FN's Ponstastic Christmas Thread part Trois....

(839 Posts)
FellatioNelson Sat 22-Sep-12 06:43:07

....will be officially open for business on September 24th. I am just firing up the engines and dusting down the control room ready for action in case I forget to do it on the 24th

Do not post yet. Do not. Sit on your hands, ladies.

On your marks........................


Awesome, you're been keeping us in suspense, FN - it's been a bit like lying in bed wondering if Santa is going to come.

Oooh marking place smile Am on mat leave this year so in theory I should have lots of time for all things poncetastic....

Squeeeeeeee! grin

I have been hiding in the Christmas threads when RL gets a bit too stressful! blush

MaryBerryisVeryMerry Sat 22-Sep-12 07:20:40

Can I just say...<sits on hands>....<hands break free>...

We are doing Christmas at ours for the first time ever <gulp>
I am going to need all the help I can get. Roll on poncetastic thread.

<secretly hugs FN>

<re-sits on hands>

Zeeky Sat 22-Sep-12 08:19:05

Yaaaaaaay! So excited!

VoldemortsNipple Sat 22-Sep-12 08:39:30

Whoop whoop... I pledge to be as poncetastic as a newbie poncey person can be grin

seabuckthorn Sat 22-Sep-12 08:55:10


Starshaped Sat 22-Sep-12 09:42:43

Marks place <sits on hands> grin

SharpObject Sat 22-Sep-12 10:21:48

Ignores the fact that I'm 2 days early.

I am entertaining the eldest generation of our family this year and I want it to be as traditional as I can manage with all your help

yay!!!!!! i have lots of ideas ready to go!!!!!!

Whoo hoo.
You've been lying low FN, keeping us in suspense smile

Marks place...grin

LinusJ Sat 22-Sep-12 11:21:57

Only the 3rd one? My word - it feels like an institution!

girlywhirly Sat 22-Sep-12 15:32:00

Are you still abroad, FN?

oreocrumbs Sat 22-Sep-12 15:42:01

It's no good, I saw the thread this morning and I have tried to wait...but I can't so here I am!

Patience is not one of my virtues grin.

LadySybildeChocolate Sat 22-Sep-12 15:45:04

What is a 'Ponstastic Christmas'? confused

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 22-Sep-12 15:53:48

Ponce I was one of the first threads I read on MN. I read it all in one go around April time, so very seasonal

V v excited about Ponce Trois. My Delia and my Nigella Xmas books are quivering with anticipation. I may need to search for Sarah Raven's book also. Dare I risk floral poncing this year?

OrangecatinGoldboots Sat 22-Sep-12 15:55:12

Yipee! Christmas has started.

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Sat 22-Sep-12 15:59:16

<ponces self up>

Oh my god, I'm so excited I read last years but was just a lurker, this year I want to wear a poncetastic christmas badge with pride. Bring on the 24th I CAN'T WAIT grin

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 22-Sep-12 16:04:01

Have not been here from there start, but:

was this Ponce v.1?

more 2010 poncing. So v. 1.2?

But I can't find the 2011 poncery. Anyone?

Blatherskite Sat 22-Sep-12 16:04:07

Marking place. Christmas at home with just the 4 of us for the first time ever this year and I want to make it special

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 22-Sep-12 16:05:06

From 'there' start ???

Even my typing is is excited by the forthcoming poncery.

Ooh, yay! I am not poncetastic but I love this thread and I love that there is one already.

All hail Fellatio, long may she ponce.

TeaOneSugar Sat 22-Sep-12 16:07:34

The PIL are coming this year, needs to be good.

LadySybildeChocolate Sat 22-Sep-12 16:09:33

So it's not a 'pop to M&S' job then? I may be game.

SharpObject Sat 22-Sep-12 16:18:16

"Pop to M&S job then" <faints>

No it is n.o.t

Excited grin

LadySybildeChocolate Sat 22-Sep-12 16:21:14

I have so much to learn. blush

Making place. About time FN <stabs with basting fork>

Marking place for this year so I can get my ponce on! Excited!!

Pinner35 Sat 22-Sep-12 20:02:53

Ooh marking my place too......bring it on!

shinybaubles Sat 22-Sep-12 20:07:48

Me too marking place, back in the UK and can actually afford Christmas this year, excited is an understatement.blush

Marking place, I'm new, and need all the help I can get

WantAnOrange Sat 22-Sep-12 21:01:40

Marking place! I intend to invite the in laws this year, and will have 2-3month old baby (and 6yo DS)! First time ever doing christmas as a grown up in my own house. Mad? Me?

Jeeps and begorras, folks.

She said do not post.

You will all feel the wrath.


<frit face>

trixymalixy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:10:14

Marking my place for the official start.

whattodoo Sat 22-Sep-12 21:12:25

Excellent. I desperately want to be poncetastic in my new home this Christmas. Is it time to make the puddings yet?

chocolatetester1 Sat 22-Sep-12 21:20:47

Poncing away ...

Stitchthis Sat 22-Sep-12 21:37:42

Ace! Have v limited resources this year so will be a pennytastic ponctastic party round ours....

PersuedByPenguins Sat 22-Sep-12 22:18:53

<unponces to squeal ITTTSSSS CHRISSSSTMASSSSSSSS ala Slade and then hide until 24th> wink

PersuedByPenguins Sat 22-Sep-12 22:22:22

P.S whattodo.... puddings made on stir up Sunday! (25th November this year) However perfect time for Christmas cake & Chutney making!

Shinyshoes1 Sat 22-Sep-12 22:23:36

oooh count me in !

MissPricklePants Sat 22-Sep-12 22:31:07

<marks place!>

whattodoo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:04:01

Thanks penguins. Off to find cake recipe.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 07:54:09

hmm Honestly - the teacher leaves the room for two minutes and asks you all to sit quietly and what does she find? Eh? Tsk.

It's the 23rd today.

Get set...............................

(I will try to find the link for 2011 Hazel)

Although in a way I don't advocate re-reading them too thoroughly as there will inevitably be a lot of repetition, so it kind of kills the need for a fresh thread.

livealoha Sun 23-Sep-12 07:56:26

Ooh I'm in sorry to disobey but it's my dds first birthday Christmas day so this year is going to be as perfectly poncey as I can make it!

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 07:59:06

It seems to be gone. confused

Never mind. We have the first one so everyone gets the hang of things, and this one. That will do.

Pascha Sun 23-Sep-12 08:01:26

I am the least poncey person I know and I have the making-things ability of a 3-fingered hedgehog but even I'm excited about learning something from this years thread.

No money, no taste, no ability, my poncey stuff made with all your tips are gonna be awful great grin

I am in. Last year at the ILs this year but MIL loves a bit of Christmas poncery so count me in. I am now officially a student so am I alright to join in still?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 23-Sep-12 08:12:21

Oh this is like the start of Strictly - you know christmas is just round the corner.

Have some child free time nowadays so am determined to make as much poncey stuff as possibly this year.

LucyBorgia Sun 23-Sep-12 08:25:02

Ohh this is it! I've just gotten over the shock of pils announcing a two and a half week stay over Christmas (the rocking and crooning has just stopped). I was a lurker previously but as I am finally graduating to first time hosting (can I decorate a hip flask to look like a Yule log?)........I am marking my place putting my finger on my lips and sitting on my other hand yay!

marssparklesdownonme Sun 23-Sep-12 08:36:19

I apologise for breaking the rules, but thought some devotees of the Poncetastic Christmas would like to know that Sarah Ravens book is available for £5 on the Book People website at the moment (well it was yesterday) (waits for slap on wrists from *Fellatio Nelson*)

ExasperatedSigh Sun 23-Sep-12 08:39:50

Like MaryBerryIsVeryMerry, I will also be managing our first ever Christmas, just us and DC, in our very own home. So officially <lurks> grin

Marking my place��. V excited, I've ordered some ribbons and fabric which should arrive this week, so hoping that this thread might give me some inspiration.

theroseofwait Sun 23-Sep-12 10:18:44

Oooohhh (gasps breathlessly) I was really worried that there wouldn't be a poncetastic thread this year, now I've finally faced up to the fact I am actually a ponce and proud. May I join you all? I've made blackberry vodka and everything. . .

I have moved so NO OPEN FIRE this year <sadface>. Which restricts the ponce mightily - also means no mantelpiece for swagging purposes.

I Don't Do Sarah Raven as I have a strong dislike. But I shall be doing the rest, oh yes.

