and succulent. I'm in a Christmas club with my local butcher and have paid for this year crown and ham already.

I think tiny white fairy lights are fine.

sybilfaulty Sun 25-Sep-11 13:50:06

May I join please? I love all things Christmas, although my son was born on 1st Dec, so I feel I have to be outwardly un festive til his party is done. Then it's chocs away! Yippee!

I loved the blessed St Kirstie of Allsopp's Homemade Christmas. Is that allowed on this thread?

Pinot Sun 25-Sep-11 13:54:37

Oh my!

This is my first MN Christmas and I had no idea that my fave MNer also ran a Christmas thread! I am moist with joy grin

I shall read thread and festive up my thoughts, pronto...

deemented Sun 25-Sep-11 13:58:37

<Passes Pinot a Tena Lady>

Pinot Sun 25-Sep-11 14:03:27

<snurk> dee grin

Sozzles Fell, I've downgraded your thread already <face/palm>

<passes Georgiemama a piece of kitchen roll>

Teeny tiny white lights are top of my list of things that MUST be there at Christmas. No argument on that please grin

OracleInaCoracle Sun 25-Sep-11 14:15:46

I make mil's nan's christmas cake recipe and delias christmas pud. I have bought a new cake tin and am putting fruit to soak this week and have bought piles of felt and ribbons. Ds and I have made some cinnamon saltdough decorations and this years colour scheme is red, white and green. I am saving a fiver a week to get a fab turkey and nice ham <snigger> from the farm down the road.

<Queasy with excitement>

BeaOnSea Sun 25-Sep-11 14:19:01

sybilfaulty DS2's birthday is 9th December. We've always been careful to make sure his birthday is special but the decorations go up in time for his birthday. He was 2 weeks overdue and, when I got told they were taking me in to induce me, I said I had to go home to put my Xmas decorations up first! He's always associated Xmas decorations with his birthday smile

<that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it>

OracleInaCoracle Sun 25-Sep-11 14:22:26

Sil's birthday is 12th dec and they always go to see father christmas and pick tree etc the weekend of her birthday. Its part of her birthday celebration!

ScatterChasse Sun 25-Sep-11 14:35:23

We do the decorations the weekend closest to my birthday too smile

I still live at home (when I'm not at university) so it's mum's rules, but I'm allowed to make the forcemeat and hang the Christmas cards up smile

I know £90 was a LOT and I did a double take when I saw the bill but it could have easily fed 10. DH demands lots of leftovers. grin

deemented Sun 25-Sep-11 15:04:28

Mine fed seven adults and four children for four days - and leftovers in the freezer too!

Won't be that big this year though.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 25-Sep-11 15:42:53

This thread has got my Christmas juices flowing. This weeks Sainsbo's delivery includes ingredients for the Christmas cake (Delia's, natch) and raspberry vodka.

Today I tried out a new recipe for millionaires shortbread but the caramel is studded with chopped salted peanuts. I adore the salt/sweet combo. I'm wishing the hours away so I can try it after it has set.

FagAshLill Sun 25-Sep-11 15:54:00

I've got the stuff in for the family mincemeat so will be doing that next weekend, I have to empty a couple of my kilner jars first and steralise them first. I cant wait.

PastGrace Sun 25-Sep-11 16:02:04

Dee in my mum's Delia book next to the times for how long a turkey takes there is the weight of our turkey and a little sum, and then underneath "turkey goes into oven = 2:30am. Get smaller next time". I think it's from the biggest Christmas we did...

My sister's birthday is boxing day, so she demands a second Christmas so that her day isn't overshadowed hmm. Christmas eve is a ham, then we have a turkey, a goose and a 3 bird roast. She gets to pick whichever one she wants for her birthday, then we vote which goes for Christmas and which is NY day. Normally turkey = Christmas, goose = boxing day, 3 bird roast = NYD.

We still have leftovers in the freezer - we don't really buy poultry for the rest of the year.

Yum to salted peanuts in Millionnaire's shortbread. smile

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt..... I MUST have that recipe for the millionaire's shortbread with salted peanuts. That sounds positively orgasmic.

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Sep-11 17:14:52

Me, me, oh me!

I've put a toe in the water before, but I'm hoping to leap in and be full on ponce this year! I'll need your help though because <whispers> I've never had Christmas pudding and I don't know what a pudding basin is. <hangs head>

And how do you dry out the oranges? Just put them in the oven?

Christmas decorations go up mid December here ( ......note to self , destroy tinsel and blame mice )
DHs birthday is December 23 , so the celebrations start then in our house.
I'm not very crafty ( but I'm a jolly good cook ) ( honestly ) but DD is taking GCSE textiles so we might try and make some tree decorations . Any clever links anyone ? wine opens bottle and starts pouring , not too early is it ?

ForYourDreamsAreChina Sun 25-Sep-11 17:21:47

Radiators for the oranges......though I put mine in the oven for 30mins, then turn oven off, then leave them overnight.

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Sep-11 17:28:37

We have Thanksgiving here (this year it is on November 24th) and as soon as the lunch things are cleared away I get all my Christmas boxes out of storage. Last year I hosted Thanksgiving and probably will again this year, and will maybe have an optional ornament-making session after. smile

I think we'll have a naturey-theme to our decorations this year, like these, etc.

afternoon ladies. i am back from my tv debut and am now ready to discuss christmas with you all xxx

CheerfulYank This is a pudding basin For the recipe I gave up thread you would need two 2 pint ones. Though the recipe is easily halved.

You MUST MUST MUST have it with brandy butter as well:

4oz unsalted butter, softened
4oz icing sugar (I think it's called confectioners' sugar in the States)
2 tbsp boiling water
3 tbsp brandy

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth, then add the boiling water and brandy and beat again. Keep in fridge. because I am a greedy greedy cow, I also have lashings of double cream with mine too

For the orange slices, I slice them in 3/4cm slices, put them in th eoven on the lowest setting with the door slightly wedged open with a tea towel. 3 hours is usually enough.

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Sep-11 17:44:53

So you can make it and just leave it in a cupboard for a month? confused Is it like fruitcake?

I made mine in April.....

Not really, but sort of! IT's a steamed pudding, rather than a baked cake, but it is delicious.

I would suggest you make a 1 pint one - get a smaller pudding bowl and 1/4 the ingredients, try it, see what you think and then make bigger and more if you like. IF you're a lover of rich fruit cakes, I'd be quite surprised if this wasn't to your liking.

G'wan, give it a go!

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Sep-11 17:48:59

And we usually have ham for Christmas because we have turkey for Thanksgiving.

But I could use a good turkey recipe for Thanksgiving...how does one go about brining it? <goes off to google>

I'll post my brine recipe in a minute, just about to lob a dirty child in the bath.

Can i join in please? I love a poncetastic christmas
Make all the food from scratch. Over past few years though some of my efforts have been thwarted by c sections, flu and birds down the chimney!

This year i'll be 8 months pregnant but im going all out, i'll stay housebound to ward off flu. I know what food im doing, wrapping in brown paper with twine and a candy cane. Cake is delia which i'll do this week.

But i need help with decorations. I always have ribbon not tinsel, white lights and a little dickension christmas village. No dancing snowmen here. But this year im in an old victorian house. Two massive mantlepieces that i want something traditional on. Can anyone help? Im very crafty type but im thinking pine boughs into a garland etc may not last?

Bellavita Sun 25-Sep-11 18:02:34

RockStock, I have the very same book!!! I demanded asked DH to buy it for me one xmas when we were newly married many many years ago. I also have a paper back edition of her Xmas book and her book of cakes.

Thanks for the Merry Berry recipe. I will make that pudding!


Here is the Heston Roast Turkey that I did last Christmas - I used a 4.3kg (approx 9½ lb) and it served 10 comfortably on the day, with a couple of decent meals for 5 with left overs.

In addition to Heston's ingredients, I also shoved an onion, 1/2 a lemon and some thyme and rosemary sprigs inside the bird as well so want to put up the arse, but absolutely not uncouth enough for that

Prepare: 20 minutes, plus brining
Cook: 3–4 hours (40mins/kg), plus resting

4–4.5kg free-range turkey
800g salt
200g unsalted butter, at
room temperature
3 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 leeks, sliced (white and pale
green parts only)
50ml dry white wine
15g rosemary
15g thyme

1. Chop the wing tips off the turkey and reserve for the gravy.

2. Brine the turkey on Christmas Eve by mixing the salt and 10 litres of water in a clean ­container and stirring until the salt has dissolved. ­Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover with a lid or foil and leave in a cool place for at least nine hours or overnight.

Remove the bird from the brine and submerge it in cold water for one hour, changing the water at 15-minute intervals. Dry the turkey well with kitchen paper.

3. Preheat the oven to 210c, fan oven 200c, gas mark 6. With clean hands, work the skin away from the flesh of the bird and rub 100g of butter between the skin and the flesh, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub any remaining butter over the skin of the bird. Season with salt and black pepper. Set the bird on top of the onions, carrots and leeks in a roasting tin; add the wine and cook in the oven for 30 minutes to colour the skin.

4. Melt the remaining 100g butter in a pan and add the rosemary and thyme.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 130c, fan oven 120c, gas mark ½. Baste the turkey with the herb butter and cook until the thickest part around the neck or thigh reaches 70c (you’ll need a probe thermometer). Continue basting every 45 minutes (when the butter gets used up, use the cooking juices in the roasting tin to baste). This should take three to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the size of the turkey and the type of oven.

It is important to check that the turkey is cooked by cutting into the thickest part (between the breast and thigh) to be sure that none of the meat is pink, and the juices run clear.

6. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Reserve the pan juices and vegetables for ­making the gravy.

Bella I think I have probably got each and every Saint Delia book going! Even the bloody cheat one and I'm not a cheaty cook!

You won't be disappointed with the pud, I PROMISE.

I'm in grin

Wrapping is the thing I pontificate most upon.

In past years I have done:

brown paper with gingham ribbon and candy canes
brown paper with rainbow coloured ribbon and lollipops
white paper with red gingham ribbon
pale blue paper with white ribbon and playing cards for gift tags
pale blue paper with black bird illustrations on and black ribbon
red paper with huge white ribbons and gold bells

What can I do this year?

PastGrace Sun 25-Sep-11 18:24:10

Last year I did layers of tissue (black then white then dark purple then light purple or white then black then light purple then dark purple). For special presents there was also a layer of silver or gold. Then some white satin ribbon - for smaller ones there was also a thinner strip of purple ribbon. The year before it was reds, this year it'll be blues.

Pick a colour scheme, get stacks of tissue and then use different shades?

We also used newspaper one year to wrap a giant present (a recycling bin, so it was thematic at least) and it did look fab, but not sure if I'd have the guts to do all presents in them.

OracleInaCoracle Sun 25-Sep-11 18:25:31

I don't know if I'm more impressed by the use of pontificate, or the wrapping!

OracleInaCoracle Sun 25-Sep-11 18:25:32

I don't know if I'm more impressed by the use of pontificate, or the wrapping!

winterland Sun 25-Sep-11 18:28:23

Have name changed in honour of this thread. I read it all last year but this year is the first that I will be hosting. eek. I am totally panicking already about what to cook and whether it'll be any good. I shall be taking all the guidance and tips from this thread I can! I'll also be nearly 8months preg so again, eek.

Remus - are you me!? I spend hours with the wrapping. Same theme running through with colours etc, but each of the DC gets a slightly different one from the next, and then the rest of the family run along the same theme, but tweaking slightly for each one.

This year I am doing either purple, black and silver or red, green and gold. I also have tree decorations to match both themes, along with my 'natural' theme, when I will wrap in brown paper with green or deep orange ribbon and dried orange slices/pine cones.

I vary according to my annual mood come the time grin I LOVE IT. And even Father Christmas plays ball too. He's a clever chap you know.

<sad fucker>

aStarInStrangeways Sun 25-Sep-11 18:39:03

RemusLupins I've heard good things about this as a veggie main course, although haven't ever made it myself.

So wise ponces of the thread, please proffer your thoughts: as a Christmas-at-home virgin (very festively appropriate, I suppose), what are the basics I should do to make it a good one? We have no decorations, no traditions, and I haven't decorated a tree since I was a child. We'll be having Christmas Day at my parents' and Boxing Day with the PIL, but will be at home for the mornings and evenings, plus Christmas Eve. I quite fancy a good family meal on the Eve, some sort of fancy breakfast for the morning and perhaps some special nibbles. I am a good cook and fairly competent with a pair of scissors. Have 3yo DS and 8wo DD, so would really like to start as we mean to go on and make it special blush

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 25-Sep-11 18:40:43

Once I have sliced and tested (for research purposes of course!) the salted peanut millionaires shortbread I will post the recipe. I would hate to post a duff recipe.

Last year I purchased different sized brown paper bags with handles (think Indian takeaway bags) from EBay and put presents in them instead of wrapping them with paper. It saved me hours. Of course they were finished off with gingham ribbon and little jingle bells, otherwise people would have thought they were getting a chicken tikka massala!

I think I'll do the same again, but tied with candy canes and lollipops - thanks for the idea Remus smile

AStar - what sort of budget are you looking at? Food wise, I shall have a think and post some ideas over the course of this evening - are there any no nos with regard to foods that you, DH and DS won't eat?

Chop Chop ILikeToMove grin and crack on with that research would you!

Squitch Sun 25-Sep-11 18:48:05

thedoctorswife how about something like this for your mantle


or this


MartyrStewart Sun 25-Sep-11 18:53:39

A couple of years ago I got some cheap cookie cutters in star and gingerbread man shapes - they looked really sweet tied on to the ribbon when I was wrapping.

prolificwillybreeder Sun 25-Sep-11 18:56:30

Coo'ee! Worzel!
Thank you for much for your link to your felt Robin. I love it! What a great website. I'm making a reindeer and a Christmas pudding beanbag.

Squitch they look great but now im wondering how i can make those huge stars to hang from the ceiling!

However i do have a job lot of felt so maybe i can make a fun garland for the other end of the room.

CheerfulYank Sun 25-Sep-11 19:15:12

Remus I have done brown paper with a pale blue ribbon and a sand dollar. smile

Thanks for the brine recipe Rock !

<marking place, on the run to Goddaughter's birthday>

Squitch Sun 25-Sep-11 19:34:30

or there is this garland - which is now cheap! (I'm tempted even though I don't need it)


Ooooh I LURVE that garland.

Squitch Sun 25-Sep-11 19:39:12

The wreath is also in the sale and now I'm wondering if I can justify spending money on a fourth third xmas tree - how sweet is this AND it comes with decorations


Yes!!!! Thats it thats what i need in my olde worlde house. Thank you.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 25-Sep-11 19:54:44

Right, I have done the salted peanut millionaire's shortbread and it was bloody lush. I'm not so sure about the shortbread/toffee/chocolate ratio, I think maybe there is too much shortbread, but that's me being fussy I think.

100g caster sugar
200g butter, softened and diced
300g SR flour
400ml duo he de leche or boiled condensed milk
125g salted peanuts roughly chopped
400g milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 180/fan 160/gas 4
Line the base of a tray bake tin

Rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrums, then stir in the sugar.
Tip into the tin and press down with your hands or back of a spoon.
Bake for about 20 mins or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool in tin.
Spread over the dulche de leche then press the roughly chopped peanuts into it.
Melt the chocolate and pour over the peanut studded dulche de leche.
Put in the fridge for two hours to set.