<did you see me not posting till you said, Miss? Did you?>

SchrodingersHat Sun 23-Sep-12 10:37:24

Yay, can't wait grin. Last year we moved house a week before Christmas so there was no time for ponce sad This year, big new house, lots of ponce needed. I've just ordered the Sarah Raven book on book people, thanks marssparklesdownonme. The code TEMPTING gives free delivery on all orders.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 23-Sep-12 10:56:06


Thanks LordFlashHeart and your thread-finding powers. So now we have links to 2 years of ponce on this page. I may have done a spot of light 'revison' yesterday on post poncery, poncings of yore.

Ooh, and I will also buy Sarah Raven from Book People, so thanks ShrodingersHat and marssparklesdownonme for code.

And a sneaky wave to Sue, nervous however that she does not like Sarah R. Will she judge me?

WantAnOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 11:46:25

Oh I have real fireplace this year but have never used it. How much it does it cost to have the chimney swept? A real fire is very poncey right? Obviously the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care but anymore ideas on making it look beautiful?

Yay! Marking place.

Love the Xmas poncery!

Hello lovely Hazel. I never see you but for poncery and Prenticing.

I base my dislike on having been GLUED to the documentary called Sissinghurst on the BBC a couple of years ago. She is married to the grandson of Vita S-W or some such and they lived on the estate. And tried to run it, alongside the NT.Suffice to say she came across very badly imo and I Took Agin. And so have Took Agin all of her books/overpriced products too.

But I do not judge, it's more than possible she is a lovely woman and I am bonkers.

WantanOrange, I always paid about £25. Get the cleaning cert, for your house insurance. If you live in a village, check who is the sweep before ordering in from outside - that causes rucks every autumn ime grin. Deffo don't risk lighting without a clean.

The best fireplace poncery is long matches in special leather holders and fircones dipped in paraffin wax as firelighters (about £8 for 6, Pedlars one year).

Marking place! Am I poncetastic for doing test runs of my homemade gifts already? blush

I am usually the grinch Christmas police and will not allow any talk of Christmas until December 1st. However, this year DC1 is due Dec 22nd and if I wait until then I really may not be in the mood/have the energy. Plus I'll be on mat leave and will probably be going out of my mind, so bring on the poncery!

WaitingForMe Sun 23-Sep-12 13:45:52

Ooh I have some long matches (the only thing I could afford from the Highgrove shop) and the box is a bit crushed. I hadn't thought about a poncy leather holder!

Same here sue moving from my beautiful house made for Christmas (huge fireplace, space for a 3m high tree...) to an altogether more practical and fireplaceless house sad

VoldemortsNipple Sun 23-Sep-12 15:57:39

I have a real gas open flame fire. Which is a big step up from the electric blow heater with flickering lights which we had last year.

How many stockings can you put along the fireplace before it looks tacky. I need 6 including the dogs stocking. I need to make some new ones this year (as the poundland ones from last year with a pouch for photos is certainly not poncy) Anybody seen nice fabric online?

LurkingPrincessLurkio Sun 23-Sep-12 16:08:20

Oh I have been so looking forward to this thread!! Christmas creates such wonderful feelings I think it should be made to start as early as possible grin
We're moving in a week and will be getting our very first very own mantlepiece and I could not be more excited if I tried!
Also pinterest board is overflowing with homemade gift ideas, can't wait to settle into our new home and get crafting and baking etc! Bring on the ponce grin

i dont have a fire or mantel. it sucks, but i have shelves in the kitchen which get swags instead. i need to decorate my living room though before i can even think about christmas.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 16:41:27

I have a strange crush on Sarah Raven for some reason. I am not remotely gay but I find her worryingly attractive. I love the way she does her gardening in wellies, then a dress and a proper coat instead of jeans and an anorak like the rest of us, and I love the way she always look like she's been dragged through one of her own clipped yew hedges backwards.

I garden in a dress and wellies cos I do not possess trousers. I just don't feel the need to be all annoying about it RavenRage.

It's not strange at all.

She is rather lovely.

I have her Christmas book sitting on my shelf just out of reach at the moment, so that I don't spend too much time staring at the pretty pictures and imagining myself having such a gorgeous house.

champagnesupernova Sun 23-Sep-12 16:46:04

<marking place>
I have been a lurker on these thread but they move super fast
and I also have not been organised in years past.
Is it possible to ponce on a <ahem> streamlined budget?

VoldemortsNipple Sun 23-Sep-12 17:07:23

FN you shouldn't have posted this thread and expected us all to sit on our hands until Monday. It's like putting the dcs presents under the tree and expect them not to peal back the corners to have a peak.

And and and I'm in work tomorrow (stamps feet) Please open it early and I promise to buy a rustic bucket to brine my turkey.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 17:16:08

Nope. It can't be done. I tried to start early last year and I got soundly put in my place by the bah-humbugs who acted like I was doing something akin to Breaking Britain burning the bible for discussing the C word so early.

I think they just don't realise that is is necessary to plan certain things ahead if you are to make your Christmas properly poncetastic. I mean, really we could/should be making our puddings and cakes in July but I draw the line at discussing things then.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 17:16:48

Breaking Britain or burning the bible, that should have said.

Nagoo Sun 23-Sep-12 17:23:27


Infect me with the ponce. grin

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 23-Sep-12 17:53:43

I have an open fire in the study, and a fireplace with a log burner in the living room. I have to unpack the study before anything can be done to it though (and find somewhere for the wardrobe. Don't ask).

Swags on the top of picture frames look pretty. I used to trail one down the banister at my old house. smile

TeaOneSugar Sun 23-Sep-12 18:28:10

I'm looking at a 9 week old cocker spaniel sleeping at my feet and panicking about the christmas tree shock

skirt Sun 23-Sep-12 18:34:36

Marking place. I can't wait for tomorrow and am hoping for some poncetasticwrapping gift ideas. I've done the doilies, I've done the candy canes, I'm sick of brown paper and raffia. 2012 is going to be the year my gifts look like they actually contain something worth having. Waits patiently

payday on Friday. My amazon basket is all full of stuff. I need to discuss whether i have to go out in the woods with the other Christmas ponces and gather bin bags of holly, or can i buy 'frosted spruce garlands' online in warmth and comfort and use them. Im guessing the woods

Jamdoughnutfiend Sun 23-Sep-12 18:41:40

First christmas at home for 3 years and have a house this year with ceilings and walls that is finally complete after 18 months of rennovations - I am so ready for a poncetastic Christmas. Spent last night reading Delia's Christmas book and am going to start my Christmas cake tomorrow - bring it on!!

UmamiOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 18:47:26

Clocking on for some ponce-lurking.

Taffeta Sun 23-Sep-12 18:48:27

<lines up Sarah Raven Christmas book and all ponce paraphernalia>

I'm reeeeeeeaaaady!!!!!!!!

skirt Sun 23-Sep-12 18:50:32

or can i buy 'frosted spruce garlands' online in warmth and comfort and use them.

No, no, no, no, no. You must gather your children and your dogs. Put cute woolly hats with ear flaps on the children and a jaunty beret on yourself. Take a wicker basket and some National Trust secateurs and enjoy your winter nature walk. Bring your glistening foliage back into your kitchen and you can all enjoy creating wonderfully unique centrepieces for your home.

You can then go online when the kids have gone to bed as you will I am sure, have thrown the misshapen, dripping monstrosities deep into the bin, whilst telling the weeping children that the dog sat on them.

dearprudence Sun 23-Sep-12 19:57:04

I am so ready for this.

MerylStrop Sun 23-Sep-12 20:22:28

So what are the absolute key elements and must-haves of a poncetastic christmas

Just so I can get my priorities right

Wolfcub Sun 23-Sep-12 20:22:42

Marking place. I am so ready for christmas this year, the cake and pudding making dates are in my diary, I've halfway through making mum's christmas present and I'm planning jams and jellies. Ponce me up Scotty.

winefairy Sun 23-Sep-12 21:27:02

Been looking forward to this thread again so much!

And just ordered that Sarah Raven book, thanks marssparklesdownonme

<resumes hand sitting to appease Fellatio>

seabuckthorn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:31:48

Sarah Raven book? I'm going to need this aren't I? My CK Christmas Organiser has dispatched so Amazon tells me grin

buzzgirly Sun 23-Sep-12 21:40:33

I really want a poncy Christmas! I will have it, it won't be like last years home-made Christmas failure - looks at one half made scarf that has been lying in cupboard since last November!

bumponboardagain Sun 23-Sep-12 22:15:37

Marking my place for tomorrow! Very excited to see this thread. Love Christmas, have loads of free time to prepare for it this year. A somewhat limited budget though.

Should I read up previous thread links as I missed them last year?

FredWorms Sun 23-Sep-12 22:21:11

marking place...

IvorHughJanus Sun 23-Sep-12 22:21:23

Marking place. I need as much help and encouragement as I can get with this Christmas thing. Last year I shopped on Christmas Eve and my pound shop tinsel got destroyed when the cat sneezed near it. This year I wll be poncy if it's the last thing I do.