If you have a tried and tested millionaire shortbread recipe already,use it and just add chopped salted peanuts on the toffee before you pour the chocolate on top.

The above recipe makes lots of squares as I cut them quite small. They are very rich and sweet - and I'm a total glutton.

Squitch - I truly believe it would be utter madness not to be adding the fourth third tree to your, frankly, measly collection.

Phwoar - that millionaire's shortbread sounds like I HAVE to make it. I have bucket loads of dulce de leche in the cupboards, what a bloody shame grin

What is a sand dollar?

Thanks for the recipe Strangeways - it looks bloody lovely but the dds are mushroom-haters.

I need to make that shortbread. Where can I buy dulce du leche?

Squitch Sun 25-Sep-11 20:08:39

Yay! the justification of strangers, it's in the basket and...oops bought it! I'll use my mindskills to persuade DP that we've ALWAYS had a fourth tree, pffft her remembers nothing

I've decided today that the sitting room (poncing it up, it's usually just the living room) will be the main alter of ponceness and that all my home made stuff will go into the dining room (incase it looks shit - more is more and all that)

glitterkitty Sun 25-Sep-11 20:29:08

Yay, was here last year, though things got a bit unponcey at last minute when DS found the tinsel...

So far I have ordered & received my 1950's glittery advent calender from Germany, and lit my Balsam & Cedar Yankee candle once or twice. 4 bottles of Sloe gin brewing. Next month is panto booking & decoration sorting prior to buying a few new bits- this will include large paper snowflake room garlands and lots of realistic greenery <hopes>.

Agapanthii, I'm going for Mary Berrys cake this year too. Did Delias last year so will be interesting to see how this compares. I note it includes dried apricots, which I havent used in a Christmas cake before!

My biggest dilemma is that I love multi coloured old (NOT led) fairy lights. Cannot somehow face using white- every year I try & end up redoing the tree. This year I know I need to buy NEW LIGHTS- has anyone got any nice non-led ones? I bought red berry ones last year but effect not good- they glow like Santas red berried furnace shock

Remus - Waitrose sell it for sure and I think Sainsbogs too. Otherwise you can get it in delis or by the Carnation toffee in tins. For now (next 10 days....) I live in Spain, so can buy it by the gallon for pennies!


Jaquelinehyde Sun 25-Sep-11 20:53:27

Hurrah! It's here.

I've never had time to have a poncey Christmas before but I'm determined this year.

So break me in easily, what shall I start with? Oh I'm not a great cook so maybe something crafty rather than bakey grin

dearprudence Sun 25-Sep-11 21:07:10

Oh thank you, fellatio for the new thread. I've been waiting. I'm hosting Christmas day this year, final guest list tbc but could be 17 people.

Right, <licks pencil>, a few questions for you ponces.

1. When you brine a turkey, do you use just salt water (a la Heston, upthread) or include flavourings/spices?
2. How do you decorate your Christmas cake? Ideas needed.
3. Is it passe to have bunting? I wanted to make some 12 days of Christmas bunting for the hall.

dearpru (if I may shorten your name...) I have done both Heston's brine and Nigella's one with lots of spices etc in - we (the royal collective that is) all preferred Heston's, much nicer for whatever reason I do not know.

I use royal icing on mine, I have it smooth around the edges (so I can put a fat ribbon round it to match my chosen theme <sad again>) and then spiky top, with a smooth circle in the middle that I decorate with appropriate coloured sugar decorations/balls etc.

I love the idea of the bunting actually, and if I have time once we've moved and unpacked, I may make something similar...

dearprudence Sun 25-Sep-11 21:34:42

Thanks rock (shorten away!)

I've never actually brined before blush but I don't have great success with turkey, so will deffo do this year.

Thanks Rock. Will try and make it next weekend and report back!

Pru (that's even easier grin ) Until I brined, I didn't have a massive success with it either tbh, it was alright, but never 'wow'. Brining really does make a difference and if cooked to the timings above it is moist and delicious.

Remus I shall be making it tomorrow I reckon, I can't wait that long!

aStarInStrangeways Sun 25-Sep-11 22:01:48

RockStock thanks smile Budget = tiny, but on the upside we eat pretty much everything. Well, DS has his likes and dislikes but tbh as long as there's plenty of chocolate he'll be happy grin

I should say that I don't particularly like dried fruit, so have been a long time hater of mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pud. However, since DD was born I have mysteriously started semi-enjoying the stuff (mainly in the form of thickly buttered slabs of Soreen), so am keeping an open mind this year.

Thickly buttered slabs of Soreen are the best, and I have just eaten half a bloody loaf myself this very evening!

Ok, I shall have a think and post some nibbles - sweet and savoury for you tomorrow. All cheap, but very tasty and impressive to boot.

Bellavita Sun 25-Sep-11 22:23:42

Mmmm I love Soreen envy

Jaq, how about getting DH on the cooking bit? I am pretty certain you have said in the past he can cook.

we are have an uber poncetastic dr who themed christmas this year. i intend wrapping the presents in navy blue and silver paper (matt navy if possible) nad the same colour decorations. each person must have at least one dr who related present, and also each person must wear something which has been in dr who. oh, and i am doing a tardis christmas cake.

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 02:30:26

Remus I don't know what you call sand dollars in the UK! confused

I had a beachy theme going on that year smile And they looked lovely on the brown paper packages with pale blue ribbon.

FellatioNelson Mon 26-Sep-11 07:47:40

For the table last year I had a bit of a mishap with my planned centrepiece, so as an emergency effort I used two smallish cheap and cheerful hurricane lamps like these and stuck two chunky church candles in them, and tipped a big bag of fresh cranberries around each candle, to about halfway up. It was very plain and simple, but effective and Christmassy. It would be good for anyone going with a modern pared down look, or an au naturale red/white/green Scandanavian type theme. The cranberries are quite hard so they last well.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 26-Sep-11 08:00:27

I still don't know what sand dollars are, are they naturally occurring Yank?

girlywhirly Mon 26-Sep-11 08:17:58

aStarInSrangeways, why not have a chocolate log or roulade instead of fruit cake or pudding? Although I'm wondering if Soreen could be manufactured into a cake somehow!


Christmas has begun!

Off to order that wreath and consider Chrostmas cake.

YougreatPamplemousse Mon 26-Sep-11 08:42:39

Ladies - I have hit the heights of ponstasticity - I made me first christmas cakes last week I also have 4 lots of fruit that have been slowly drinking brandy or ammaretto since January for 2 puds and 2 more cakes smile New jars for chutney and bramble jelly arrived this morning and the bottles for sweet chilli sauce and various flavoured vodkas.

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 08:45:57

Yes Liketo. Technically they're skeletons, which is a bit weird I suppose! confused Here People use them with seashells, etc.

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 08:46:44

That sounds nice Fellatio . Good idea!

<marking place>

I have already made blackberry vodka, cherry brandy, and lemon/orange vodka for my assorted alcoholic family, and am halfway through a quilt for my niece. Do I get smuggery points, O great ones?


<returns having now read the thread>

cheerful, sand dollars are what we call sea urchins. They fossilize differently in different parts of the world.

I have star anise heads and I have made pickled plums in pepper and cinnamon and star anise, and they will be wrapped with ribbon and tied with a little star anise had as a tag. I feel waaay poncey but simultaneously outclassed by you lot.

<pins smuggery badge on LRD's deserved bosom>

Fellatio I love that candle/cranberry idea and will be nicking that, thank you.

Cheerful you're up extremely early/late aren't you?!

aStarInStrangeways here are some ideas to be going on with:


Mini yorkshire puds, filled with a horseradish cream and a slither of medium rare steak. I make the Yorkies in mini muffin tins like these (I saw some silicon ones in Morrisons in Gib the other day for £4) in advance and the freeze perfectly. HOrseradish cream - 1tsp horseradish sauce to 2tsp creme fraiche. You only need a tiny piece of steak (minute's good) flash fry it and then cut into slithers. Warm the yorkies in the oven from frozen (6 minutes at 200 is fine) put a ½ tsp of the cream in and top off with a piece of the steak.

Smoked Salmon and dill blinis:

You can buy mini blini's in pretty much any supermarket, or sometimes I cheat and make savoury drop scones with salt and pepper in the mix. Top with smoked salmon and some dill fronds. Or some of the horseradish cream above, and smoked salmon on top of that.

Soup shots: any smooth soup really, double blended and sieved, then served in shot glasses, not hot (obvs) but warm.

Pastry savouries: I make a batch of parmesan pastry and bake mini biscuits (bite size) then top with anything things like pata negra, green olive and anchovy tapenade, mushroom duxelle, roasted garlic with thyme (roasted whole, then squished out, mixed with some good olive oil and spread on, top with an olive or something).

Mini chicken or prawn satay bites. Marinade bite sized pieces of chicken or medium prawns using this recipe from Annabel Karmel - I use this as a basic and then jazz it up with a bit of heat here and there - I then wok fry the chicken/prawns and stick either on top of a cucumber slice wth a bit of satay sauce and a some sprinkled coriander, or on individual cocktail sticks with dipping sauce in a bowl.

Ok that's savories for now. I've had an idea for using the Soreen in something, but I need to try it first to see if it works! Will be back with that and sweet canapés shortly.

I deserve a bosom?! My thirteen-year-old self is flattered. grin

I love blinis - they are really easy to make anyway. You can buy buckwheat flour in tesco and waitrose, and you just make batter with a pinch of bicarb and do them like normal american-style thick pancakes. We have them with salmon and red caviar at Christmas because DH can't have meat just then.

I'm really hungry for those parmesan bites - recipe?

aStarInStrangeways Mon 26-Sep-11 09:51:00

RockStock this is me

4 oz Plain Flour
4 oz freshly-grated Parmesan
4 oz Butter
1 medium Egg
Few drops of very cold water

I also sometimes put some thyme or oregano in as well.

Mix the flour, butter and Parmesan in a food processor and process quickly to blend.

Add the egg and whiz again. It should all come together in a ball, but may need a touch of iced water.

Wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for at least an hour in the fridge before using.

Roll out on a well floured surface to about 3-4mm cut out in mini biscuit rounds and cook in a 190 oven for about 8-10 minutes - just keep an eye on them really. Top with whatever. JUst thought of another nice topping - spinich, steamed then mixed in with boursin and a good grating of nutmeg. Very Yum.

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 09:53:51

Ooh Fellatio great idea! I shall be using that. Perhaps in a large round glass bowl with mini battery operated lights and greenery added to the cranberries.
<this may be one of those ideas which look better in my head>

rock they all sound amazing!

Can anyone give me either some nibble ideas or a smoked salmon starter for 2. DP and I are having a very romantic Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve this year. Any ideas? I'm thinking champagne with something in it. Nibbles or a starter then full Christmas dinner with a vintage red then Christmas pudding with all the trimmings.

aStar - excellent! They're are all really easy nibbles to do - and from the bits I've put down already, you can have about 20 different combinations from this lot alone really. The pastry can be made a week in advance to be kept in the fridge and just cooked as needed, but it also freezes well.

It is all easy, but impressive stuff that tastes delicious but takes no real time to make.

Prolific - I've got loads more, and some great smoked salmon ones too, so will post a load later as ought to get dressed and do stuff first (it's already 11am for me!)

OK, own up. Who bought all the garlands from Bloom. Hmmm, HMMMMM.

Out of stock. Buggers.

GiganticusBottomus can you share the timings for fan ovens and Delia's cake please? I don't want mine to be all dry and I have a habit of overcooking things to make sure they are done.


unfitmummy Mon 26-Sep-11 10:17:27

i go away for the weekend and this appears, fantastic! we are always away at families house over christmas so there is a limit to the poncetasticness of my christmas but i do try! the decorations always go up the first weekend in december, when we also spend the day at the Bath christmas market.

tinsel will be banned in the reception rooms but will be allowed in the kids rooms which they can decorate themselves!

my mil loves red onion chutney so i was thinking of making some for the first time ever. anyone got a good recipe? we have a slow cooker and i was wondering if i could make it in that? never made anything like that before but love the idea. can i reuse pasta jars and things like that or do i have to go out and buy 'proper' jars?

TheSkiingGardener - I do the in my fan oven at 130 with a cartouche on for the first 3 hours, then an further hour or so with cartouche removed. Seems to do the trick, never dry. I also feed it regularly and it is always deliciously moist. (that's for a 9" round one, for a 6" I would do 3 hours, taking cartouche off for last 40 minutes, 7/8" ones 3½ hours, cartouche off for last 45.)

And, I didn't buy them all, honest.

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 10:27:18

Thanks Rock that would be great smile Want to go all out for this meal
11am with you...oh dear it's nearly 10:30 and I'm just eating breakfast...it's safe too now the dc are napping!

Thank you Rock.

Amateur question here, I have just looked up cartouche and I'm still not sure what it is blush. Is it a greaseproof paper cake hat?

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 10:45:56

I thought it was a circle of greaseproof which is slightly bigger than cake which you then wet under the tap and pop on cake.
I also make long double folded strips of grease proof for the outside edges of cake tin tied on with string.

I use Keith Floyd's recipe and that is included in the instructions.
Hope that kind of helps!

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 10:46:37

So yes a cake hat!

Yes it does, thank you. Didn't know about wetting it too.

So, a wet cake hat.

Squitch Mon 26-Sep-11 11:28:42

Can't believe all the bloom garlands have gone!

Right my blank wreath arrived this morning (just a willow weaved plain one) and tonight I'm going to attempt to make this


or maybe this


Oh decisions, decisions.

I'm also definitely making blinis, possibly for Christmas Eve - I think I'm going to go for poncey buffet and champagne cocktails Christmas Eve

Yep - a cake hat!! It stops the top from burning basically. Though I never wet it with the cake. Cut a hole in the top the size of a 50p bit.

Yep - a cake hat!! It stops the top from burning basically. Though I never wet it with the cake. Cut a hole in the top the size of a 50p bit.

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 12:20:56

Ah yes the little hole in the middle, forgot about that!

thereistheball Mon 26-Sep-11 12:38:10

Oh good, nice to see this thread back.

We still haven't decided on where we will be at Christmas, but working in the assumption that it will be just the 3 of us at home (in France) I am thinking of a pared-down south-west-influenced meal: foie gras with fleur de sel; roast duck with duck fat potatoes and green beans; prunes in armagnac over Christmas pudding. It is tradition that we have Scottish wild smoked salmon and champagne while we open presents earlier in the day, and I have already sourced my supplier for that. Booze will be lots of lovely French wine, with French cider to go with the ploughmans lunches during the week, and damson vodka / sloe gin from Sipsmith if I can get someone to bring it over (with the Christmas pudding. Otherwise I may have to make a trip back specially). Boxing day will be some very rare roast beef, with leftovers for sandwiches.

Nobody has mentioned the Christmas Day Walk. Doesn't everyone do this? After present opening and champagne/smoked salmon we have to go for a two hour walk to sober up work up an appetite and justify the gluttony get the blood moving. We will be going to the gardens at Versailles, or here by the same garden designer, though less well known.