Hassled Sun 23-Sep-12 22:27:47

Yay! So glad to see another poncey thread!

I have possibly the ultimate Christmas challenge.
DB's partner's parents are from a Southern US state. They watched the London Olympics. They liked the look of the place, and they may well be coming for Christmas (we don't live anywhere near London but in US terms it's probably a short stroll). I have never met them before. I need to make the place seem like some sort of Dickensian paradise and if it doesn't snow I'm fucked. This has to be the most Christmassy Christmas known to man.

Marking place and eyeing up Sarah Raven's book...and snorting a little at Anthea Turner having her own Christmas book according to Amazon, that'll be...not quite to my taste methinks!

cushionpad Sun 23-Sep-12 22:32:26

You have a new recruit have just ordered Sarah raven book can't wait.........

<sits on hands>

Very excited!

beanandspud Sun 23-Sep-12 22:54:52

Marking my place. Have just ordered the Sarah Raven book and hoping to be able to keep up with at least some of the poncetasticry.

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 06:32:37

Its Poncetastic Time!!! grin grin grin

peggyblackett Mon 24-Sep-12 06:33:44


Stitchthis Mon 24-Sep-12 06:44:47

Have bought Sarah raven book. Feel a bit bad as was made redundant last week so not meant to be spending but it was only £5.60. That's ok isn't it?!

UmamiOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 07:18:36

<Feeling the ponce>

BillComptonstrousers Mon 24-Sep-12 07:34:07

Good god WHERE IS SHE?? It's the 24th <sits on hands again>

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 07:37:57

I am here.

In the words of the late, great Mike Read from Runaround, G-G-G-Goooooo!

BillComptonstrousers Mon 24-Sep-12 07:51:06

Oh Lordy I thought you would have something special prepared for us on this cold and blustery morning...

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 07:53:29

Yey grin

I've ordered the Sarah Raven book, I've got some proper posh Kilner jars to make some chutney and I'm watching a stack of fabric on eBay to make some poncy new stokings. Is it poncy for the dog to have his own stocking or just tacky? He got so excited last year, I'd feel mean leaving him out.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 24-Sep-12 07:54:24


ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 24-Sep-12 08:00:24

That was me giddy with excitement.

I have the Nigella and Sarah Raven book and Cath Kidston has just released a new Christmas book , I am very tempted even though don't really have any time to make anything from it hmm

I have started buying presents as and when I see them and the cherry brandy is steeping - it is already a beautiful colour.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 24-Sep-12 08:02:29

Oh, and my top tip so far is don't buy the £1 Kilner jars from Asda, the catches are flimsy and they aren't air-tight. I should have guessed from the price but I am an optimist grin

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 08:14:47

Ooh I've pre ordered the Cath Kidston book smile

Are the pound Asda jars ok for layered cookie mixes ilike I'm thinking of making some up this year for the neighbours.

oreocrumbs Mon 24-Sep-12 08:20:04

Yay! I'm off to work but I am all prepared to ponce tonight. I have ordered the SR book, and I have a KC chriatmas organiser on preorder from amazon that should be delivered in the next few days!

I will be well placed to plan my ponce!

I have a lovely selection of grosgrain ribbon in, have raided Ikea for 'kilner' jars. Have real kilner bottles, the plum gin is under the stairs...

Three labradors and a golden retriever and one blonde hired brown eyed child all ready to be festively dragged around the forrest taken holly picking.

Ah 'tis bliss, christmas is upon us, and we have the weather up here, it is a bit wild and very much wintery today.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 24-Sep-12 08:22:20

Hmm, not sure Voldemort. If you were to make them up just before you give them, and maybe put some rustic/arty/poncey baking parchment around the opening before you close them they may be ok. That addresses them not being air tight,but the catches on mine are really quite loose - but then I may have picked up some duff ones.

oreocrumbs Mon 24-Sep-12 08:22:40

VoldermortsNipple, I'm using the Ikea Korken jars, the 1l jar is £1.30 and they seem to be good.

I'm using the bigger ones for the gin and they are cwertainly water tight.

Ikea kilner jars are great, I used them last year and am just finishing off year-old chutney that is still delicious (even more so than a year ago, in fact grin).

Are there any good books other than the Cath Kidston? I have violent hatred of her stuff, but I love a good Christmas book and already have the Sarah Raven.

I have just decanted elderflower rum into bottles and it smells so so good. But does look exactly like wee. sad This is not poncetastic, is it? Solutions?

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 08:39:58

Thanks ilove and oreo I'll keep a look out for some decent ones elsewhere. I've not long been to Ikea but its a bit out the way so I don't know if I'll get back before Christmas.

Northey Mon 24-Sep-12 08:44:55

You hired a child, oreocrumbs? That is a truly applause-worthy commitment to scene-setting smile

CagneyNLacey Mon 24-Sep-12 08:45:12

What do you call those bottles with the air tight flip type lid things? Not the little chutney ones, the ones for putting your own Christmassy booze in? I don't know what to search for on ebay or wherever confused


Right... whats this CK christmas organiser.?? I can see it on amazon, but I can't see whats in it or anything - anyone already got one who can fill me in?

got the inlaws coming this christmas and want to make it lovely enough to distract MiL from the minor sniping which irritates but nothing more

cagney - I don't know an official name, but I'd call them kilners too - try searching for gin bottle or sloe gin bottle, that's how I found them last year.

IvorHughJanus Mon 24-Sep-12 08:50:22

What is this Sarah Raven book of which you all speak? Is it necessary for poncyness? <poor>

CagneyNLacey Mon 24-Sep-12 08:50:45

Oh rightio, thanks lrd, I will do that- i saw a link to a super easy Christmas vodka/rum recipe on a thread last week and want to get cracking. Am determined to be a semi poncetastic this year!

Mmm, Christmas rum ....

I love making flavoured booze, it is the easiest thing in the world and people think it's mega poncey.

I have mirabelle plums to put into brandy at the moment.

oreocrumbs Mon 24-Sep-12 08:58:12

Northey, thechnically she was already hanging around the house, in a here's one I made earlier kind of way, but I'll dust her off and she will be as good as new for this christmas wink.

Voldermort, one of the firls at work bought her jars from wilkinsons. They were £1 each too and I believe they are quite good.

cagney, Ikea do those too, but only big bottles! I wanted small 250ml bottles so ordered real kilner ones from ebay. I think they were £17 for 6 free del.

I have no idea what the KC organiser is like, another naughty mumsnetter linked to it a few weeks ago, and I am weak willed! However, I plan to use it as a giant note book really to be added to every year, with recipes, tips, plans etc so it is all there in one place. I'm also going to write a proper account section because I always start early and buy in dribs and drabs and shamefully have no idea what I spend other than it is too much.

I will keep a list of what I have bought people too, because each year I sit here trying to remember who I bought what last year.

YES YES YES its here the 24th, CagneyNLaceyhave you got the link to a recipe for that Christmas rum? I am making scarves for DM, DMIL and two of DH Aunties, I have already crotcheted one and knit a chunky one so thats two down. I'm off to Amazon to look at this Sarah Raven book.

MonthlyChange Mon 24-Sep-12 09:06:01

Hello, I have found my spiritual home!!
Third Christmas in new house, I have never owned tinsel hated the stuff even as a child and have made my own Christmas cards, Christmas tree decorations, swags for the banisters etc.

But I have never made gifts, which is like to do. And I'd like to host a Christmas party, and is like to make some of the lovely liquors/brandys I've been reading about. Please tell me how.

Excited, excited, EXCITED EXCITED

P.s. are there rules I need to follow??

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 09:07:01

oreo I had an app last year on my phone which was revolutionary for keeping tabs on budget. It was called Xmas organiser. You could budget for people personally and keep tabs on what you have bought or intended to buy. It was also pin locked to keep snooping eyes away smile

I will check out wilkos, thanks

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 09:11:24

Btw, Sarah Raven book is cheeper from the Book People.

Don't know how good it is. I just ordered it because everybody else was. grin

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 09:11:53


ShoopShoop Mon 24-Sep-12 09:26:33

Marking place <very excited> grin

right, ok then.

kilner jars (decent ones) can be bought in lakeland in packs of 3. 1 litre ones for 9.99, and 500ml ones for 8.49. i will be buying these. i made my first soap last night to go in my mums hamper, its lemon and poppy seed soap. am also using the kilner jars to do the layered brownie recipe in a 1L jar, and 2 of the 500ml ones for american hard gums ( i am buying these) and lemon scented sugar all for mum. since her childhood she has longed for a proper wicker shopping basket but has never been able to justify buying one so i have one on its way from amazon. i have a friend making her a wonderful traditional style bear from real grey mohair (most expensive part of the whole thing at £40) she will have her brownie mix, hard gums and lemon sugar, a nice pic of the kids in a frame i am doing up, a set of jewellery (also made by me), handmade coconut ice, and a selection of handmade soaps, lemon and poppyseed and orange and cinnamon. there will be other little bits too, but that is the bulk of it. my dad and sister are getting blackberry vodka, and other bits. i have a tutorial to make a lovely drapey waistcoat out of a big tshirt so will be doing that for my sis too. also making crayons for the kids and loads of other stuffs.

Yay! It is the day. The day of poncetasticness beginning. The day we have been awaiting. It is the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who mentioned plum gin? Why did you not mention that when I had a glut of plums a few weeks ago? Why did I not think of it? DH would have been well impessed with that.

Do I need a Xmas organiser? Will investigate. Although a lockable app sounds good.

Part of my Xmas ponciness will involve going wallpaper and paint shopping today as dining room needs decorating. Curtains are a shimmery taupe colour with red flowers. Room will only be used at Xmas I suspect. But I can't really decorate in a xmassy fashion can I?

How many Xmas trees before it gets ridiculous? We had two last year. One large real one in living room, large fake one in sitting area in kitchen. Oh and small one in tv room. Is one in the dining room total overkill?

CagneyNLacey Mon 24-Sep-12 09:40:21

Yes, wornout, can't do links properly on phone but this should be it


Apparently you can substitute for rum and prob other stuff too. There are more faffy ways to do it that are prob 'proper' but I am inherently lazy despite good intentions.

MonthlyChange Mon 24-Sep-12 09:43:01

Never enough Christmas trees cinder, I wanted to put our old fake one in the garden :-)

So how do I make handmade soap and flavoured fins/brandys etc. Please tell me l!

MonthlyChange Mon 24-Sep-12 09:46:11

Xpost with cagney sorry. Any other ideas for liquors/alcohol. Thinking could do a selection for Dpil who are complete alcoholics!!!

californiaburrito Mon 24-Sep-12 09:54:21

Ok Santa Fellatio, I've been a good girl and waited until the 24th. I've lurked on the other threads but with my childbearing years behind me this is the first year that I think I can achieve true ponce.

I've got my Christmas dinner menu set, and just finished testing the final recipe for the three wise men mini loaves, but I need guidance to round out my ponce. Can you believe I have never even done some homemade flavoured booze. For shame!

And on that subject, is this Christmas rum mentioned up thread spiced? If so, I MUST have the recipe.....please.

girlywhirly Mon 24-Sep-12 09:55:00

Cider, if you have a sideboard in your dining room, you could put a fir type swag along it, possibly with fairy lights in. Or a small table top style tree.

My Christmas organiser is a spiral bound A5 notebook from Poundland! Not poncy in itself, but perfectly adequate for keeping notes together, shopping lists, food lists, drinks lists, entertaining, decorating ideas, things to make in advance, etc.

Girlywhirly - no sideboard. But do have a console table. Last year Sainsburys did v small trees in pots - one of them would be nice maybe.

Who was looking for the 250ml kilner bottles? Lakeland have them - 2.99 each though!

What can I do with pears? Have a tree in the garden. They still seem quite hard though.

WantAnOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 10:10:09

Spiced Pickled Pears are very christmassy Cider. We have just moved out of a house that had a pear tree in the garden. I miss it.

IdoknowtheMuffinMan Mon 24-Sep-12 10:18:38

I started a red red rose theme Christmas last year, I was planning to continue it this year and add more red rose swags for banisters etc.

I decorated the tree with roses and had a rose wreath on my front door, would it be overkill to do more?

A big vase of red roses and christmas greenery looks amazing and smells delicious - do that!

IdoknowtheMuffinMan Mon 24-Sep-12 10:21:32

Ooh good idea, I loved my theme but my DM was hmm

My mum's the same - 'roses aren't for Christmas, they're for summer' hmm. But I love the look of red roses against green foliage, to me it is really Christmassy.

Spiced pickled pears sounds nice. Will investigate. Thanks WantAnOrange.

Just marking my place.... Can I do poncetastic on a budget do you think?

Oh, Cherry Brandy recipe- please!! May try the Christmas Pud vodka recipe this year too.

So far I have made Raspberry Gin, 2 litre bottles. Last years elderberry wine should finally be ready to drink at Christmas too- tried a glass in spring it was bloody lethal stuff. Going to make Sloe Gin next but sloes are very poor around here this year. May also ponce up into the woods & try & identify the 'serviceberry/checkerberry tree' as apparently you can make v exciting home brew from this.

Ikea sell bottles with swing tops here: Korken although last year they were £1.50... angry

Starshaped Mon 24-Sep-12 10:42:56

Fellow poncy ones, I am concerned. We're in the process of buying a house and should (hopefully) be in for Christmas. However, I've just realised that I haven't got a blinking clue where the Christmas tree will go in the living room. I mentioned this to DH last night and he looked at me like I was a fool. This is somewhat ruining my aspirations of a poncey festive period!

On a more practical note, I'm planning to make Piccalilli to go with our boxing day ham. Does anybody have any tried and tested recipes and when should I be making it?

MonthlyChange Mon 24-Sep-12 12:28:20

lord raspberry gin and elderflower wine recipe please! Does that mean it takes a year to brew?
LRD please tell us a out the cherry brandy.

I have had an epiphany that everyone is going to get flavoured alcohols this year!! You lot are my collective saviour

Zeeky Mon 24-Sep-12 12:38:52

Ladies, try here for all sorts of jars and bottles. They often do special offers and bulk buy deals, and got a box of the Firenze bottles last year for more like £2 per bottle - great size for giving as presents.

Need to dig out my Sarah Raven book. We've moved into a much bigger, old house this year, so getting excited about all the extra trees & decorations we can have! Hoping to get at least 2 real Christmas trees this year as only ever had an artificial tree previously blush

I'm a ponce newbie smile but...my cake is already in the oven! Do I get a prize? grin

girlywhirly Mon 24-Sep-12 13:01:59

Console table would be fine Cider. I have a cupboard in the lounge which I place a swag with lights and baubles on.

Regarding the pears, they don't ripen until after they've been picked. So unless they get windfallen or attacked by birds they should stay fresh. Pear and blackberry crumble is nice, you could freeze the fruit and crumble mixture separately, then defrost when you want a crumble pud. Very quick to assemble and put in oven, just shove fruit and sugar in ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble mix on top. Pick pears in advance to allow them to ripen a bit first.

Honsandrevels Mon 24-Sep-12 13:06:58

Ooh exciting, I lurked last year but I'm hoping to more poncetastic this year. Do I need the Sarah Raven book?!

I've made 9 jars of damson jam and have 2 big jars of damson gin brewing. There are still some damsons in the freezer so might make chutneys too. Damson overload maybe.

I've seen kilner bottles in Wilkinsons. How do people label and present the flavoured booze?

Ilovemyteddy Mon 24-Sep-12 13:09:21

Marking place. Had a fabulously poncetastic Christmas last year, due to this thread. I will be back to read later.

Happy ponce-ing!

Ah! Lightbulb moment! Didn't realise that about them not ripening till picked. The dogs get the windfalls at the moment!

winefairy Mon 24-Sep-12 13:58:09

Oh, I think you most definitely do need the Sarah Raven book, Hons.


£4.99 with free P&P. How can you not need it? grin

Zeeky Mon 24-Sep-12 14:19:43

Last year I labelled my bottles with brown parcel tags tied on with red and white striped baker twine. Have a look at my photos on my profile of the poncey gifts I made last year wink

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 24-Sep-12 14:22:53

Is there a list of items to get anywhere? Like glass bottles or...things? confused

belsize77 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:32:26

For anyone who already has Sarah Raven this new Diana Henry book is great - very poncetastic and Wintery. I have already done Damson gin and jam. Lots of nice alcoholic things as well as fish, fruit and vegetables.

Some0ne Mon 24-Sep-12 15:26:10

I'm sticking a toe in here, but that's probably all. I ponced a bit last year but not much as I was enormously, massively pregnant. This year I've promised my dad that they can do Christmas Day in their house, because I'm having it forever then! We always had Christmas Day at home as kids and it was lovely and relaxed so I want that for my two. It's a satisfying arrangement in the long term, but in the short term diminishes my scope for poncery somwhat hmm

I'm easing off on the homemade stuff this time. I made tonnes of stuff last year for my family and my sister loved hers, but my parents never bothered to eat most of theirs and it's still mouldering in a cupboard in their utility room. I'll be putting less effort into their gift this year, I suspect. And they can buy themselves a cake!