Decorations: no tinsel! Or, worse, that awful drippy shiny stuff called Lam-something. Instead our tree decorations are all not-too-bright bronze, silver or gold, or clear or burnished/antiqued glass, or white, with tiny white lights. I am going to add a few of these this year.

Wrapping: I think I will go for layered white, silver and gold tissue paper with ribbon, to match the tree. DD will do home-made gift tags with a gold potato-print of a star or tree or similar on one side. Since we probably won't be seeing many friends or family I don't need to worry about doing kilos of chutney/chilli chocolate truffles/homemade biscuits, though I may do them anyway, for me.

I am a sucker for the Christmas magazines but somehow our flat near Paris doesn't feel like the right location for all those pine cones and so on. I do have a lovely red wreath, like the berry one above but with glass jewels, but the flat has a dark red door so much of the effect will be lost.

What have I missed?

Jaquelinehyde Mon 26-Sep-11 13:36:47

Bella -- yes DH is in charge of all cooking, he is very good but very un-organised. So I shall stay well out of it and put all my energy into making the house look poncey enough grin

I have a huge Holly tree in my back garden and I like the idea of making my own wreath. So I may start there although it will possibly end up looking like something the dcs have done.

thethighshaveit Mon 26-Sep-11 13:51:56

Please can I join in? I won't be hosting but will be at my mum's who is a high priestess of ponceness. I will be having some 'gatherings' over the festive period and would also like try some of the wonderful sounding things you are all going to make.

Cucumber Mousse Parcels for ProlificWillyBreeder...

½ medium cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into tiny dice
1tsp salt
1 tbls tarragon, or wine vinegar
3 sheets leaf gelatine
3 tbsp water, hot
150 ml whipping cream
250g cream cheese
1½ tspchives, fresh, chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped

Line 4 ramekins or dariole moulds with lightly oiled clingfilm and then line these with strips of smoked salmon, leaving no gaps. Make sure you have some hanging over to cover the bottom.

Mix the cucumber, salt and vinegar together in a bowl. Then turn the mixture into a colander, put a heavy plate on top and leave for an hour at least. Remove the plate and press the cucumber with a clean cloth to get the last of the liquid away.

Dissolve the gelatine in hot water and whisk in the cream gradually until the mixture is smooth and very thick, but not stiff. Beat in the cream cheese.

Stir in the cucumber. Taste the mixture and add a little more vinegar and salt if necessary, but be careful to overdo neither. Sometimes a couple of pinches of caster sugar will help to bring out the flavour; this depends on how good the cucumber was to start with.

Add a good grinding of black pepper and the chopped chives and spring onion.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared mould, cover the mousse with the overhanging smoked salmon and leave overnight in the refrigerator to set.
Turn out carefully on to plates and remove the clingfilm.

This mousse recipe can easily be doubled and quadrupled, Also, for canapés, make bitesized balls of the mousse mixture and wrap a bit of salmon round, securing with a tied chive.

girlywhirly Mon 26-Sep-11 15:22:34

Jacqueline, you will find it easier if you don't make your wreath totally of holly, because it is so prickly it is hard to work with, especially if you wear thick gloves. If you make the wreath with fir, and other evergreens you can put sprigs of holly in amongst it while still keeping the circular shape.

I would strongly recommend that you look at a few floristry books that show you in pictures how to make a wreath from fresh materials; it is quite time consuming and there are some things you will need to buy before you start. (Trust me, I'm a trained florist!)

aStarInStrangeways Mon 26-Sep-11 16:07:12

thereistheball oh yes, a Christmas Day walk is absolutely necessary, although in my case it's to get away from my family for a bit grin Greenwich Park for us.

sybilvimes Mon 26-Sep-11 16:43:03

Excellent to see this thread back in action.

I learnt how to crochet last year just so that I could make some snowflakes that were linked to on here.

This year I am making knitted and crocheted (is that a word??) wreaths for the internal doors leading from the hallway. They are pretty bloody fab, even if I do say so myself.

The raspberry gin, blackberry gin and sloe gin are all on the go as is the christmas pudding vodka. Delia's christmas cake is the project for this weekend.

I was thinking of buying a de-hydrator for the orange slices etc. Can anyone recommend one?

LadyInPink Mon 26-Sep-11 16:46:36

I agree. A Christmas day/Boxing day walk is non negotiable in our house. Everyone you meet is in such a great mood and it's the only way to digest the amount of food I cook grin

OracleInaCoracle Mon 26-Sep-11 16:50:33

Oh yes, a walk here too. We go for a walk on christmas eve (while jack frost drops off presents) then another on boxing day. This year we are living in the countryside, so much nicer!

OracleInaCoracle Mon 26-Sep-11 16:50:33

Oh yes, a walk here too. We go for a walk on christmas eve (while jack frost drops off presents) then another on boxing day. This year we are living in the countryside, so much nicer!

prolificwillybreeder Mon 26-Sep-11 17:08:14

Rock that sounds amazing! What a corker!
Thank you so much smile

<waves at lissielou hope you are well>

Squitch Mon 26-Sep-11 17:09:40

We usually go for a walk Christmas Eve to look at the lights round and about. When I was young dad always took us out for a walk after Christmas lunch (I think to tire us out so we would go to bed at a reasonable time) - i remember some fantastic walks so I might reintroduce that tradition this year

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 18:59:02

I think I'm going to get 24 Christmas books (I've seen some good deals on used lots from Amazon, etc.) and wrap one up for DS each night. Then we can have cuddles and read a new Christmas book together in the evenings. Buying them is a one-time deal because you can use the same books in different order in subsequent years.

I don't like the thought of wasting all that paper, come to think of it, so maybe I will hide the book every night and he can find it. smile

Love Christmas day/night walks! We go for a Christmas Eve drive with cocoa and cookies to see the lights, but a walk in the morning would be lovely.

Georgimama Mon 26-Sep-11 19:59:58

Just had flyer through for Bath Theatre Royal pantomime today - so exciting, going to book matinee for day after school breaks up (21st).

Georgimama Mon 26-Sep-11 20:03:29

Just had flyer through for Bath Theatre Royal pantomime today - so exciting, going to book matinee for day after school breaks up (21st).

sybilfaulty Mon 26-Sep-11 20:14:09

You can make very good canapes with pumpernickel / dark rye bread. Cut into squares, mix creme fraiche with good glug of horseradish, dollop on, arrange salmon on top and dab on a few of the Ikea pretend caviar eggs. Delish, very quick and rye bread keeps forever unopened and only needs cutting.

Christmas day walk compulsory here, ideally to get away from my MIL but she often decides to come with and thwarts my plans. We often count wreaths and Christmas trees. I love a good nosey through people's windows. On our travels last year (sans MIL) two sets of neighbours invited us in for a qjuick drink. I came home more sozzled than I intended, which was not ideal but great fun.

No kitchen here at the moment (boo!) but will have fantastic new kitchen for christmas (hurray!) so am planning what I will cook once I am in the new one. My mum is saving jars for my chutney and chilli jam. Nigella's chilli jelly is very easy and looks fab. Hugely recommend it.

sybilfaulty Mon 26-Sep-11 20:15:20

Cheerful Yank Thanks for the sand dollar pic - very pretty and nope, I don't know what we call them in the UK either!

AmaraDresden Mon 26-Sep-11 20:43:36

I'm a certified disaster in the kitchen. Absolutely terrible.

However I've started making my tree decs, will be doing them for family too, have blackberry vodka and christmas pud vodka on the go, I plan on doing Limoncello this week if I can find a recipe I like.

I confess that it is impossible to stop DP plastering my photo frames etc with tinsel. He's a law unto himself!

This is going to be the first year I have ever cooked christmas dinner and it is filling me with utter dread after the nightmare I just had in the kitchen today!

Jaquelinehyde Mon 26-Sep-11 21:03:46

girly thanks for the tips, I shall get a good book from the library and swat up before I start trying.

Amara - I posted an idiots guide to doing the turkey upthread, (not that I am suggesting you are an idiot, merely that an idiot could follow it) have a look at that for some ideas...

AmaraDresden Mon 26-Sep-11 21:23:15

Thanks RockStock, I don't think I'm going to do turkey, purely because it'll only be for two adults. I do enjoy turkey though, but not sure how I can still get good meat but very small. I'm really quite clueless lol. I'm not good at figuring out what to do with leftovers either and money will be an issue as we have a houseful to cater for Boxing day - I tried turkey leftovers last year and it didn't get touched sad

dearprudence Mon 26-Sep-11 21:54:38

I will also be nicking the glass jar/cranberry centrepiece from fellatio - already added to my mood board.

Great ideas for nibbles rock, esp the parmesan pastry.

FellatioNelson Mon 26-Sep-11 22:03:10

I am feeling the heavy weight of responsibility over the cranberry thing now. confused

Have those of you who have made Nigella's chilli jam found that it is very runny, really more like chilli dipping sauce than jam? I have made it a few times now and always found that. It's still very nice, but even after adding extra pectin it's not really very jam like...

And so you should Fellatio we will collectively be wiping out all known supplies as per a mad Delia products rush, but this time it will be the Fellatio Rush, which could have people concerned that they are missing out.

Amara ok - how about, either a crown roast for you two and then with left overs (there will be some) you can freeze and come back to it, making a fricassé later on. Or maybe do a lovely 2 or 3 rib of beef and the leftovers from that will be fab the next day - can be used in so many ways depending on what sort of feast you are planning.

Starshaped Mon 26-Sep-11 22:11:51

Just marking my place.

It's our first Christmas since having DD and I'm determined to make it one to remember. Yes, I know she won't remember anything or have a blinking clue what's going on but I don't care. I love Christmas!

I am also pinching the cranberry centrepiece idea.

Has anyone had any success with using citrus fruit on a wreath? I did a Sarah Raven design involving limes last year, but found that the limes went manky very quickly (within a few days). It looked fab but only very briefly and it was a reasonable amount of faffing about with florist's wire for a few days' appeal...

AmaraDresden Mon 26-Sep-11 22:16:57

Oohh we love beef rock, and at least one of the children will eat that (they're fussy and won't touch much meat), but what is rib of beef? Do I get that from a local butcher? Thank you, you're being very helpful!

AmaraDresden Mon 26-Sep-11 22:16:57

Oohh we love beef rock, and at least one of the children will eat that (they're fussy and won't touch much meat), but what is rib of beef? Do I get that from a local butcher? Thank you, you're being very helpful!

FellatioNelson Mon 26-Sep-11 22:23:16

If your citrus fruits have gone manky you didn't dry them thoroughly enough. A very low, very slow oven for a long time is what you need. A bit tricky if you need to use it for actual food though....

I have high hopes that a dehydrator will dry my fruit this year. I'll report back grin.

Local butcher is definitely the best bet - it will be a good piece of meat, which makes seconds and leftovers all the better as well. Have a look about a third down the page - it's the first pic after the text.

You can buy the Rib (i.e. on the bone), which is nicer as it just has a better flavour from being cooked on the bone. Or you can get a rolled rib.

I always get it on the bone. I mix up some plain flour (tbls), generous seasoning and a tsp of English mustard powder and then I pat it down all over the fatty bit. It crisps up beautifully when cooking. I am salivating as I type! How long you cook per pound will depend on two things - 1. how you like your beef cooked and 2. how heavy it is - the heavier it is (as with any joint of meat) the less time per pound is applied.

Yorkshires can be made in advance and frozen, simply reheating just before you eat. And if you are confident, get some beef bones from the butcher too and make yourself a rich beef stock to go into the meat juices from cooking, when you make the gravy - you'll have lots of stock, but it's always handy to have it to lob in a stew or soup here and there.

Thanks, Fellatio - the Sarah Raven one was meant to be with fresh limes rather than drying them first (unless this was a wild misunderstanding on my part!) and to be hung somewhere cool. I had it in the porch where it looked great for about two days then went icky. I will have another look at the book this year to see if I missed something.

All oven-dried fruit has been great, this just didn't really work...

Notsurehow Mon 26-Sep-11 22:28:58

Rock-PLEASE add this to the recipes section so I can find it easily when I am desperate? Mwah!

Yep - I always do my fruit over night, but always leave the oven door slightly wedged open so they don't totally shrivel.

Which ones - all of them?

Ah, the lime wreath was like this - www.sarahraven.com/shop/make-your-own-wreath-kit.html. But with limes. And mould.

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 22:42:13

I'm going to do the cranberry centerpiece too, but for Thanksgiving as well. I'll do three: one cranberry, one with dried lemon and orange slices, and one with buckeyes. Do you call them conkers? T'will be very autumnal. smile

Yes yes I know it is a Christmas thread. But T-Day comes first here! And how cute are these ?

<gets coat>

dementedma Mon 26-Sep-11 22:44:45

love this thread. I have plum vodka underway but have yet to do the cake. usually do it in October half term.DD1 does really poncetastic wrapping paper, last years was white with gold stars and silver ribbons and tiny bells and white feathers!! Good Food magazine is my saviour.
Everything, but everything, has to be ready for Carols from Kings on Christmas Eve - then we are underway.

Notsurehow I've put a load in there just now for you. If you need any others in there, let me know and I'll do it.

MartyrStewart Mon 26-Sep-11 23:05:51

Yank, those pumpkin cakes are adorable smile

I have made my first crayon roll, it's a bit shonky but will upload a pic when I get a sec.

Pay day Friday, so I have a zillion things I want to buy. I can't believe it's nearly October shock

Alouiseg Mon 26-Sep-11 23:13:19

Marking my place. <<shakes blackberry sake>>

MartyrStewart Mon 26-Sep-11 23:16:36

That sounds vaguely threatening Alouiseg grin

Alouiseg Mon 26-Sep-11 23:20:48

Which is the state I'll probably be in after sampling the Sake ;-)

CointreauVersial Mon 26-Sep-11 23:24:59

Christ on a bike, eleven pages of festive poncetasticity in only two days.

I am marking my place because I have done naff all preparation for Christmas. I haven't recovered from the summer holidays yet.

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Sep-11 23:37:39

Thanks Martyr ! (Izzat you BandT? wink) They apparently have a rum caramel glaze. <drools>

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I may explode from ponciness. I believe it will be well worth it. grin

MartyrStewart Mon 26-Sep-11 23:39:56

Yes it's me wink

I am very envy that you get to ponce over Thanksgiving and Christmas grin

QBEE Tue 27-Sep-11 08:47:38

This is a marvellous thread! I adore all the out-poncingness of it.

May I ask when is an acceptable date to get out the tree? Also, how many trees are too many? Is a mix of real and faux workable if you have more than one? Would 500 small white fairy lights on a seven footer be appropriate/too much/not enough?

So many tree questions...
<seeks help>

girlywhirly Tue 27-Sep-11 10:31:12

Amara, I have found that you can use up left-over turkey in pretty much any recipe that uses raw chicken/turkey. You just have to be meticulous about re-heating it properly. We have made leftovers successfully into chasseur, risotto, curry, canneloni, chinese style in sauce, and mexican fajitas or enchiladas. These are good ways of using less attractive but tasty leg and wing meat, especially as you will need smaller or chopped meat for these recipes. You can reheat breast slices in a sauce of red wine and cranberry sauce/jelly, thickened with cornflour.