One of the things I'm most looking forward to in the run up to Christmas is spending a day in the attic sorting the decorations and getting rid of the ones we never use. We have at least twice as much stuff as we need or can reasonably display without looking like lunatics and I'm sure someone else would have a use for them. I adore getting rid of unnecessary clutter, even from the attic grin

Some0ne Mon 24-Sep-12 15:31:03

Just told DH about Salt Sugar Smoke. I have Roast Figs Sugar Snow and it's lovely. Actually I might curl up with that in front of the fire tonight, after the kids have gone to bed. I need wintry inspiration for my meal planning.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 24-Sep-12 15:47:46

wowzer zeeky, your picture are v impressive!

I have used this cherry brandy recipe this year , and I used this raspberry gin recipe last year

I always use frozen fruit in my booze as I don't have any fruit bushes or trees, and frozen seems to be the cheapest way to buy a lot of fruit.

I fancy giving the lemon gin a go, but you have to wait 2 years shock

MrsTwinks Mon 24-Sep-12 16:05:21

ooh some lovely ideas here.

So far I've got lots of mini-jars of jams & chutney as little "stocking filler" type things for people. I've made a couple of lovely things so far for gifts. I'm well in the poncetastic zone

Usually I make Christmas cake but thats getting a bit old so thinking of trying something new but equally christmassy. Same with Sloe Gin, everyone knows I'm good for a few bottles, and that the attic is full!

Raspberry gin takes 3 months to mature- start now and it'll be ready for Christmas!

Ingredients: 300g raspberries, 300g white sugar, 1.5/2 litres gin, 2 litre bottles

1. Divide raspberries & sugar between the 2 litre bottles (use funnel)
2. Fill to top with gin
3. Shake every day until sugar is dissolved
4. Store in dark place for at least 3 months.
5. Remove raspberries at Xmas and use for trifle grin

ExasperatedSigh Mon 24-Sep-12 16:33:15

Starshaped I don't have a recipe (sadly) but I had some amazing chilli piccalilli in a ham hock baguette some time ago. Might be worth experimenting to get that effect, it was well nice. Let me know if you find a good recipe, even though I'm the only one who likes the stuff.

Which brings me to a question: does anybody ponce alone? My DC are still tiny enough that their idea of Christmas heaven is sparkly tinselly tat from the pound shop. I don't have anyone to give home made gifts to apart from SIL and best friend (family too curmudgeonly hmm). DH dislikes chutney, I hate Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. Since we're having our first ever Christmas Day at home just the four of us, I will of course be cooking a fabulous meal, but the DC are only 4 and 1 so we won't exactly need masses of extras.

So bearing all of that in mind, I'm not sure how much home crafting of stuff I can/should bring to fruition grin Flavoured booze YES; delicious treats YES; pretty things YES; my vision of lovingly-crafted jars of pickle and glistening hams, probably NO.

I can dress our table though...

ExasperatedSigh Mon 24-Sep-12 16:35:00

Oh, and last year somebody posted an alternative to Christmas pudding that looked really good, but I can't remember what or where it was <dunce> Does anyone have any festive suggestions? I think it involved cranberries and pecans.

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 16:39:32

Those pickled pears are bloody gorgeous. I make them most years because they are so easy. I really fancy doing something different that I haven't done before this year though. What to do...?

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 16:41:00

I just don't understand haters of chutney and Christmas cake and Christmas pud! They are divine! Although I dislike icing. I pick it all off and just scoff tons of marzipan. I could really go a lump of marzipan piece of Christmas cake right now.

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 16:45:44

OMG Zeeky - you are just not worth competing with! We may as well shut up shop and go home! Did you open a shop with that lot or what?!

Pinot Mon 24-Sep-12 16:48:56


fave poster <tick>
Poncetastic Christmas <tick>

MrsTwinks Mon 24-Sep-12 16:57:52

* ExasperatedSigh * we ponce alone, well kinda. Its only me and DH for christmas, minus having the in-laws for breakfast before church.

We have informed them its homemade gifts this year from us as we are trying to save and they can have nicer things not just because I say so I think they think I'll change my mind hahaa.. no such luck as I'm 90% planned already!

Food wise I've the past I've done something fancy and mastercheffy with venison/duck/etc rather than turkey, but then small enough that abut 8/9 we can munch on all those extras and things like cheese, chutney and homebaked bread with it and i cheat get ham from the really fancy deli down the road rather than make it just for the two of us. The chutney etc I do a batch, one jar for us for the year and then little jars for others. Did ham once and while it was lovely.. I got sick of it after a day or two.

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 17:29:10

Right. I'm going to get my Chrsitmassy books out. We can discuss stuff.

shinybaubles Mon 24-Sep-12 17:37:42

I have been dreaming of a poncetastic Christmas for years, and this year it might actually happen am also getting all my Christmas books out tonight to start planning, although I have to admit don't like Christmas pudding or cake. But I make it anyway.

<marking ponce place>

Wolfcub Mon 24-Sep-12 17:41:34

I am now in possession of five Ikea Kilner jars for jam/jelly after a slight detour trip on the way home from work

FellatioNelson Mon 24-Sep-12 17:42:37

I've got the Sarah Raven book in front of me. I like the look of the Orange, cranberry and walnut biscuits.

I havent got any Christmas books. I do have pinterest though! grin

Virgil Mon 24-Sep-12 17:46:16

I'm in for a bit of ponciness. Can't wait!

I feel so old. I just dug out Delias Winter Collection which I bought when it first came out and I remember feeling very grown up and wondering where to buy marsala etc.

It was published in 1995. 1995 FFS. Thats 17 years ago. The only Christmas recipe it had was for spiced cranberry chutney anyway. Now I feel sad

shinybaubles Mon 24-Sep-12 17:54:03

I have to admit to also not being a Sarah Raven fan - not sure why I did give my copy of the book away, so looking for something to replace it with - any ideas anyone?

Onlyaphase Mon 24-Sep-12 17:56:58

Starshaped I made piccalilli last year about this time ( used the last of the runner beans from the garden) and it was lovely. I made a lot (about 12 big jars?) and DH has eaten it all sadly, but it was ready for eating last Christmas and was lasting well in the jars until DH found it.

Wolfcub Mon 24-Sep-12 18:03:54

I'm trawling through the good food festive collection drooling at the delicious looking turkeys, roasties and stuffing

Folicacid Mon 24-Sep-12 19:11:01

Yippee, I know how to speak ponce!

I was very lax last year due to very young baby but the year before I was poncalicious. I even bought a turkey - despite not eating it- that had danced with gay abandon in cherry orchards or something. I made hampers with chutneys and gins and truffles and mincemeat (and cinnamon biscuits but they were a disaster). I was a laughing stock with my poncey ways but I loved it.

I'd like to ponce it up with you lot.

<opens the sloe gin>

I am hiding in ponceland. It is a very nice place with lots of tasteful things! smile

RL is too stressful ATM what with dh relocating without us come Monday and trying to sell out house ASAP so we can join him. sad

BUT I can now plan the best ponciest Christmas as we have decided to rent our new house from 1st December! grin or the first time ever I will be able to have a wreath without worrying it get nicked! hmm

Now I need to find an uber posh butcher so I can spend an extortionate amount on a Kelly bronze turkey again. It was £££ but amazing! grin

Elizabeth22 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:42:33

Marking my place smile

right then. i have delia smiths christmas book, and the ultimate festive feast. what other books do i need and where can i get them from please?

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 19:53:44

Can anybody tell me if I can substitute cider vinegar for white wine vinegar in an apple based chutney?

Tesco just isn't poncy enough for cider vinegar.

WantAnOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 19:54:38

I got Nigella's Christmas today (£5.99 in TKMaxx!) Is she poncy enough? Her Turkey recipe was ringing bells.

MrsTwinks Mon 24-Sep-12 19:58:25

shouldnt be a problem voldemort, will just change the flavour a bit obviously.

WantAnOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 20:00:46

Just realised I unintentionally made a terrible christmas pun!

Right. <Rolls up sleeves>

i will be enormously PG by Christmas (twins due end of Jan!!!!) but that's not going to stop a bit o' poncery chez FBB.

For non Christmas pud/ckae lovers, the Nigella Christmas spiced chocolate cake is excellent - made two last year and everyone loved it. I will definitely be making one this year. Lovely with a big dollop of extra thick doule cream. I put whiskey in mine as the booze element but that's obligatory since I'm Irish!

The PG thing means festive booze is out. Any good ideas for Christmassy drinks? I don't like tea or coffee and only like hot choc if made with cream or Jersey Gold Top blush (wd rather not be the size of the entire Holy Family come Christmas so will have to limit my intake to one or two a week).

Next, I need an angel for the top of my tree. Am making do at the moment with an artful angel shaped cookie cutter (bought in Vermont last "fall" (natch)) woven with silver and gold ribbon. I want something tasteful and traditional but not too OTT. Links please!