QBEE, I think it's a good idea to get out your tree, lights and decs a good while before Christmas to check them over, make sure they're working and none are broken/need replacing etc. There have been sad tales of decs destroyed by mice, leaking sheds etc. Next month would be good.

I've known people who have a tree in each room of their home! Don't think it matters if one of those is real and the rest are faux. Think the amount of lights is OK for a 7ft tree, but if in doubt try it out. I tend to zig-zag my tree lights across the tree, so if you find there are not enough you can position most on the front and sides. My reasoning is that on a very bushy tree, the ones at the back won't shine through.

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 11:02:00

QBEE it is my opinion you can't have too many trees!

billgrangersrisotto Tue 27-Sep-11 11:57:39

Delighted to see this thread again! Many happy hours of reading and being poncey to come!

Would anyone be kind enough to send me a pinterest invite? I will PM my email to you if you are lovely and say yes!

Also - top tips for cheap glass bottles and jars for homemade fruit vodkas etc. anyone? Or do you just use the bottles they came in? We're on a tight budget this year so I am thinking of homemade gifts but at the moment it's seeming like it could actually work out to be more expensive once I've bought the empty bottles and all the ingredients. Recommendations for which vodka to use?


tiddlerslate Tue 27-Sep-11 12:04:04

I've just had a Cox and Cox catalogue through my letterbox so am ready for some Christmas poncing.

I will need alcohol in large quantities as DH wants to ask his parents to come to ours for Christmas. This is a big deal as they are the Scrooge family. They don't even have a Christmas tree. In fact they hate Christmas. Sigh.

Some truly fantastic recipes up thread. I am taking notes.

Alouiseg Tue 27-Sep-11 12:06:20

I Can send a Pinterest invitation if you'd like. Pm me your email.

billgrangersrisotto Tue 27-Sep-11 13:42:29

Thanks Alouise! Have PMd you.

winefairy Tue 27-Sep-11 13:59:05

Cox and Cox catalogue here too.......with 25% off. Well it would almost be rude not to really, wouldn't it?!

Really tempted to get rid of most some of my baubles and replace them with a mix of these, these and these purely because I love the set of eight little matching bud glasses.

And I really like these advent stickers for the kitchen window.

And these lights. But they are fifty pounds. Fiiiiiifty pounds.

tiddlerslate Tue 27-Sep-11 14:16:05

Winefairy - I didn't notice the 25% off!! The whole catalogue is ponce heaven.

Tiddlerslate, my ILs are quite possibly the worst ever ( my DH is actually OK , it's just his parents . )
They came to our house a few years ago , wanted to know could they bring anything ? Well yes . Suggested they bring a couple of bottles of Champagne . Simples .
What do they actually bring ?
( And I'm shuddering as I write ) mini kievs, party eggs and pringles . Eeeeeuw .
Also , in case we were thirsty some alcohol free bucks fizz ( why ? )
which was out of date .
As DH poured the brown sludge into their glasses I almost snarled ..." Make them drink it ."
They haven't been since ,
So DH and the fact he likes tinsel is sadly only to be expected

dolceebanana Tue 27-Sep-11 14:29:11

Ooh..can I join? I so love Christmas. I am in a rented heap at the moment but we've just bought a wonderful ramshackle Cotswold cottage, and so I am really imagining Christmas en famille, (once we have renovated and extended), there. My credentials for being truly poncetastic can be summarised in that my vision for our new abode is 'The English Home' meets 'Living etc', rather than 'Country Living' (okay, Georgiesmama?). I like to think Kevin would approve.
Oh, and I adore Turkey for The Lunch, Goose Christmas Eve, and we always make Nigel's Christmas cake....do love a bit of Nige. Er, the DCs always have new suitably festive pj's for the month of Dec (Boy - raspberry check, girls various raspberry sprigged) and I do like a bit of subtle festive crockery....sorry I'm rambling .......

winefairy Tue 27-Sep-11 15:12:34

Tiddlers, I saw the 25% off and nearly combusted. There is so much I want this time. So, so much.

Winefairy I don't know whether I wish to kiss you or punch you for the link to this catalogue wink

Damn you.

Starshaped Tue 27-Sep-11 16:43:06

Winefairy / Tiddlers Is there a voucher code for Cox and Cox or is the 25% off just in the catalogue? I can't see any discount on the website but might be being thick.

ForYourDreamsAreChina Tue 27-Sep-11 16:44:49

Be warned though, I bought the Cox and Cox Scandi inspired reindeer paper roll last year (was red/white inspired wrapping last year) and it was horrid.

A hooooge disappointment. Too much space between the red reindeers. It looked a bit like wallpaper.

I noticed it was in the catalogue again this year....

I'm going old fashioned red and green this year I think. I'm feeling a bit retro 70s.

Which reminds me, someone paaaaaages ago asked about coloured, but not led lights, what about vintage on ebay? I drool over the 70s carriages with coloured lights inside. Reminds me of my Gran.

FellatioNelson Tue 27-Sep-11 16:48:45

My sister has a big box of vintage decorations that belonged to my grandparents and they had the same ones for the whole of our lives - right back to the 50's I think some of them were from. They are absolutely divine.

Stokey38 Tue 27-Sep-11 16:49:03

Can I join too? Very excited! TK Maxx have got some brilliant crackers in at the moment and also for all things Christmas and vintage inspired try Etsy, have some amazing things on there.

glitterkitty Tue 27-Sep-11 16:50:51

<holds finger in air in manner of tiresome pedant>

Can we just clarify our terms of reference please? I thought 'poncey' was spending literally hours researching & laboriously hand crafting twig/knitted decorations and weaving xmas vodka.

Or does it in fact mean spending £££ on non-reusable advent window stickers a la Pedlars?!?!?

I cannot start project planning if I do not have clarity on the expected outputs.

girlywhirly Tue 27-Sep-11 17:19:23

glitterkitty, I think it depends how you pull the 'look' together, and sometimes it involves hours and £££ and sometimes not. (But it needs to look as if it has!)

winefairy Tue 27-Sep-11 17:26:29

Rockstock It's lush, isn't it? I do love everything they do (with the possible exception of the reindeer wrapping, by all accounts!). Feel free to kiss me. I owe you one back anyway for the link to the mini muffin tins and the luscious Yorkshire Pudding idea!

Starshaped The discount is printed on the front of the brochure but there is no actual code or information on how to claim it. I need to call them and shall let you all know. It's valid until the beginning of November though.

GossipWitch Tue 27-Sep-11 17:44:52

£90 for a turkey!!
<picks bottom jaw off the floor>

trumpton Tue 27-Sep-11 18:05:17

Oh! FelliatioNelson our Christmas lights were bought for DH's first christmas to put around his cot that had been built by his Grandad.

My Dad was a electrical engineer and has rendered them safe !! They are multi coloured plastic bells. Only used for an hour or so at a time and never left unattended. ( sorry dad, I do trust your work honestly.)

DH was 60 this year and our Grandson sleeps in the same cot ( built by his G-G-Grandfather)

Our tree is always a real one and is covered in a mismatch of playgroup and school decorations with a few special ones from years ago.

I buy or make each ( grown-up) child a new decoration every year so they too can have a glorious technicoloured mismatched tree.

This year I am knitting Norweigan baubles. ( more time than sense !)

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 18:06:26

I was looking at the Cox and Cox website last night (as I suddenly remembered their poncetastic catalogue from last year) - it's expensive though and with minimal googling you can normally find whatever they're selling for less - though it is great for inspiration

tiddlerslate Tue 27-Sep-11 18:21:44

Very true Squitch. I was about to go ponce googling when DD2 fell out of bed so nap time was over way to quick...

ForYourDreamsAreChina Tue 27-Sep-11 18:32:14

Definitely true, Squitch, goes for NotOnTheHighStreet as well. I drooled over some poncey Scandinavian candle holder tealighty things last year....£9.99 on NOTHS, 99p for one and £1.24 for the other from ebay!

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 18:41:07

I want to get this for my DD (she loves stones)

Cox and Cox



Spookily the same!

winefairy Tue 27-Sep-11 19:05:36

It's true sometimes, I'm afraid. For Cox and Cox and NOTHS. Although feel vindicated as my baubles and bud doodahs are all 'Exclusive to Cox and Cox'. sucker emoticon

Ok Winefairy I'd say we had evened out with those two then!

I am actually beyond excited at all this mail order stuff. I've not been able to justify it for the past 8 years as the delivery costs to Spain were crazy if they did deliver here. But.....now we'll be back, I can play play play grin

MsPrufrock Tue 27-Sep-11 20:27:07

Greetings fellow Christmas-a-holics.
A quick plea. PLEASE don't mention any lovely things you are making or doing without a weblink. I am literally sitting here in panting anticipation reading about some of the stuff you guys are making or doing, and I can hardly google for myself as I am too excited.
Crocheted snowflake wreath things?
Pickled plums with star anise?
Plum liquor?
Above all, a COX and COX DISCOUNT CODE?

For the love of god and all things festive, please share links / info.

Alouiseg Tue 27-Sep-11 20:37:03

I have created a (so far empty) board on Pinterest and called it Poncetastic so we can add any thing we like to fill up the board and use it as a frame of reference for all this lovely stuff on the thread. My Pinterest name is Anna Louise - If you need a Pinterest invitation PM me and ill send you one. in the mean time i shall attempt to stock the board.

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 20:41:49

I'm on pinterest too if anyone wants a gander


Alouiseg Tue 27-Sep-11 20:46:21

Im already following you, you Pinterest Queen, Now I'm going to repin all your lovely things on my Poncetastic board :O

snice Tue 27-Sep-11 20:51:42

this is all very intriguiing -I've never made stuff for Christmas before but you're making it sound feasible!

What could I do with a load of damsons I've just foraged? Damson gin or something? any good ideas gratefully received

Damson Gin - absobloodylutely. Divine stuff.

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 21:02:09

Ooooo a keep up with my pinning challenge! I am a pinning whore sad

Alouiseg Tue 27-Sep-11 21:04:08

I've only discovered it recently, its like window shopping on speed!

billgrangersrisotto Tue 27-Sep-11 21:14:18

Alouise, thanks v much for the pinterest invite. I have cracked on and already repinned a few of your bits (and LOADS of squitch's!). Am v excited about how poncey I am going to be this Christmas! Limoncello is the first thing on the list.....

Squitch Tue 27-Sep-11 21:17:52

Ha ha it is like that! And weirdly, before this thread I had NO followers - I have properly pimped myself out this year!

Right back to poncyness - do people dress for Christmas. I always buy DD something new and party dressy and I usually put something reasonable on, but I'm thinking that this year I might go all out and actually get 'dressed up' (not as a pirate or anything). Will just have to persuade DP

Alouiseg Tue 27-Sep-11 21:31:08

Lots of outfits! Glamorous pjs for Christmas morning followed by a pre prandial frock and make up. Boxing day needs a proper country walking outfit for the Barrell Hunt followed by more frockage for more lunch.

I have teenage ds' - therefore zero control over their outfits.

FellatioNelson Wed 28-Sep-11 07:27:38

What is the Barrell Hunt? confused I have just requested an invite on Pinterest. I'm not sure what that means exactly - will they just email me with details of how to sign up? I can see that site could get addictive.

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 28-Sep-11 07:44:40

I wear a frock for the one and only time in the whole year for Christmas Day.

What is this pinterest thingy? <runs off to join anyway, if it ponces, it's good enough for me>

ForYourDreamsAreChina Wed 28-Sep-11 07:47:12

Oh my.

<dribbles at Squitch's page> (and reaches for credit card)

minervaitalica Wed 28-Sep-11 09:05:05

Hello can I join?

I am dreadfully behind with everything this year (except a few Xmas presents which I have secured), but I think I qualify as a true ponce because:
1 - homemade pud, pies, shortbread and Xmas cake which everyone in my Italian family HAVE to eat
2 - Homemade decorations with some careful additions from Austrian Xmas markets which are only about 1 hr drive-away from here.
3 - 7 course meal on xmas day, including an orange and cardamom aperitif decorated with edible golden stars (gold being part of our colour scheme)
4 - Cheeseboard for boxing day is carefully discussed and agreed with owner of local fromagerie and enhanced with local chestnut/lavender honeys, homemade flatbreads and walnut and parmesan biscuits which are to die for (great with red onion chutney too).

<awaits MN verdict>

sybilvimes Wed 28-Sep-11 09:42:45

The crochet snowflake pattern is here Rnbsmums posted them last year and they are the first thing I have ever been able to crochet, the instructions are very clear.

As for the wreath, that is from a simply knitting pattern, but I will try to get a picture put up and if anyone is interested I could possible type out the instructions and pm them?

Alouiseg Wed 28-Sep-11 10:04:57

The Barrel Hunt is a village idiot version of the proper boxing day hunt. All us village idiots locals meet at the pub with dogs, kids and hangers on. We have a swift mulled wine then head off into the woods where the landlord has hidden a barrel (is it barrel or barrell?). We then roll it back to the pub where people carry on drinking. At this point I form a breakaway party to my house for winter cocktails lunch.

EightToSixer Wed 28-Sep-11 10:06:05

Most wonderfully poncetastic thread.
Last year my friend had some threaded cranberries on string and wire, but they were hard, not fresh. Does anyone know how to do this? She thinks the cranberries were varnished or something to preserve them and dried? But they looked whole, not like dried wrinkled cranberries. Any clues. They were very wonderful and poncey.

Alouiseg Wed 28-Sep-11 10:07:30

Minervaitalica Seven courses! <<bows in awe>>

billgrangersrisotto Wed 28-Sep-11 10:16:28

Minerva- IMHO that all sounds supremely poncey!! Cheeseboard AMAZING. But for a full ponce-tastic rating, you will have to wait for FN's verdict (I'm not qualified to judge really).

Queenkong Wed 28-Sep-11 10:28:50

Hello, I'm hoping to pop my poncey Christmas cherry and am getting lots of ideas here. Am particularly taken with the Xmas pud vodka. Can someone please post their recipe?

I am in this year since I have been lurking round the Christmas topic since August grin

Any poncetastic ideas are greatly welcome

<whispers I have never had a poncetastic Christmas before>

Alouiseg Wed 28-Sep-11 11:11:18

I think we've broken Pinterest! I keep getting error messages.

I blame Squitch you've over loaded it wink

Fubble Wed 28-Sep-11 11:48:38

Happy Poncetastic Christmas to you all - discovered last year's thread in July time when I stating having Christmas thoughts, have been loving the new thread these past few days - I feel it will be key to ensuring the fubble home is full of Poncetasticness this year!

I thought it was just me suffering from the Pinterest woes this morning - happy we've all helped to break it!

Seeing as I can't pin things, was "researching" for some lovely things and have come across the most un-poncetastic item ever (apart from tinsel!)

Have a look here

winefairy Wed 28-Sep-11 11:54:13

Broken Pinterest here too. I suspect it's because they are doing the revamp thing that they have been threatening to do for the last week or so. I hope the changes include being able to reorder your pins on a board although I suspect not. Drives me mad that you can't do that.