Nigella Christmas is brilliant. Spiced choc cake, cranberry and white choc cookies, chocolate fruit cake all getbthe thimbs up from me. Also the red cabbage with pomegranate juice. Surely obligatory on the FNPC Thread.

oreocrumbs Mon 24-Sep-12 20:26:35

FreeButton, I have made up some korean honey and lemon tea as gifts. I haven't tried it yet (not ready) but I think it will be really nice. Someone posted it on another thread.

It is 2 lemons sliced and a jar of honey. Put it in the fridge leave it. The lemons 'disolve/merge' into the honey. Then you just add a teaspoon to a cup and add hot water. Over time you continue to top up the jar with any spare lemon or honey you have.

I have made that for some relatives who don't have caffine. I also think that it will be nice with a nip of something on a cold night!

To decorate my jars and bottles I have bought a wide red grosgrain ribbon with white snowflakes on, I will tie that around and add a small candy cane and a brown luggage tag.

I'm not making hampers, just a couple of things for each person so I thought I might buy some brown paper bags to put the bottles and decorate them with DD.

MonthlyChange Mon 24-Sep-12 21:36:36

zeeky I am in love with you from your photos of crafts! How do you make Lavender Bath Salts and Lemon Hand Scrub? Any other recipes for handmade beauty goodies? Anyone know hoe to make soap?
How about flavoured oils? How do you make them?

bezzyk Mon 24-Sep-12 21:46:01

Hello all

I've lurked in previous years, but feel that this year I've not left it all too late to get sufficiently ponced up come 25/12. Tomorrow, Tesco will be delivering the ingredients for Christmas Pud Vodka. However, I'm not allowing self to get too carried away until the house is respectable enough to bring a guest in.

In answer to FreeButtonBee I was pregnant during the last festive season and can highly recommend the 'Bottle Green' 'Spiced berry cordial' make it with warm water out of the kettle and you may even be a teensy bit fooled that you're drinking real mulled wine.

Happy poncing!

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 22:04:48

Thanks MrsTwinks I've just remembered that Sainsburys in the village is very poncy and has a whole isle of poncy vinegar. I will try there before using the white wine one.

I've bought my ingredients for Christmas pud vodka. I'm in need of some cranberries to get my chutney under way and some cherries to make cherry brandy. I think I might make some sweet flavour vodkas as well. I'm thinking Pear drop vodka would be quite nice.

MrsTwinks Mon 24-Sep-12 22:20:47

how do all you hamper makers put them together? Wrapping wise I'm a brown paper and ribbon girl - this year i managed to get a whole reel of red velvet ribbon cheap so thats this years colour, might have to get a snowflake stamp and some white paint....mm.... still deciding

anyway hampers. I can get hold of shoeboxes. would it be poncetastic enough to cover some with paper, fill with shredded tissue paper and tie a ribbon arround do you think? Or better to start looking for suitable wicker?

Al0uise Mon 24-Sep-12 22:30:36

I'm sooo glad you're doing this again Fell but I think you could be the next moreplausible Cherry Menlove so I think you need to do a blog to go with this & obviously a FB page & a Twitter feed to promote your Seasonal Poncetasticness.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 24-Sep-12 22:30:36

Hello. I am new to the thread but not new to poncing up my Christmas. Last year we reared our own goose, DH slaughtered it and I plucked it grin. We then sent it to the butcher to be stuffed with various other animals, some of which we had also reared ourselves. <proud>

I have now become attached to the geese so will not be eating them this year, but we do have some pigs on the go for a nice Christmas ham.

Right cake is now out of the oven after a slight mishap earlier (turning itself off! Wtf?! angry )

I don't like marzipan and only really like nice slightly crunchy icing...what are people's recommendations for decorating based on this? Oh and no nuts please. smile

CollieEye Mon 24-Sep-12 22:35:41

Marking place.

I found Dunelm Mill to be the best place for Kilner preserving jars. £2.99 for the one litre ones, £1.99 for 500ml.

WineGless Mon 24-Sep-12 22:54:40

Marking place- will be back to ponce properly.
I loving pinterest this year

champagnesupernova Mon 24-Sep-12 22:56:57

I too need something for the top of my tree
Can't be too poncey atm as have the sodding builders in but they have promised to be out by 24 November which giving them at least 2 weeks grace gives them a chance to get out in time to decorate

VoldemortsNipple Mon 24-Sep-12 23:08:24

humphry the only things I can kill without remorse are feckin bluebottles and mosquitoes. I have a day of guilt if I stand on an ant. Fair play to you. I like to pretend my meat died of natural causes after a long happy life grin

farrowandballs Mon 24-Sep-12 23:08:58

Marking place. Long time poncer ( been hand gathering, swagging, and wreathing holly and fir and making elaborate Xmas dinners since I got my first shitty house at 17!) lurked on this thread the last 2 years. Ready to make my ponce public this year!
Really want to tap into sort of Bloomsbury/omega workshops vibe this year with my yuletide mise en scene...

FredWorms Mon 24-Sep-12 23:23:58

Someone mentioned three wise men mini loaves but I can't find who now, sorry! What are these loaves please?

I'll trade that info for tree top fairies and stuff here

FredWorms Mon 24-Sep-12 23:25:15

Yes Bobbys, proper crunchy royal icing, none of that bleddy fondant stuff.

seabuckthorn Tue 25-Sep-12 07:36:37

Ooh I love crunchy icing!
I have done my Phoenix Trading Christmas order, complete with poncey paper chains.
I have the bottle of Baileys ready!
I wonder when the Bottle Green Spiced Berry Cordial comes out?
Cake and pudding making are on my to do list as is giving birth.
Think I'll make truffles this year too.
I'm going to make mince pies and freeze them uncooked, I can do that in October yes?
I'm thinking I may do the same for sausage rolls?
I need to spend some time with Nigella this week. Her spiced nuts and honey soy sausages are fab.
I will be awaiting the postman for my CK organiser!

seabuckthorn Tue 25-Sep-12 07:37:44

Christmas is a perfectly acceptable middle name yes? DP is looking all disapproving. grin

Zeeky Tue 25-Sep-12 07:56:08

Thankyou FN, Iliketomoveitmoveit and Monthlychange. DH was working away last year from Oct to Jan, so filled my lonely evenings after the kids were in bed with Christmas poncing! It was all easy stuff to make but I really went to town with the packaging/display. I was sadly disappointed with the reception my lovingly prepared hampers got though sad, so won't be going to so much trouble this year for gifts - sticking to jams, chutneys, flavoured booze which won't spoil.

Monthly I got all the recipes for bath salts etc from either Pinterest or the homemade Christmas thread from last year.

Going to direct my poncing towards decorations this year grin

WaitingForMe Tue 25-Sep-12 09:03:41

Last year I bought a white china angel with silver wings from Homesense (she was £10 from the ornaments section). I have a fake tree and wove the branches through her wings to keep her steady. She is very very poncy and stands about 7 inches tall!

I'd looked for a decent angel for years and really recommend thinking outside the box. Our living room is the opposite of nordic (all creams, duck egg and soft greys) and the few decent angels seem to be of the rustic variety.

girlywhirly Tue 25-Sep-12 09:15:55

I too am old! We have Delia's Winter recipes. I make the Pears in Marsala for our Christmas Eve pud, it has become a tradition. Other recipes which are wonderful in there are the Chocolate Bread and Butter pudding (INCREDIBLE and nothing like a traditional B&B pud) Pancake Cannelloni and also Braised steak in Madeira with Five Kinds of Mushrooms.

Someone upthread asked where to get Marsala, it is located with the port/sherry/madeira/ fortified wines and also vermouth. A good tip is to use the bianco vermouth as a substitute for wine when you only need a small amount and don't want to waste your best wine in cooking. Tesco sell a brand called Bellini which is very good and cheap as well, I use it in risotto. Plus it keeps well when opened unlike wine.

Zeeky, shame on all those ungrateful recipients of your lovely hampers, they should count themselves lucky to get anything this year.

BiddyPop Tue 25-Sep-12 10:10:44

I have a Sarah Raven book (it may even be the Christmas one - I need to check) - but I also got the Hairy Bikers Christmas last January (on sale), and a Kids Christmas Baking one (that DD already spotted on the shelf - poor au pair!! grin). And about 12 years worth of Good Housekeeping, Good Food, House and Home, and other special Christmas editions. As well as a couple of Christmas crafts mags too.

So far, I have the rhubarb vodka steeping, last year's slow gin and raspberry vodka "proving" and the last of the previous year's mince meat maturing nicely. I think I need more mince meat this year though (once the kilner is finished with the rhubarb concoction). And I am determined to make my own pudding this year, and perhaps even a cake too.