Squitch Wed 28-Sep-11 12:10:15

I sort of want that Fubble - so bad it's nearly gone all the way back round again. I must confess that i do put out Christmas hand towels in the bathroom, but they are really just plain white ones that i sewed a ribbon across the top and a felt holly leaf.

Pinterest kept doing that to me yesterday (and is still doing it today) i suspect it's the 'changes' as well. I will point out though that i was trying to pin something yesterday and it kept coming up with the error message, so being the relaxed person i am I just kept repinning it for oh, about10 minutes. It may have said it didnt work but last night I had to delete about 500 of the same pin! - be warned (actually reading that, perhaps it is me that's broken it <sob>)

girlywhirly Wed 28-Sep-11 12:22:18

Amazed that you can get off your chair after seven courses, Minerva!

Fubble, that loo seat cover and mat are hilarious! Although if it encourages reluctant DC to use the loo it might just be worth it, accompanied by The Snowman loo roll. To be fair there's a limit to how much you can poncify a loo.

I am wondering about making a Christmas tree skirt to replace the totally unponcy one I have already. I am thinking of gold velvet and brocade or organza, with some sort of beading or other embellishment. Am I mad? Our cat likes to furkle around under the tree skirt, thinks there must be small furry things living underneath, will it get totally trashed?

EightToSixer Wed 28-Sep-11 12:32:54

Hahahahahahaha fubble. I'd be tempted to buy that unponcey bathroom set for the sheer glee of people's expressions at my suitably poncey drinks party.

Conkertree Wed 28-Sep-11 13:18:52

Loving the thread - havent read the whole thread yet but will catch up over time.

My poncetastic claim to fame is growing our own turkeys two years ago - thinking about doing the same this year (although the last time we got filmed doing it for a bbc programme - surely that gives me some poncetastic points?)

Liked the gingerbread man string for the bannisters earlier in the thread. Might have to give that a go, and the plums are picked for plum vodka (although the recipe does come from the asda magazine so maybe lose some points for that).

Oh my goodness. I'm having a ponce crisis.

I haven't got a colour scheme yet <cries>

Sorry ladies, I have let you down. Will report back when I've given myself a good talking to and chosen some colours.

minervaitalica Wed 28-Sep-11 14:24:25

GIrly, who says I can actually stand up after 7 courses? Trouble is - this year I htink we have about 13 adults and 3 toddlers to cater for... It will require military precision methinks.

OK, I will not breed my own turkeys. That is a boundary I will not cross.

Starshaped Wed 28-Sep-11 14:53:34

Minervaitalica Can I come to you for Christmas? I'm drooling at the thought of that cheeseboard. Yum.

I'm beginning to doubt my own ponciness now. I've had the same colour theme for the last few years. I didn't realise people changed every year!

Can I join? I can do poncey (I think).

I make my own mincemeat, the cake and pudding and saltdough decorations. But I want to do more this year as I have bought lots of Christmassy fabric and intend to make stockings and a small quilt.

But I am willing to listen and learn from all you better ponces.

LadyGrace Wed 28-Sep-11 15:52:47

Oh, this is the thread for me!

Christmas pudding vodka on the go, chutney in the cupboard and I have just added some handmade (not by me) wooden Eastern European Christmas tree decs to my collection.

girlywhirly Wed 28-Sep-11 16:37:06

It's OK Starshaped, you don't have to change your colour theme every year, only if it clashes with new decor!

I make mincemeat, and sugar crust pastry for mincepies, proper vanilla ice-cream made with egg custard and double cream; also chestnut stuffing and carrot and parsnip puree which are frozen in advance for Christmas lunch. I cook a gammon joint which we have hot on Christmas eve, and it provides cold meat after that.

I made a throw for the sofa last Christmas, and usually make a floral centrepiece for the dinner table, but shopping for fresh flowers was thwarted by the snow last year.

I try to make some sort of wreath or similar for by the front door, and customise bought decorations. If you buy a plain faux wreath or garland, you can decorate them as you wish and simply remove the decs and replace with different the next year. I have a box of inexpensive baubles and stuff for outside decs, doesn't matter if they get snowed on as we have no porch. For inside wreaths and garlands, you can use much posher decs and people will think you have spent a fortune.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 28-Sep-11 19:30:20

Well, the raspberry gin has been made and the dried fruits for the Christmas cake are sucking up the brandy as we speak. It seemed very odd to be preparing the fruit this afternoon while it was 23 degrees outside!

And, I got a Cox & Cox brochure through the post today. I have never had one before and I know I haven't requested one from the website. How have they found about my Christmas ponceyness? <duh, duh, duuuuh>

The girls and me are getting together one night the week before Christmas for mulled wine, mince pie and wreath making. Mine will be spectacularly shite. I have NO floristry skills.

CheerfulYank Wed 28-Sep-11 19:31:35

I was planning red and green, but think I may be doing white. And blue. But mostly, white, white, white smile

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 28-Sep-11 19:34:03

Oh, and I remember someone mentioning chilli jam upthread. Lorraine Pascal made it on her programme on Monday night and it looked firm not runny. The recipe isn't on BBC.co.uk/food, but the episode is on Iplayer.

dementedma Wed 28-Sep-11 20:30:22

conkertree am using the Asda recipe too. Will let you know how i get on.
Am miles behind in the ponciness stakes, but enjoying reading what everyone else is up to.

dearprudence Wed 28-Sep-11 20:48:44

I was given some sloes today, so I'm going to do sloe gin rather than the planned blackberry vodka.

I also wanted to do my Christmas cake this weekend but now it's nice weather DH wants to go camping. I daren't tell him that I want to do Christmas preparations in September, so the cake will have to wait another week.

dearprudence Wed 28-Sep-11 20:53:06

I just saw this recipe for chilli jam on BBC good food. No pectin, but says if you cook it for long enough it goes thick.

Squitch Wed 28-Sep-11 20:57:59

Oh that's beautiful CheerfulYank - that's sort of my dream, but i'm more shabby than chic (isn't Christmas ironic really, if I didnt have a DD it wouldn't be nearly as much fun, but WAY more tidy stylish)

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Wed 28-Sep-11 20:59:19

I have my xmas cake in the oven, though I don't know what its going to be like as I left the fruit to macerate in brandy for 3 days and then licked the bowl clean afterwards blush actually feel quite light headed................

dearprudence Wed 28-Sep-11 21:08:09

Sounds delicious PrincessRoyal.

ThePrincessRoyalFiggyrolls Wed 28-Sep-11 21:21:27

I could actually have just eaten it like that blush grin

sybilfaulty Wed 28-Sep-11 21:23:43

Pru, Sat is actually October so a fine time to be Christmas planning.

Am watching with interest. Am thinking a few things through but no purchases as yet. Ikea'[s Christmas department is surprisingly traditional. I got lots of lovely decorations there but they sell out very quickly.

Did anyone have any luck with the Cox and Cox 25% off code~? I have the catalogue from about 3 weeks ago but sadly no discount for me.....

My sloe gin has been mellowing away for a week , just given it a stir .
And then licked the spoon .
For quality purposes only , you understand .
Very good.
Like the look of pinterest , waiting for my invitation.
Will be making a wreath for the first time , need to do a bit of foraging. But it's been boiling hot today .
How can I be poncetastic when I want to be sunbathing .
Need to look at some websites and make some lists.

Conkertree Wed 28-Sep-11 21:42:40

Yup have wanted to make a proper wreath for years but need some guidance so will watch with interest.

As an aside, I just asked dh what colour theme we should go with this year, and he didnt bat an eyelid. Think I may just have a poncetastic dh grin.

billgrangersrisotto Thu 29-Sep-11 08:17:43

Sybil (or anyone), any idea when Ikea Christmas stuff is available? I'm planning a trip next week and hoping it will all be there already....

ForYourDreamsAreChina Thu 29-Sep-11 09:07:15

Oh my word, thank you alouiseg for the pinterest invite. It might have been me breaking it by slobbering all over everything. I am even buying a new cooker this week in order to make things properly...old cooker has one setting which is centre-of-sun-hot.

girlywhirly Thu 29-Sep-11 09:16:43

My DH lets me have free rein to decorate however I like, although I don't get loads of new stuff every year and keep changing the colour schemes.

He is a happy bunny because the Wine Society's Christmas wine catalogue came in the post yesterday. He pores over it in the same way as we all pore over Christmas home designs magazines and gift and decoration catalogues. We should be in for some good wines over the festive season!

Goneonfortoolongnow Thu 29-Sep-11 09:43:23

Read more of this thread last night, had glass of wine, launched into cox and cox website and waitrose online... woke up this morning and gulped hard at the memory of clicking buy! Still lots of fab things for DS Christmas.

It is my first time christmas shopping in september and ITS ALL YOUR FAULT grin!

Will be telling DH, Mumsnet made me do it!

girlywhirly Thu 29-Sep-11 09:45:53

For those wanting to make a wreath, I have perused my floristry book collection, and two have clear pictures/illustrations of how to do it:

Paula Pryke's Wreaths and Garlands published by Ryland, Peters and Small.

The Complete Guide to Flower Arranging by Jane Packer published by Dorling Kindersley.

Paula's book includes some crafty items, such as wreaths using shells or dried natural items, Jane's has dried flower arrangements as well as fresh. I should warn you in advance that it can be a long and messy business making a fresh wreath from scratch, at college I had a slug on one hand and a snail on the other as well as mud, the sphagnum moss doesn't always come ready washed! I think this is why most florists don't bother to do them and buy in ready made, they can't afford to lose the man hours in the run up to Christmas. However, you could cheat a bit and use a florists foam wreath ring, then you can just push the stems into it. Another cheat is not to wire individual sprigs of foliage to push into the moss ring, but just to bind them on with reel wire, this works best for wreaths made only from fir, as it doesn't matter if they dry out a bit.

WorzselMummage Thu 29-Sep-11 10:15:10

I made a wreath last year, there are some good tutorials on YouTube.

You can order wreath rings and the florists wire on eBay for a few quid.

I made mine with yew and Holly and then dressed them up with glittery pine cones and gold bells, they looked really nice smile

girlywhirly Thu 29-Sep-11 10:50:07

Sounds lovely, Worzsel! One year, the birds picked all the holly berries off my wreath to eat.

Hobbycraft also do stuff for floristry.

mrspnut Thu 29-Sep-11 11:20:05

I've found my new home

flings herself to the floor and clings on for dear life

I am going to start making cards with the DC this weekend... any ideas?

Alouiseg Fri 30-Sep-11 09:32:16

I'm suspending myself from this thread, it's so hot and sunny outside I have banished all thoughts of Christmas.

See you on Tuesday!

Redumbdancy Fri 30-Sep-11 19:35:57

Am joining in, tried to last year but I was living in a small, crappy new build, this year I'll be in a big old Victorian Villa! Much more potential for a poncey Christmas this year.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 30-Sep-11 19:37:48

I know what you mean Alouise. I baked the Christmas cake yesterday and the oven was on for four fecking hours while it was 27 degrees outside!

My christmasy feelings have waned since the hot weather shock

mrspnut Fri 30-Sep-11 20:13:34

I'm planning a weekend of pottering in the kitchen making spiced apple chutney and chilli jam.

Squitch Fri 30-Sep-11 20:18:03

How dare it be nice weather and ruin our christmasy feelings! tch, bloody weather! I have not had the full benefit of the beautiful weather as I have a horrible cold so have been alternatively sweating and then shivering. So to cheer myself up today I have been buying lovely ribbon and fabric to make stuff with (that's 'stuff' with a lower case 's' as I have NO idea what exactly). I did start making a gingerbread man garland last night, but i got distracted and only made one, but I have all day Sunday to laze about and if it's still nice I am going to take my sewing machine outside and sit under the tree and do some making of nice poncey christmasy things (and piss the neighbours off)

dearprudence Fri 30-Sep-11 20:37:34

Agree - Summer has made a brief re-appearance, so Christmas goes on hold. Off camping for the weekend.

Normal ponciness will be resumed next week.

MsPrufrock Sat 01-Oct-11 12:25:16

Humph to the nice weather. My Christmas ponce-ness is undeterred, and I have been happily buying Christmas decorations (thanks for the Achica rec btw) and ribbon and stuff for wrapping, and have been making flavoured salt as presents.
Have we done flavoured salt? BRILLIANT homemade Christmas present as looks lovely, very easy to make and lasts forever so you can make it early, and stack up the kilner jars and feel all smug. I found 'recipes' online but I have some for Italian salt and stir-fry salt if anyone is interested? Going away tonight but can post tomorrow. Just made four jars and might die of feeling-pleased-with-self-ness.
I had a big epiphany reading this post this week, too. Every year I have been chastising myself that our house doesn't look like a scene from a Christmas film, and this year I finally realised that if I a) buy some more decorations and b) buy them early so I can assemble them / plan where they'll go and c) make some stuff, but make it all really early.... then together these simple steps might actually make a difference. As opposed to my previous plans which were basically : a) get Christmas decorations out in December. b) wish could buy more but have no time to do so. c) chastise self for pitifully un-Christmassy looking house.
I have also bought some of the plain willow wreaths from Cox and Cox, thinking I could stick stuff on the bottom of them, and tie ribbon round them, and maybe change them each year if I started to be overwhelmed by Christmas ponciness!

orientaltation Sat 01-Oct-11 14:06:19

OOh, I like the idea of flavoured salt. I'd love the recipe please. It sounds like an easy accomplishment! I know what you mean about being organised MrPru. I have DC3 due in November so that is my deadline for anything christmassy. I ordered my cake form a friend who does the yummiest one and focus on decorating and chutney this year. All things that can be done in advance and an investment for future years and christmas ease! <almost convincing myself here!>

girlywhirly Sat 01-Oct-11 15:07:44

I am going to put poncing on hold for a short while, so that we can have a last week end of barbeques. (I tried to have poncetastic bbq food this summer, but the eating outside bit was sadly lacking!)

girlywhirly Sat 01-Oct-11 15:11:22

The heat is getting to me, I've spelled barbecue wrong in previous post.

Hello from the USA. Man they have some tacky Chrimbo stuff here out in the sticks.

I have however purchased a 5" angel cookie cutter that i am going to make into an angel for the top of my tree. I am thnking it will look amazing with lots of white wired ribbon wrapped around it and some lights strategically placed. Will have to have a play when i get home.

Cox and cox code 25% off is:


Thank you Vesta1 who told me on another thread smile

moosemama Sun 02-Oct-11 13:41:10

Hello, am I allowed on the thread.

After a couple of less than satisfying Christmases, I am determined to regain my Christmas Mojo and do things right this year.

I did manage to make hampers for friends and family last year, that worked out quite well (picture on my profile - I think, if you can see it) but that was about it as far as ponce was concerned and if I'm honest, I left it too late to start, so even that was far more stressful than it should have been.

Thank you for introducing me to Pinterest. I have been looking for something like that for ages. I'm a demon for saving millions of images and links online but not having them organised in any usable format. I am also planning a large-ish vintage tea/garden party for our wedding anniversary next July and desperately need to be able to see and organise my ideas for my plans to start taking shape. Pinterest will be perfect for that as well as Christmas.