DH is talking about going to the family this year (haven't been down in about 3 years) so I will have to get the fake tree out of hibernation (I use that on travelling years ONLY). I am thinknig about getting a decent fake for home, and putting the cheapo one in the car for whatever house we rent - I definitely have enough decorations to manage that!

Otherwise, I need to get planning....

Herecomesbod Tue 25-Sep-12 11:38:44

I have just ordered the Sarah Raven book and already made Green & Black's Maya gold chocolate mousse cake for Christmas Day tea time (it's in the freezer, just defrost & dust with edible gold powder - poncery!).

The rest of Christmas dinner rests with DH, & he's brilliant at it so I let him get on with it. I'll hopefully be bfing DC2 (due this Sat!) & running round after DD & assorted GPs.

Planning on making up hampers with cookie ingredients in jars, the Hairy Bikers Christmas Pudding vodka, a box of handmade tree decorations (I am into paper crafting), chocolate bark or truffles or both, but would like to make a body scrub or soap or similar to go with. Does anyone have any tried & tested recipes that can be made well in advance?

girlywhirly Tue 25-Sep-12 12:05:29

Biddypop, a good quality artificial tree will last many years if looked after. I would recommend looking at independent garden centres for good ones. Get one with a sturdy metal stand that isn't easily knocked over.

Scout19075 Tue 25-Sep-12 12:07:21

I have the fruit soaking for Christmas cake (to be made this weekend), the first lot of Christmas puddings in the slow cooker steaming (we're always back home in the US over Stir-up Sunday and since I have a gazillion about 10 puddings to make we start at the end of September) and Cherry Brandy (thanks to whoever posted that up thread!) started.

Though, with the Cherry Brandy -- was I supposed to poke the cherries before putting the brandy over them?

I need to sort out what other Christmas goodies will be made for the day and/or gift giving. We're always at my PiL so don't need to sort out dinner though I always make contributions like homemade cranberry sauce for the turkey.

Toddler (he turns three at the end of next month) and I are making our Christmas cards and some of the wrapping paper for gifts (probably just enough for the Grandparent & Great-Grandparent & Godparent gifts as our family is so big I can't make meters upon meters of it to wrap up everyone's gifts). He is also making some of the gifts for grandparents/great-grandparents/Godparents. A lot of this needs to be done before we go back for Thanksgiving (and we might be going home earlier than usual this year). Eeek!

Who is Sarah Raven and do I need to book to go with all of my others (both British and American) as well as all of my special issue/Christmas issues of magazines, etc.?

Katienana Tue 25-Sep-12 12:47:07

What recipe do people recommend for Christmas pudding? Last year I made Bero's version (subbed some of my own preferred fruit/nuts). I like to make mine in the microwave though as don't want to be committed to being in the house to steam in a pan.
I am also going to make my own Christmas cake this year will be making the Bero recipe, really excited about decorating it! I started working my way through the Bero book last year (and blogging the results) hence my loyalty to Bero. I was going to do it all in 12 months but it proved impossible!

PoppyAmex Tue 25-Sep-12 14:09:14

"I've done the doilies, I've done the candy canes, I'm sick of brown paper and raffia. 2012 is going to be the year my gifts look like they actually contain something worth having."

Same here, Skirt! Last year I had brown paper with green silk bows tied with bells and cinnamon sticks.

May I please have some wrapping theme ideas, pretty please?

Blatherskite Tue 25-Sep-12 14:22:18

I'm busying finding green buttons in order to make these with the children.

Need to pick a theme before I can properly start ponce-ing.

All of the booze sounds fab! Hic.

Need to pick something to make. Xmas pudding vodka sounds interesting.

I bought the Sarah raven book last year and got it out last night. Am another non-fan I think. Nothing jumped out at me I'm afraid. I think she assumes a level of expertise that I don't have! I need more pictures.

Honsandrevels Tue 25-Sep-12 15:02:28

Tamsin Day-Lewis has a Christmas chapter in her Kitchen Bible book, plus useful section on preserving. It isn't available new on amazon though.

I also have Delia and Nigella Christmas books.

I thought I was doing well with my damson gin and jam.. reared your own goose! [Shock]I fear I'm out of my depth here!

Inspired by this thread I'd like to make truffles this year. Does anyone know of any little gift boxes available to put them in? (like you get in shops, one space per truffle)
Don't want to use cellophane - used them for fudge last year smile

Some0ne Tue 25-Sep-12 15:21:19

I don't have my forever cake and pudding recipes yet, I don't think; last year's cake was quite nice as far as I remember but I'm not fully convinced, and I've never found a pudding recipe that I really love.

Do I need to Delia?

Starshaped Tue 25-Sep-12 15:21:26

Thanks for the piccalilli advice Exasparated and Onlyaphase - sounds like I need to get experimenting now!

I'm in awe of people raising and slaughtering their own geese though. I have some way to go to reach that level of poncery!

Blatherskite Tue 25-Sep-12 15:55:06

It's Delia cake and Nigella Ultimate pudding for me Some0ne.

i do delia's pud and cake (will make them in Oct/Nov) and i made mincemeat last weekend...

re the raspberry gin - do you drink it neat or add a mixer. Is it nice with tonic?

Blatherskite Tue 25-Sep-12 16:05:59

I tried Rachel Allen's pudding. It was very pale and not very alluring.

I wouldn't recommend it

I made the Nigella chocolate christmas cake two years ago - it has lots of prunes in it and no nuts and barely any flour. Recipe The chocolate is an undertone rahter than the main thing and I used the poncey-est cocoa that I could find in waitrose - I had to GRATE it myself, people, cos it came in a raw block. Also didn't bother with the coffee and added booze instead.

I am not really a fan of traditional fruit cake but this was really lovely and dense and fruity. DH is the Chrimbo cake fiend and he loved it.

bezzyk that cordial looks luverly. Thanks. Will add to my shopping list

BiddyPop Tue 25-Sep-12 16:12:22

I still have 3/4 of my bottle of amaretto I bought last Christmas. But I need new amaretti biscuits I'm afraid (DH and DD both hate almonds so this was truly something for myself that I tried and really enjoyed as a special treat).

Blatherskite Tue 25-Sep-12 16:16:47

OOh, like the sound of the Coffee-free chocolate cake. I did Nigella's "Spruced Up Vanilla Cake" last year after getting the proper tin as a birthday present (it's too late by Christmas day after all) and that went down really well with the Fruitcake haters as well as looking really good on the table.

Massively saves on decorating faff too. I stuck coloured chocolate beans on mine (we boycott Nestle so no Smarties allowed) and dusted with icing sugar so it looked like a ring of lit christmas trees.

Oh Blather I do love the look of that fancy cake tin cake but how does it keep once cut? I am conscious that I will have people around over christmas but not everyone at once. So not sure a madeira style cake will keep. Not sure I will be able to reach the oven either though!

Oh god, I need to have the conversation about where we are spending Christmas. My folks will be okay (we went to Ireland last year and I won't be allowed to fly at Christmas this year) but DH's parents are owed a Christmas and are apparently plotting to come to us for the day (heard through the grapevine). Might have to arrange a pre-emptive "Sunday before Christmas" family meal instead with BIL too to appease the masses. I just don't think I could cope with them on Christmas day in our tiny flat at 34wks PG with twins. I would go insane and I HATE other people using my kitchen. Plus MIL doesn't believe in butter or salt <faints> and a bad Christmas lunch will ruin my day entirely.

<whispers> in terms of cutting corners though (if poncers were ever to do such a thing), what would you recommend? I don't think I will be able to manage the full oysters followed by goose Christmas lunch of 2010 (for 2 people blush). And DH is a competent every day cook - ie pasta/curry using a jar of paste/grilled chops. But a big roast is beyond him. I can do some bits in advance (dauphinoise potatoes/red cabbage/stuffing) but will need to enlist Waitrose/M&S for some of the donkey work. Please help!

Zeeky Tue 25-Sep-12 16:49:02

Blatherskite I got a load of green buttons off eBay last year to make some of those button trees wink

Blatherskite Tue 25-Sep-12 16:54:52

It didn't last long enough for us to test FreeButtonBee blush It was good for the couple of days it lasted though. The recipe is mostly yoghurt so it stayed moist.