Now, I'm on the thread - if you'll have me. Keen as mustard, but don't have a clue where to start. Any advice from all you wonderful Poncetastic Christmas veterans?

moosemama Sun 02-Oct-11 13:57:16

Next question, does anyone know how long the Pinterest waiting list is at the moment?

Pinot Sun 02-Oct-11 14:03:33

If anyone wants a Pinterest invite, just PM em your email address smile

Pinot Sun 02-Oct-11 14:03:57



moosemama Sun 02-Oct-11 14:09:41

Thank you, that's really kind. smile

I have already requested via the link on their site though, is that likely to cause a problem, or will they just ignore that one?

dearprudence Sun 02-Oct-11 16:47:50

Yes please to Pinterest invite Pinot. I will PM you. I need a new theme for my dining room/day room.

Flavoured salt is a brilliant idea MsPrufrock. What size kilner jars do you put it in?

Pinot Sun 02-Oct-11 17:16:29

Invite sent, dearprudence smile

I wouldn't think it would cause a problem, moosemama - I'm happy to send you one of you want smile

moosemama Sun 02-Oct-11 17:36:56

Thank you Pinot. Will go and send you a PM now. smile

MsPrufrock Sun 02-Oct-11 20:50:59

Ok, flavoured salt!
The basic premise is this:
1. Take box of nice Maldon salt
2. Get with nice tasting stuff
3. Mix
4. Put in nice jar
5. Sit back and feel pleased.

But here are a couple of recipes I got from the Sainsbury's mag:

Mediterranean garlic salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 x 250g pack Maldon sea salt
zest 2 lemons
1 level tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
leaves from 4 large sprigs rosemary

Oriental chilli salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
7.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 250g pack Maldon sea salt
2 -3 level tablespoons crushed dried chillis
12 dried kaffir lime leaves, crumbled.

I also found a recipe online for fennel seed, lemon zest and chilli salt.

I have been putting them in 350ml kilner jars: one box of flavoured salt will fill 2, and the quantities above are easily doubled, so you can make 4 in one sitting. As I said above, the pros of making these are legion: reasonably cheap, keep for ever as far as I can make out, look attractive, quick and simple to throw together.....

Giganticusbottomus - curse your discount code! I have just done my order without it! wink grin

Alouiseg Sun 02-Oct-11 20:57:31

I like the salt idea. Sainsburys had some jars at half price this weekend.

Blatherskite Sun 02-Oct-11 21:25:38

Far too tired to read this now but marking place so I can come back and make copious notes have a read tomorrow. Loved last years thread smile

FellatioNelson Mon 03-Oct-11 07:08:11

Hello! How are you all all poncing without me? I am just a few days off moving abroad now, and very busy, butI did have time to pop into Lakeland (oh, Lakeland how I heart thee) and I bought some lovely hugely overpriced Christmas themed cupcake decorating bits and pieces so my DS can make cakes for all his new friends. I wanted to show you a lkink but they are not on the website. sad

Guess what! Fantastic news!!! The husband tells me that the Distribution Centre (the place stuck out in the desert where alcohol is sold to non-muslims only, under strict government control) has just started to sell PORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay! Christmas ham! Bacon sandwiches! Oh let joy be unconfined!!!!

(I am maybe a tad too excited about this.)

Alouiseg Mon 03-Oct-11 08:40:30

<<rolls eyes>> You're not even there yet and you're stressing about pork products. I have a friend who lived in Saudi and her FB timeline was full of pork related longing (fnaar) She also developed an obsession with Walkers crisps and used to go to Bahrain for the weekend just to stock up. Forewarned is forearmed smile

FellatioNelson Mon 03-Oct-11 08:56:48

Pork related longing? grin Yes, fnaar, and also arf and chortle. grin

Blatherskite Mon 03-Oct-11 13:41:50

So much to catch up on!!!

Right, have dug out Cake and pudding recipes (Delia's 1978 original and Nigella's Christmas book one for those interested) but really want Christmas Pudding charms to go in the pud this year just to up the poncey-ness.

Anyone seen any good ones?

Blathers Im really sorry havent posted your moulds yet. I'll be on it this week. Had mad week with appointments/scans etc.

I nearly bought these last year if they arent too much money?


moosemama Mon 03-Oct-11 14:28:07

I thought these had a bit more about them than most of the charms I've seen.

They do more sets but they are all quite a bit more expensive.

Haven't used the site myself, but they accept paypal, so you should be protected if you did want to buy off them.

moosemama Mon 03-Oct-11 14:28:42

Cross posts! grin

Blatherskite Mon 03-Oct-11 14:49:05

They're gorgeous. I'm just worried that they're a bit small as DD will be just 2 at Christmas.

I was considering getting a proper Silver sixpence instead...?

Apparently the nickel can make the pudding taste funny though

It does suggest putting them on a ribbon which I liked and also the fact that they came on a split ring so you could add it to a charm bracelet for DD each year? Although for that money I would be demanding them all back from my guests at the dinner table for next year!! Sixpence cant be attached to a ribbon or string so may be more choking risk?

prufrock - probably too late now but why not ring and ask them to apply it, say you haven't received goods yet and you are a regular customer, worth a try!

Taffeta Mon 03-Oct-11 18:15:25

moosemama - I have those Christmas pudding charms, I bought them from Cox and Cox a few years back. ( prob for twice the price, eejit ) I put them in a Christmas cake with ribbons on for pulling but they were very hard to get out - maybe easier with a pud. It would've helped if I hadn't royal iced it.

I am making a big attempt not to do everything too early this year. I shall be making the cake 1st week November, and making fresh mince pies in the lead up, not frozen from ones made in November.

The one thing I couldn't resist, however, was booking my online food shop. All booked with Waitrose for 22 Dec. Do I win a prize?

MsPrufrock Mon 03-Oct-11 20:42:18

GiganticusBottomus - got an email saying my order not gone through as card not been accepted. Yes, this means there is a possibility my account is out of cash, possibly related to this thread.... but my first thought was, 'Hurrah! Now I can re-do it, but with the code!' blush

Blatherskite Mon 03-Oct-11 20:46:55

I'm not sure about the ribbons. That website suggests you put them in after the pudding is cooked but we tend to flame ours which could be rather dangerous with a pudding covered in ribbon.

I'd have to cook the pudding, tuck charms into red hot pudding, then take it to the table and remove them to flame it before serving. Hardly seems worth it sad

Just seen your note about the mould too DoctorsWife. Thank you

moosemama Mon 03-Oct-11 20:58:21

Blatherskite this site suggests wrapping each charm in greaseproof paper, so they can easily be seen and making sure everyone is warned they are in there. Not as pretty as attaching ribbon, but would get around the flaming problem, iyswim. grin

You would still have to check dd's before she started eating, but everyone else shoudl be ok.

YAY (and boo) but mainly YAY prufrock grin

Squitch Mon 03-Oct-11 23:00:32

After a mountainous amount of pinning I have now actually made something! I've popped a picture on my profile. Be kind, I'm not the worlds best sewer (is that a word, it looks all wrong?) and i was aiming intentionally for the shabby look (honestly gov). One down three thousand to go!

dearprudence Mon 03-Oct-11 23:27:43

Oh Squitch that's fab! Well done you.

I have made nothing except a lot of lists and I'm making CDs for my sisters - tonight I've been mostly spending a small fortune downloading extra songs from iTunes ready to make the playlists.

dearprudence Mon 03-Oct-11 23:29:27

And I have started some pinterest boards. Thanks to Pinot for the invitation.

Starshaped Tue 04-Oct-11 11:25:08

Ooh, thank you for sharing the Cox and Cox code*Giganticus*. I am going to spend this afternoon perusing and purchasing some overpriced and unnecessary festive ponciness!

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 14:15:03

Right I have completed the Christmas shopping for the children, and now have time to dedicate myself to frillier offerings so this thread has the honour of being first ever bookmarked link on my new Goggle Chrome bowser.

Ponce away.

minervaitalica Tue 04-Oct-11 14:37:43

More Xmas shopping done here too! Still totally behind on decorations front. It does not help that here there will be no Xmas stuff around until after All Saints.

Definitely want to make a wreath for the table though - the Austrian type, with the candles for advent etc etc. and one for the door (berries? Still undecided).

FairyQueenOfStrops Tue 04-Oct-11 16:04:50

Have bought twin niece and nephew their Xmas gifts this week and have lists for the others - DD almost bought for, YAY!!

Made one of those advent table wreaths last year, well it was on a plate with the holly and ivy entwined around the candles - looked lovely so will def do again. Also decorate the fireplace with ivy and holly which looks gorgeous but makes lighting it a bit difficult - things we do in the name of ponciness grin

Halloween decorating is foremost in my mind atm tho as go overboard for that too

I am now on Pinterest ! and seem to have wasted most of my afternoon browsing it. I am now far too excited

Squitch that looks brilliant. Ive only got five more gifts to buy then i'm starting on some felt decorations and food to freeze. Ive bought a steak suet pudding and it has a hefty plastic pudding basin.

How do i make xmas pud in it? I mean so its done and warmable for xmas?

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 04-Oct-11 16:50:31

Pinterest is fab; am collecting dieas and want to get some of my own stuff on soon too

moosemama Tue 04-Oct-11 17:20:27

I have been invited to join Pinterest now as well, thank you Pinot. grin

Unfortunately, I have had no time to actually join or do any more Christmassy shopping so far this week. Harrumph!

I did do a bit at the weekend though:

* Ordered some red and white baker's twine and plain white wrapping paper to go with the red and white striped paper I bought last year and still have 20m left of.

* invested in a couple of metres of red felt for craft and card making purposes

* mulled over the idea of making felt-bead jewellery presents for a few of the ladies in the family, plus possibly some felt garlands for decoration purposes.

Haven't bought any big presents yet, but have quite a few stocking fillers for the dcs. Planning to order the bulk of the dcs presents at end of October when dh gets his bonus - if the boys will ever settle on what they want that is. hmm

Dd (2.6) is a little easier, as I want to buy her a beautiful dolls house across Christmas and her birthday (which is in January). Problem is, I want to buy every single one I see and every room set and accessory too! blush

Squitch, I love your gingerbread men. Your sewing is much better than mine.

moosemama Tue 04-Oct-11 22:51:35

Ok, so I have finally found five minutes to sign up to Pinterest and have just tried to pin a couple of things to one of my boards, but all I'm getting is a little box showing my description of the item and no image. If you click on the little box the whole picture and text is shown, but you can't see it on the overall board.

here sad

Basically, to look at my boards, they all look blank, despite one of them now having 2 pins on it. confused

I used to be good at this sort of thing, honest, but it would seem I have now turned into my mother and become technically incompetent. blush

orientaltation Wed 05-Oct-11 05:11:32

Oh, Madhatter, how annoying for you. Are you getting the choice of which picture from the webpage you want to choose? How about when you repin someone elses pin - does that work?

sunnydelight Wed 05-Oct-11 07:40:13

Oh, can I join in please. I've just had the happiest 15 minutes reading every post. I LOVE Christmas but after four here in Oz have been tempted to (whisper it) do the Aussie seafood thing thing year (surely lobster, crab, oysters etc. qualifies as suitably Poncetastic) but now I have seen the error of my ways and it's back to Delia, Nigella etc. I love the idea of Heston's brined turkey but don't know how the hell I am going to find anywhere cool in December!

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 05-Oct-11 09:34:03

Sunnyd we do the seafood thing on Christmas Eve usually (probably not this year after ds1 decided to rehouse an intact prawn in ds2's bed last year...), it is indeed poncetastic.

Not sure if we are eating turley or reindeer this year but either has suitable ponce value I think, doesn't mention I have a groupon voucher for posh mayfair butchers

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 09:53:25

Hi Orientaltation, it works if I repin from somewhere else on Pinterest, but not if I pin from another website.

The whole process of pinning appears to work right. It lets me choose the picture I want, type in a description etc and pin to the board I want it to go on, but then if I look at page of all my boards it looks blank. If I click on the board I've pinned to, the description is there but no picture and if I click on the description it launches the full page, completel with picture. confused

As far as I can tell, I did everything right, but it still didn't work. Am wondering if it might be something to do with being on a mac rather than a pc, or because I use Firefox. That doesn't explain why I can repin from other people's boards though. confused

Haven't looked at it yet today, so am going to go and have a play around and see if it was just some sort of error last night.

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 10:02:08

Hallejula, its working this morning. I was feeling so disappointed about it last night as the whole Pinterest idea is just what I've been looking for for a long time to help organise my thoughts on lots of different projects.

prolificwillybreeder Wed 05-Oct-11 10:09:22

Has Pinterest broken on the iPhone? Or is it just me?

billgrangersrisotto Wed 05-Oct-11 10:23:45

Hi all! I am preparing to make a tester limoncello today, which may form a large part of my hamper Christmas pressies this year, depending on how it turns out. Has anyone tasted their fruit vodkas that are on the go? I know loads of you are doing them.

Pinterest seems decidedly dodgy to me, it keeps working then not working, especially on the iPhone app version. Nevermind, it's worth it as it's so fab!

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Oct-11 12:11:01

First poncey Christmas task here is mini Christmas cakes for teachers. Must come up with a theme. Any suggestions grin?

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 12:31:07

I think these look lovely.

I always think less is more with little cakes. Last year I did plain white icing, edged the cake in red and white gingham ribbon and iced each person's initials on the top in red. I think you can see two of them in the hamper on my profile photographs.

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 12:32:10

Just looked. I forgot I decorated some of them with plain white stars as well - like the ones in the photographs. I preferred the ones that were completely plain other than the intials though.

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Oct-11 12:35:17

Ah - not quite that mini, moose - 4" squares. I have done figures on the top (1 per cake - angel, FC, rudolph, snowman, etc) - I have done dark blue with stars and reindeer, and I have done plain white with snowflakes. Oh, I did baubles one year after inspiration from MN.

Becaroooo Wed 05-Oct-11 12:38:45


Moved in August.

ALL mt cookbooks are in the garage under 6 tonnes of crap family heirlooms.

I need aN EASY RECIPE FOR XMAS CAKE PLEASE!!!! sorry about caps - ds2 on my knee!

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 16:10:37

stealthsquiggle, they sound lovely. I neeeeed pictures! I love cake decorating, although am very amateur at it myself, I can waste hours perusing examples of other peoples work on the net. Cake porn! grin

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Oct-11 16:24:13

moose - all my cakes are on flickr here - I don't have the energy to transfer them anywhere more useful, sorry...

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 16:55:14

Your cakes are amazing stealthsquiggle. I do believe I have actually drooled over one or two of them on Flickr in the past. blush

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Oct-11 16:59:14

They are definitely very amateur compared with most of the ones I drool over... looking for inspiration for DS (9th B'day) and DGodDaughter's 1st birthday right now - DD's I have a mental image of what I want (which is lethal as I won't be happy with it come what may)

After those 3, and possibly other DGodDaughter, I need to focus on Christmas. If you fall across any good mini-cake ideas I would be suitably grateful!

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 17:36:16

I wouldn't use the word amateur about any of your cakes, they are so detailed.

There are some of mine on my profile and I reckon amateur describes my efforts perfectly. I am improving and I love doing it though, so that's ok.

Dd wanted another Gaston the Ladybird cake (as per my profile pics) for her birthday next January. I tried to talk her out of it, but she was stuck on it. hmm Have now managed to talk her into a Ben and Holly's Little Kindom Castle cake with Gaston cupcakes - I love doing castle cakes! grin

My ds1, who was 9 at his last birthday, had a Pichu Pokemon cake and that went down well, but I hate being restricted by specific characters.

Will keep an eye out for mini cakes. Are you on Cake Central? That can be handy for inspiration sometimes.

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Oct-11 17:40:19

Yours are gorgeous, moosemama - you are clearly better at piping grass than I am grin

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 17:49:02

I love my grass piping nozzle, best investment I've ever made. I keep finding excuses to use it every time I have a new cake to make! grin

Squitch Wed 05-Oct-11 19:30:13

<note to self don't post any pictures of your shit cupcakes> stealth and moose they are amazing! I can't bake AT ALL (in fact I'm not great at cooking full stop) - am very jealous

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 20:07:51

Squitch, I bet your cupcakes are lovely. If they're anything like you're sewing, a al the gingerbread men on your profile, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Squitch Wed 05-Oct-11 20:27:49

No, I seriously wasn't being modest then - I am SHIT smile hey ho, can't be good at everything. I am having a bit of a mini panic about catering for Christmas - I don't know why as I have done it for the last twenty five years. Just never knowingly decided to be poncey before. I suppose it just means that I will have to outsource more smile hooray!

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 20:46:09

Ah well, you got my sewing skills and maybe I got a little of your baking skills - it all evens itself out eventually. smile

Squitch Wed 05-Oct-11 21:02:08

awww thanks - put another pic on my profile now. Not sure how to 'finish' it or even if it needs anymore. I'm going to put it on the internal door in the porch.

Made a start on the wreath now. That may take some time....

prolificwillybreeder Wed 05-Oct-11 21:09:39

Wow! Stealth! Your cakes are beautiful not to mention your amazing bags!

prolificwillybreeder Wed 05-Oct-11 21:10:59

-terribly random but phone isn't letting me go back pages on this thread kilmer/kilner jars ikea do some but I can't get there any where else do cheap ones?

moosemama Wed 05-Oct-11 21:34:45

Sainsbury's sometimes have them at this time of year - haven't looked to see if they have them in at the moment though.

Taffeta Wed 05-Oct-11 21:52:30

willy - Jamie at Home do them, not super cheap but in delicious colours, you'd need to go to a party or know a seller tho I think

Also lots of independent cookshops sell them, plus Lakeland.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 05-Oct-11 22:24:07

Prolificwillybreeder what a fab name; I have 4 boys, do you have more then?

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 05-Oct-11 22:24:41

Range often does kilner jars, and hobbycraft does ordinary jars

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 05-Oct-11 22:26:12

GoodHousekeeping has some great recipes this month, as well as reliable cake and pud there's home amde turkish delight, fig and plum jam, and other giftable delicacies.

sybilfaulty Wed 05-Oct-11 22:56:22

Fell off the thread, sorry - it was the hot weather that did for me. Now it's cold and windy again I feel far more festive.

AM sure it's been mentioned but the ELC has 20% off til Sunday. I can't remember what as I read the email on the bus home but it might be worth checking out to see if it's everything or just a few bits of stuff.

ALL the cakes look wonderful. Could you tell me where you got the grass piping nozzle please?

New kitchen nearly done and am looking forward to going Christmas crazy in it!

Kingsroadie Thu 06-Oct-11 08:35:33

Hello everyone,

Have just found this thread and am delighted - another Christmas obsessive here! But one who does like mince pies, Christmas cake/pudding and meat. Think it might stem from growing up abroad in various hot countries (except one we lived in for 2.5 years which was very white at Christmas - enormous excitement) and my mother always making a real effort to make it Christmassy for us (and making her own cake/pudding/millions of mince pies as you couldn't buy them!)

Am always very excited, but this year am taking it to a new level and instead of spending lots of money on shop bought things, am intending to make lots of it myself - Christmas cake being my first port of call - I think Delia's recipe has the best rep no? Also loving the dried oranges as a Christmas decoration re-vamp (We have a red, gold and white theme for our decorations - sometimes fancy a change but it is fairly pricey to buy a whole new colour-scheme! grin )

Anyway I must read the whole thread - am about a third through. But just wanted to pick your brains: I do not yet own a Christmas book. I want to buy just one - which would you all say is the best? Delia's Christmas (the original one - I think there is a newish one - Delia's Happy Christmas?) or Nigella (who I really like - find her cooking style easy and have one of her books) or Jamie (similar cooking style to Nigella for me)?

Thank you!

Re Christmas cook books , I have both the Delia Christmas ( old version ) and Nigella's Christmas . I need them both ( helpful )

Haven't really done anything in preparation . Good Food and Olive magazine Christmas editions are out on November 4th .

Don't even know if we're having company or not , hope-not i like it when it's just the 4 of us .

DH birthday on December 23 so need help for present advice for man who has everything , or is so blinking laid back he's hopeless to buy for.

prolificwillybreeder Thu 06-Oct-11 08:54:01

Right I'll have a look around town then I think. Thanks all.
Wow 4 boys! I only have 2! I am the only willy breeder on my side of the family for generations you see. Hence the name. DP is convincing me to try for another...DS2 is 11 weeks! I'll like a Christmas where I wasn't pregnant so I can eat and drink lots of forbidden foods!

Kingsroadie Thu 06-Oct-11 09:01:05

Doi - Thank you - sadly that was the conclusion I was coming too myself, having researched them. You can get second hand Delia for 1p on Amazon (plus postage obv) which means I could get two really and it would only be like I had bought Nigella, right? hmm grin

Peachy Thu 06-Oct-11 09:07:15

Ah prolofic (I was donot LOL), boys are fab; bit of a strange thing here- Nan managed 8 of each gender (!), dad only girls, my sisters and I only boys

prolificwillybreeder Thu 06-Oct-11 09:16:57

Wow that's mad!
I love boys too! DS1 is only 15 months so won't really understand Christmas but is an expert at opening presents!
We are also moving in a few weeks so a whole new house to make all Christmasy!
Just need to work out how I use the sewing machine grin

prolificwillybreeder Thu 06-Oct-11 09:17:59

Christmas must be fantastic in your house with your brood of four!

Peachy Thu 06-Oct-11 09:22:06

Yes it is, the older ones are a bit bog now but still love it (11 and 10). I knw it seems odd to say it but ds3 has SN and one of the upsides is that at 8 he still beleives an may well always do- it adds to the joy

stealthsquiggle Thu 06-Oct-11 12:36:19

Having spent last night making bits of the decoration for DD's birthday cake I am now definitely in cake mode - and still entirely devoid of brilliant ideas for mini Christmas cakes. I have to focus on birthday cakes for a while, still, but may get distracted whilst in hobbycraft picking up "essential" supplies on the way home this evening.

Kilner jars - try people like The Range, but also try ebay - we found them for way less that the likes of Lakeland were selling them at, even incl p&p, a couple of years ago. I currently have some nice square ones from when Waitrose reduced poncy salmon mousse to less than the cost of the jar (the salmon mousse wasn't great - the chickens got most of it - but the jars are fab, and waiting to be filled - except a couple which DS filled with "his" plum and cinnamon jam)

stealthsquiggle Thu 06-Oct-11 12:38:27

Kingsroadie - I make a customised version of Nigella's Christmas cake (no currants or candied peel, more raisins, cherries and alcohol) and it is very well received.

Blatherskite Thu 06-Oct-11 13:28:06

I do Delia's Christmas cake and Nigella's pudding. Both customised as I'm not keen on the nuts or too much peel and love cherries.

Fed both with Pedro Ximenez last year and they were gorgeous.

moosemama Thu 06-Oct-11 14:47:33

Sybil, I got my grass nozzle off ebay - but you can get them from most sugarcraft shops online.

Stealth, I haven't seen any inspirational mini cakes since yesterday, but I did have a musing that possibly something to do with 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' might be fun?

I don't have a plan for my own Christmas cake yet this year. I did the melted glacier mints thing last year - looked great, but I wasn't so keen on the flecks of minty freshness that got mixed up with the slices of cake! hmm

Peachy Thu 06-Oct-11 16:52:43

I love sour cherries in my cakes but ds1 is now allergic.

Just got the new version of Delia though and the better homes and gardens Christmas ideas book; I am now drooling! May well end up force feeding neighbours key lime fudge just as an excuse to amke loads LOL

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 06-Oct-11 20:16:15

I am feeling Christmasy again now with this cold weather - hurrah!

Today I fed the cake, gave the raspberry gin a shake, and made two pots of mediterranean salt (which smells bloody divine).

I also bought some wicker hearts which somehow I am going to turn into a garland. They were a bargain, only 99p each. I'm also thinking of incorporating felt windmill's in the garland somehow. It all sounds a bit sketchy and crap doesnt it?

I've also got some retro looking flower fairies Christmas material that I am itching to use, maybe bunting?

I feel I need to buy a gluegun. I think it will give me inspiration! <any excuse to purchase a new toy>

I've just ordered brown paper, bakers twine and candy canes for my wrapping. Thank you to whoever suggested it ages ago on a different thread prob around August time ha ha.

I also bought some real tat from the pound shop, christmas window stickers. They truly made my toes curl however I just know that my little DD will love adorning our window with them and then I can relax knowing that in the evening they are hidden away from me behind the curtains, whilst I look at the twinkling lights and roaring fire.

I didnt get the chance to do my cake today like I hoped so that's next weeks task. And a xmas pud. Then I'm off for some red gingham to make squitch's gingerbread men and some red and white felt to make tree decs like john lewis are selling!

Squitch Thu 06-Oct-11 20:39:33

Disclaimer - they are not my gingerbread men lol i shamelessly stole the idea from NOTHS - but thanks smile

I love the idea of brown paper wrapping, but I've just accidentally bought some lovely ribbon (think its East of India stuff) that has got little red embroidered hearts and x's on it - so I'm going to try and find some plain red paper and then I'm going to use the ribbon and make some little pale green felt holly leaves as gift tags.

I always wrap dd's 'santa' presents in silver shiny paper with Santa on (usually from WH Smiths as I bloody love that their paper has a grid on the reverse) and then she could easily differentiate (no idea if I've spelt that right) between presents from Santa and presents from others - she can read now but I like the tradition

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 06-Oct-11 20:44:26

lol at accidentally buying ribbon!

oh, and i forgot to say that some candy canes I ordered arrived today. Wait for it, they are made by Jelly Belly! I have high hopes for them.

dearprudence Thu 06-Oct-11 22:50:16

Impressed by all the cakes. And I have now learned about bakers twine!

sunnydelight Thu 06-Oct-11 23:18:47

Oh lord, I am going to spend the next two months obsessively searching for all the lovely things people mention here which inevitably will not be available in Oz.

I am determined to do poncy wrapping this year - despite my best intentions in the past I have been known to be sitting surrounded by (look away those of you with delicate stomachs) cheap paper with santas on at 2am on Christmas morning wrapping the last of the presents. I need to come on here daily to keep motivated!

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 00:04:06

Squitch we do a different paper for each boy, helps enormously in teh chaos of Christmas Eve.

Am doing ponce this year though, candy canes, hand stamped paper, ds1 is making a feathery Christmas tree hung with dried orange and pine cones and I have been ordered by him to make a matching wreath. DS1 has plans to be a jeweller and so is running the colours it seems! Does mean he will do some beaded bands though to theme basic candles and vases for me, and some circlets to hang.

Then I have to move on cakes; seems schools have all ordered some. As donations, natch hmm

Bucharest Fri 07-Oct-11 09:03:54

Remarking place under old MN name. (I forayed earlier in this thread into another one, but then rather embarassingly discovered someone else has a too similar one so have changed back)

Have done no poncing as been busy with dd's birthday and it's also 30 degrees still here, but am feeling more pre-festive now as have at least got socks on and am not sweating.

I also have both Delia and Nigella's cook books. Nigella's is my most favourite cookbook of all time, and I just sit and read it <fairy light porn> sometimes, Delia is more traditional, and of course does that mad Delia thing of explaining in 6 sentences how to slice a tomato.

Are there any more books we need?????? I bought almost everyone a copy of Sarah Raven last year.

Kingsroadie Fri 07-Oct-11 09:14:57

Bucharest - I have ordered both so will be joining you in the Christmas cookbook porn ranks. And Delia was only 1p + p&p so practically free!

Last night I soaked my cake fruit, made chutney, made flavoured salt and made two types of flavoured vodka (including christmas pudding) - v excited now grin

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 10:00:49

Doesn't everyone accidentally buy ribbon from time to time, then <<whistles>>? I am envy of East of India ribbon - I was lusting after some of that, but ended up with sparkly satin ribbon (more tasteful than it sounds, honest).

I did candy-striped paper and white ribbon last year, having found a wonderful huge (50m) roll of candy-striped paper (complete with lines on the back - DH found it very amusing quite how much I liked that) at Costco.

This year's Costco paper is not quite as ponce-satisfying, but it is reversible grin

Treats Fri 07-Oct-11 10:03:55

I have just borrowed the Sarah Raven book from the library and like it very much. It focuses almost as much on flowers and gardening as it does on recipes, so if you're a keen gardener, then you definitely need it. It has some great ideas for table decorations and so on. I'm distinctly NOT a gardener, but have been inspired to experiment with forcing some crocus bulbs for Christmas.

moosemama Fri 07-Oct-11 10:05:47

We use a different paper for each dc for the presents Father Christmas brings and another individual paper each for the presents from us. Its a bit of a pain to organise at first, but it really helps on Christmas morning.

I've discovered you can buy massive rolls of that school-style display paper on ebay quite cheaply, so am tempted to get them a different colour each of that this year and stamp it myself - although the older the boys get, the smaller their presents, so perhaps I won't need that much this year?

Ds1 is 9, has AS and is also a firm believer. I bought him the book 'How Santa Really Works' a couple of years ago and it seemed to cement his belief. In his opinion the evidence is irrefutable (sp?). I love it when he tells dd (2.5) to behave, because the elves are watching to make sure she's being good and reporting back to Father Christmas. grin

I was worried that he would be horribly bullied for still believing, but it seems he just thinks that its the other children who have got it horribly wrong, so sadly the magic won't come to their houses and that's why their parents have to buy them presents instead - he's not easily swayed at the best of times. He says he refuses to discuss it with them these days. grin

I love that fact that all three of my dcs still believe, as it means we get to do the whole magic footprints from the chimney to the presents, hiding out in the garden, jingling bells when they are too excited to sleep and hiding an extra mini present on the tree from Father Christmas etc.

Oh, am getting all excited about it now! grin

Taffeta Fri 07-Oct-11 10:21:37

Treats - I live Christmas by that book - have used it loads the past few Christmases. I have tried lots of the recipes and a few of the flower and decorations, do ask if you want any details!

For making now, can thoroughly recommend the apple and apricot chutney.

Treats Fri 07-Oct-11 10:26:54

I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but am quite inspired by some of her suggestions for Christmas Eve and breakfasts. I am hosting for the first time this year and my parents are staying from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, so I think I'll try the Breakfast Granola for Christmas Day.

I'd not really thought of Christmas as a time for flowers and plants - not being particularly minded in that direction - but I can see a whole new vista of ponciness opening up......... If the crocuses go well this year, I might try the narcissi next year - have you done that?

Taffeta Fri 07-Oct-11 10:39:29

I've done the forced hyacinths and the iris reticulata - and given them as gifts to teachers etc. We have a big party each year and I did the Nero ring last year, which makes not many flowers look like loads. I also make a truly poncetastic Christmas display for the island using her stainless steel bucket, lots of greenery from the garden ( think pittosporum, choisya etc ) and tiny little matt silver and red bauables dangling from thin cotton.

I've saved my allium christophii and schubertii heads this year and will be spraying them silver.

Her granola is okaaay but I make IMO a better one (from Claridges menu!) with vanilla extract and orange zest.

Some of the food I can wholeheartedly recommend:
- cranberry and orange compote - I make 3 weeks ahead and give away 2 jars, prettied up with East of India ribbon, the mulled cider, pecan apple and celery stuffing, pork and pancetta stuffing, mince pies, and the iced berries with hot white choc sauce ( New Years Day tradition now ).

I wasn't keen on the banbury cakes or the very cheesy biscuits.

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 10:48:00

Moose just ordered that book for ds3 who has ASD and believes but has ds1 insisting on picking it apart- thanks.

DS1 has formally agreed the colour scheme and planned wreaths and decorations for us to make, he's gone for a burnt orange, gold, and pine cone brown theme which will work well in this home. Presents in black and white paper or brown stamped with candy canes and personalised ribbons (ebay, result) instead of name tags. ponce rating has gone +++

moosemama Fri 07-Oct-11 10:58:52

Hope he likes it Peachy. I was worried that it might be a bit far fetched in places (like where the elves disguise themselves in dog and cat suits and hide in baubles) but for ds1, it just seemed to give him the answers he needed. He re-reads it every year and if anybody has a question about how Father Christmas manages to get down the chimney etc, he's right there with the answer.

He did get very cross with ds2 last year though. Ds2 had just watched Santa Clause (ds1 is phobic about feature films, so didn't watch it himself) and was telling me how a magic fireplace opens up for people that don't have chimneys. Ds1 was adamant that's not how it works and of course had 'the right' answer about how it actually does work - cue one huge argument as neither one would back down. Ah, the joy of Christmas. grin

Sounds like you are well ahead in the poncetastic Christmas stakes already!

I'm starting to think there's no way I can ponce enough between now and December - I need to up my game.

Blatherskite Fri 07-Oct-11 12:56:00

This thread is not going to be good for my bank account!

The pop up version of How Santa Works has gone on my amazon shopping list to form part of DS's Christmas Eve 'book and pyjamas' present and I'm desperately trying to justify the Sarah Raven book and the personalised ribbon now too! smile

Taffeta Fri 07-Oct-11 13:09:27

Blathers - here only a fiver

<rubs devil horns>

Blatherskite Fri 07-Oct-11 13:31:51

It's £15 on Amazon!!

girlywhirly Fri 07-Oct-11 14:25:11

The Christmas Magazine is out now, and also Good Housekeeping's Christmas recipes special edition.

I've just been in Dunelm Mill, and they have their Christmas things in. Spotted some woven willow hearts on a ribbon approx 20x20cms, painted white, the ribbon is naff but thought they would suit those having a rustic or Scandi theme, only £1.99 each. Great potential to ponce up and make fab. Also have children's Christmas fleece throws at £4.99, 120x150cms. Not poncy in themselves but there is a cute gingerbread man one.

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 15:07:11

Blathers the book here lands on the table at brekky on last day of school, not that I try and extend the season by any means necessary oh no wink

Treats Fri 07-Oct-11 15:49:34

Ooh - Taffeta - could you share your granola recipe? I've been toying with the idea of making a big batch and putting some in a fancy jar for my DSis's gift.

All your plants and flowers sound lovely! We've moved to a new house with a garden this year, but haven't done too much with it yet. I'd honestly not thought of using it for growing my own floral displays and Christmas decorations. I'll sharpen up my gardening skills in 2012 and be ready for some serious poncing in that direction next year.

Bucharest Fri 07-Oct-11 16:18:26


I hyperventilated over the red snowflakes (a la Nigella) last year, but didn't get it....I'm having it this year though, dang the expense.

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 16:24:56

£2.29 a metre? really? shock



I know it's nowhere near as nice, but still....

Bucharest Fri 07-Oct-11 16:27:45

It's cheap compared to last year...by the time I discovered it it was £26 a roll. Feck knows how many metres, but I couldn't justify it.

Am currently busy selling all my child's toys this year to pay for it. grin

I also love the East of India/Gisela Graham ribbons but they are sometimes a bit papery. I got some ribbon with gold lettering on last year and my Mum said it made her think of funeral wreaths. Hmm.

Taffeta- were you TaffetaCat? Who made me spend unspeakable amounts of money on wrapping paper?

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 16:33:36
stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 16:35:31

incidentally, to return to the mini christmas cakes, I am very tempted by the 12 days of Christmas option, especially as teachers won't compare notes so I could leave out the hardest ones

Bucharest Fri 07-Oct-11 16:37:44

I had something similar to that, and East of India I think. Buggery, that'sanother website to add to my list.

Going back to the flavoured salt...if I make it now, will it go damp? Or does it being in a kilner type jar stop that?

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 16:40:16

Bucharest - you just reminded me. Whoever was looking for Kilner jars, Hobbycraft have lots, and prices looked very reasonable to me too when I was spending much too much money on bits for DD's birthday cake last night..

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 16:48:28

Blimey, the personalised stuff only cost £2 for 2m worth postage and I only got that for my nephews coz I rarely see them!

Kilner jar should stop damp.

You an get East of India stuff on ebay, I got a pack of labels for 99p. With teh ribbon that's actually most extended family gifts covered (parents and Grandad always demand request cash so no wrapping there)

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 16:57:21

oh how beautiful is this? I need it.

<<steps hastily away from website>>

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 16:59:38

Blimey they saw you lor coming didn't they LMAO?

(compare jute bags on ebay with that website- equal ponce value, massive £ difference)- I get Bucharest as it's international postage but.....

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 17:03:30

on which site, Peachy? Midpac? I have to say I haven't looked at bags, but last time I shopped around for paper and (very specific) ribbon they were better than ebay.

(note I am not one of those paying £2 a flipping metre for ribbon, though grin)

stealthsquiggle Fri 07-Oct-11 17:06:36

I don't know quite how it happened but unseen poncetastic forces made me order that Sarah Raven book .
Today the postman delivered me Paula Pryke 's wreaths and garlands , full of beautiful things to make , not just for Christmas , but many different occasions ( from Amazon , used book so not expensive )

In the card/wrapping section of John Lewis yesterday I got 6x2m of 2inch wide very shiny gold ribbon @50p each (down from £2 each) so if anyone is doing a red/gold theme hotfoot it to John Lewis.

Peachy Fri 07-Oct-11 17:48:07

Midpac, jute ones.

I would decry the person making huge profit on ebay but DH might be annoyed, what with his ebay store and all wink

Although I think I might be missing a trick here: DH sells stage lighting, if only I could get him on board imagine the Christmas decs we could have... no chance though!

Just bought large candy canes from Tesco, pressie wrapping for nephews sorted. More usefully so are the actual presents needed to go inside wink (Bop It, teh ball ones, £10 in entertainer down from £20- result, I ended up buying 5, friend's DD, ds2, friend's ds, 2 nephews)- anyone worked out how I am financing the ponciness LMAO. Also ordered stuff for first 3 cakes and fig jam, but performing tomorrow so will have to ignore for a few days now (one day to perform, 2 to complain that I am too old)

Kingsroadie Fri 07-Oct-11 17:52:58

If anyone is interested have just bought a few reduced Christmas stamps on here: Christmas rubber stamps some are naff some are not!

RiffRaffeta Fri 07-Oct-11 18:01:33

Taffeta/TaffetaCat here blush

<shyly waves empty wrapping paper roll at Bucharest>

Granola recipe:

About 1/3rd of a bag of Sainsbo's TTD porridge oats
A few handfuls each your choice of seeds and nuts, I use:
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- desiccated coconut
- chopped roasted hazelnuts
- roughly chopped pecans
- flaked almonds
- macadamias, chopped if Christmas
Zest of an orange
Teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Mix this lot up a bit.

In a large roasting tray lined with baking parchment, put approx 50g butter, 2 tbspns golden syrup and 2 tbspns demerara sugar ( you can use 1 tbspn each golden syrup and honey but I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate honey ).

Set oven at 150 C and shove tin in for 10 mins for butter to melt. Swirl it all round to mix. Add oaty mix and swirl round so all oaty stuff coated. Bake on middle shelf for around 25 mins until all golden, stirring round every 10 mins to ensure it all gets cooked evenly.

Once cold break it up if necessary and add dried fruits of choice. I usually add sultanas and at Christmas cranberries. You can also add shards of dark choc at this point but only do it once its completely cold otherwise, well you can guess what happens.....

Blatherskite Sat 08-Oct-11 09:40:29

Apparently the poncey Heston Blumenthal Christmas puddings are already in some Waitrose's. I asked in ours yesterday and they won't be out until the 17th.

I'm going to make my own puddings but might have to see if I can get one just to try it.

In my Waitrose weekend thing it said thy would be out by now, but not in my local one either. Not sure about getting one though. I have two Christmas Puds that have been maturing from a couple of years ago. Not sure I need another, and not sure if the Heston one is going to be so last years thing.

Have made my Christmas Cake though. Brandy bottle is looking distinctly emptier

Blatherskite Sat 08-Oct-11 11:41:06

Ours is quite a small store so I think they've been holding off as they don't have the room. When I asked, they said they were in the warehouse but not in the store until the 17th

Ours isn't a small store but let's jut say that due to it's catchment area it doesn't carry any premium goods!

Need to go to the one in the posh market town for that.

MrsvWoolf Sun 09-Oct-11 11:09:32

Hello, just marking place. I'm glad to see the poncetastic thread here again this year.

We're still working on Hallowe'en and autumn displays and crafts, but have already started to draw plans for Christmas (we do seasonal tables as part of home ed you see).
I bought natural swags for the Christmas tree last year (the florist appears closed at present so this year will attempt to make own). No tinsel or baubles on the main tree here. The children have their own tree in playroom and they do as they please with that one.
We bought 1950s fairies for our trees last year, which were lovely, but a quick ebay search shows prices and bidding is getting high again already.

I made personalised stockings for the children last year (phew, am glad those are done), so am going to buy fillers and other gifts after our return from holiday.

DedalusDigglesPocketWatch Sun 09-Oct-11 12:48:05

I really want a poncetastic Christmas, but it doesn't really work when DH has to work funny hours over the Christmas period and when it is just us and 2 small dc (16m and 4yrs)

However, I have just bought the GH Christmas Collection mag with loads of poncetastic recipes, so I can at least plan an imaginary poncetastic Christmas and new year grin

I have made some raspberry vodka, and have plans for posh homemade treaty things.

Also doing an 'activity advent' where there is a little note in my poncetastic felt calender with an activity for that day grin

MamaGeekChic Sun 09-Oct-11 12:56:19

RiffRaffeta That sounds delicious- How long does it keep for? Thanks

Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 13:42:05

As it's chucking it down and thundering here, and the temp has gone down 20 degrees in 24 hrs it felt appropriate to get Delia and Nigella down...so, a question, where cider vinegar is specified for pickly things, can I get away with white wine vin? Should I lob some apple juice in as well?

Rather smugly noted that even Saint Delia doesn't start cakes and stuff till the end of October. We are out-ponceing Delia!

Kingsroadie Sun 09-Oct-11 17:52:26

Ha - that's hilarious Bucharest - my cake is in the oven as I type. Bring on the ponce!

Re vinegar - I would probably just use white wine vinegar (disclaimer - am lazy about stuff like that) and perhaps chuck a splash of apple juice in too as you said?

RiffRaffeta Sun 09-Oct-11 18:38:41

I'm not convinced about the idea of adding apple juice, the sugar in it would change the chemically substancey thing of vinegar that enables preservation, no?

There's not a big difference between cider and white wine vinegar in cooking, but using large amounts eg for pickling, I think I'd prob try to get some cider vinegar if its available where you are Bucharest. Are you still in Bucharest?

RiffRaffeta Sun 09-Oct-11 18:39:59

Mama - about 5 minutes in this house grin

I have kept it in a Kilner jar for over a month and its been fine.

Kingsroadie Sun 09-Oct-11 19:15:19

Actually RiffRaffeta - you are right - it would probably cause it to rot!

I don't think it would be then end of the world if you couldn't get cider vinegar, and of course, if you cant actually get it then you don't have much choice anyway. As above, I am just lazy so would probably just opt for what I had in the house! grin

BarryStar Sun 09-Oct-11 21:25:28

Please can I join this lovely thread? Have just spent last hour reading it and feel I have found my spiritual home!

Poncetastic credentials are not extensive but will work on them henceforth I promise - I do make my own wreaths and garlands for front door and interior doors - some are re-usable but make most from scratch each year. Have at least two trees, one that I let the dc decorate with salt-dough decorations that we add to each year (think will do camels this year), and one that I don't let them touch ever which I like to do by myself. Have a bit of a thing for fairy lights and use them wherever I possibly can, probably trebling electricity bill and risk of burning house down.

I usually do my pudding and cake in October half-term (always Delia) but am so in the mood after reading you lot may get cracking bit earlier. Last year we had new sofa so, of course, I had to buy new decs for tree, but somehow didn't like the effect. So, naturally, will have to try again this year. Um, what else can I say to get myself in? Oh, we have Xmas party every year, dh makes his top-secret punch, a glass of which has to be drunk or else entry is refused.

Can any of you teach me how to wrap presents properly?! I am sooo bad at it (despite lurking in gift-wrapping department of John Lewis long enough to scare the ladies!).

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Oct-11 04:03:20

Is the top secret punch really top secret, or can yoiu tell us the recipe? That would be a sure fire way to get in with the Poncetastic Quiche. wink

I might do a drinks party this year for all my new neighbours. I might just be really, really brave and go and put an invitation through the door of every occupied house on my compound and see what happens. (currently only about 12 out of 60 houses, but plenty of time to fill up a bit more before Christmas, and as no-one will really know anyone we are all in the same boat.)

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Oct-11 04:06:55

here you are Barry. There are loads of others if you look at the side bar as well. You need a pile of cheap white packing paper to practice on!

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Oct-11 04:46:01

I found a couple of recipes last night, suitable for Christmas IMHO, for those who really insist they can't cope with Christmas Pud. I think they would go beautifully together, and they are from the Jamie Does...(Spain, Italy, France etc) book.

Walnut, Chestnut and Chocolate Cake* (which seems to be a puddingy cake rather than a 'cakey' cake, and h