At the risk of being kicked off the thread - the year DD was born, I did most of Christmas lunch at home 8 days post c-section. I do not recommend it. Buy it pre-prepared from Waitrose/M&S/artisan butcher and give yourself a break. I managed to do turkey, Nigella's ham in cherry coke and spuds in goose fat OK but was ready for a sit down by the time it came to do the veg. Precise timing very tough while feeding a newborn every 5 minutes.

givemeaclue Tue 25-Sep-12 17:32:43

planting my hyacinths ready for xmas presents and decorating the house at xmas tomorrow.

givemeaclue Tue 25-Sep-12 17:33:06

christmas pudding voka - is it really nice or just another jar of something homemade that will end up in the bin?

girlywhirly Tue 25-Sep-12 17:35:52

Freebuttonbee, could you entertain the ILS before Christmas day, make vague murmurings about needing the rest DR's orders, babies might come early? (I'm not trying to frighten you, more trying to get you to frighten the ILS) This means that you don't need to do the fancy lunch, make a posh casserole the day before and do some veg and potatoes and serve a bought or made in advance pud.

Get dh on board to persuade them that this will be the only option and that you will be resting for the forseeable after that!

Girly yes, I think that is the only sensible option. Might even make it a meal out, rather than me cooking. I do feel bad but I just can't cope with them on Christmas Day this year. Once we have a bigger house, then it will be totally fine and they can come when they like but my bed is approx 15 ft from the bed in the spare room which is just TOOOOO CLOOOOOOSE.

FredWorms Tue 25-Sep-12 17:40:46

Don't want to spoil yourplans givemeclue but is it not a bit late for hyacinths?

californiaburrito, wise men loaves? Do these things really exist?

ohforfoxsake Tue 25-Sep-12 17:42:18

Lordy! Is that the time already? I join this thread every year but never really reach the poncey heights and fail. This year I'm not making a pud as I still have one from last year. No one really likes christmas cake or pud so it's coffee cake and sticky toffee pud here. I have a Delia box cake left over so am going to knock that up.

I have started with dotcomgiftshop shopping.

Hmm already I am failing at ponceyness but will hang around like a bad smell in the hope some of your fragrant ponceyness will rub off.

<wanders off to find 'slightly shabby half-baked Xmas thread>


FellatioNelson Tue 25-Sep-12 18:35:37

Hello Al0uiseg, I haven't seen you around here for ages! I would love to do all the things you suggest but I would feel like a terrible fraud at the moment - I can only participate in half my own thread as it is. No holly gathering, no snow, no real tree, no open fire around which to have post-prandial parlour games, no long winter walks in expensive wellies, and no brace of pheasant for me any more. sad I barely deserve to be here. I am a let-down. blush

(I live in the middle east now and we have to be grateful for small mercies. It's fake trees and frozen turkeys all the way.)

But I still fly the flag of Ponce in my heart, if that helps at all. grin

Starshaped Tue 25-Sep-12 19:19:38

I just misread your message givemeaclue - thought it said you were decorating the house for Christmas tomorrow!! I've calmed down a little now I've reread it and confirmed that you're planting hyacinths in preparation for decorating the house!

MerylStrop Tue 25-Sep-12 19:23:10



someone talk me through it?

oreocrumbs Tue 25-Sep-12 19:37:57

Is there still time to plant something - hyacinths or something else for christmas presents? If so could some one tell me how? what? where? and when? please!

My CK organiser came today! I'm looking forward to preparing my ponce when DD has gone to bed.

Ilovemyteddy Tue 25-Sep-12 20:02:14

I have a piccalilli recipe (Gary Rhodes) that is tried and tested. I'll find it and post when I'm not on my phone.

Can anyone point me towards any online templates for making small fabric Christmas tree decorations please? TY

Starshaped Tue 25-Sep-12 20:42:35

Oooh, yes please to your tried and tested recipe teddy smile

mathanxiety Tue 25-Sep-12 20:49:08

This year I bought a copy of Delia Smith's Christmas in a sale for a really, really ridiculous price so along with my Nigella Christmas book and an old Darina Allen one I already have I hope to knock out a very British Isles-ey sort of culinary extravaganza.

I thought of the Poncetastic threads when I was at the book sale clutching Delia to my heart in the line to pay.


oreocrumbs whats the organiser like ? Is there headings / sections or is it basically a christmas patterend folder?!

oreocrumbs Tue 25-Sep-12 22:41:43

It is a ring binder, with a pocket at the back for reciepts.

There are 4 main sections

To do - which has sheets of lined, grid and plain paper

Cards and presents - has sheets with name and address spaces, present table (name and present coloumn) and to buy sheets.

Food and drink - pocket to hold stuff, conversion tables, cooking times and tips, menu planner sheets, shopping list sheets, guest list table (coloumns for name, vegetarian, fish eater), scrapbook type pages to glue in recipes.

Notes - wad of sheets to write notes.

Has a sheet of stickers to use to personalise/make sub sections.

I'm quite happy with it. There is plenty of space to add other bits in with it being a ring binder so that is handy. Also you will be able to remove and replace pages that become redundant over the years.

oooh love the sound of it - I currently have it all on spreadsheets, but that sounds ace - sold! grin

Marking my place. Am I too late to start?!

oreocrumbs Tue 25-Sep-12 23:00:20

grin, do you think I could get some commission?

Charliesangel you're not too late! It's too late to make up some of the edibles, but there is loads of other stuff to do, and lots of good foodie stuff still to make.

ethelb Tue 25-Sep-12 23:14:47

Signing in. Currently knitting water bottle holders for people and a few cowls. Making piccalilli this weekend and beetroot chilli chutney already made.
This year i am the proud renter of FOUR mantle pieces.
I've already made the candles.
I'm also making furoshiki for wrapping.

I can share my super light christmas pud recipe as commission if you like?

I don't personally eat christmas pud, and DH said he didnt as it was often heavy so I went on a mission to find one that might appeal to him (don't know why mind!) Anyhoo, found a lovely one rammed with all sorts of fruit, DH and the DC adore it and I was begged not to lose the recipe as he wants that one every year!

theroseofwait Wed 26-Sep-12 09:38:08

Returning after a couple of days ponceing unsupervised.

Have ordered the CK planner to house all my scrappy recipe sheets, made nectarine and rosewater jam (Tesco had loads of finest nectarines reduced to 40p a pack,) beetroot chutney and cherries in brandy. Have shallots salting to be pickled in Sherry Vinegar and my veg box this week was piccallili in the making so will make that Fri/Sat.

Have ordered these and these for me, with an extra pair of skaters for one on my mum's presents as she's the original Christmas ponce.

Also one of these in sage and sprig.

I don't think you should leave me alone again as it gets rather pricey!! grin blush

For some reason the internet is not letting me preview so I'm just going to post and apologise for any dodgy links/mistakes in advance!!!

Have just phoned poncetastic village butcher and ordered my turkey and ham. smile
I'm going to cook the ham during the day on Christmas Eve, to be eaten that evening with mustard mash. Then just to be picked at over the festivities.

Am so looking forward to Christmas this year, DD has just turned three and will know what's happening this year, DS will only be 19mo so won't really understand, terracat will only be 8 months old and I am incredibly worried about my tree.

I live in the middle of a forest so should be sorted for pine cones & foliage gathering, can anyone give me an idea of how to make a garland for the mantelpiece? (No real fire yet but it's a step up from last year)

Am going to look out my Christmas organiser later and let the poncey list making commence.

girlywhirly Wed 26-Sep-12 11:12:01

I can help with the garland. You need a length of thin rope the same as your mantel, plus extra if you want it to hang down on either side, rope width 1.5cms, and a reel of binding wire to attach your foliage. You need to attach the wire to the end of the rope before you start. Take a few pieces of foliage and wind the wire around binding them to the rope turning the wire twice. Repeat this with subsequent bunches, overlapping them to hide the stems/wires/rope on all sides.

When you reach about 30cms before the other end, reverse the direction of the bunches, taking care to cover stems etc. This means you will have a nice finish at the other end. Secure the wire safely.

You can attach all sorts of embellishments; cones, baubles, Christmas ribbon bows, dried orange slices, bunches of cinnamon sticks etc. Please don't have anything with fresh berries as they will dry out in the warmth and drop off, you don't want the risk of the DC or cat eating them. Actually, drying out and wilting are a problem with this type of garland, you would need to make it very close to Christmas because they usually only last a week (even if no fire and no radiators close.) The only exception is if you use the blue spruce which is non-drop and dries up with it's needles still attached, you can sometimes find branches for sale at florists for a couple of quid each but one branch won't make a whole garland.

If you wanted something that you could water to keep it going, you could do a long arrangement in florists foam that would sit on the mantel. Take care to protect your mantel if it is wooden from any water damage, as even though the florists foam is usually placed in plastic trays you can still get drips escaping. A piece of polythene would be fine. You can get what you need at Hobbycraft.

Another more permanent option would be to use exclusively dried items, buy a rustic natural fibre rope, and attach lots of cones, dried seed pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise, dried orange slices, woven twiggy balls and stars etc anything natural.

Oooh, girly that sounds great. Normally I just shove all the foliage on the mantlepiece and wedge it in with candles/cones etc. fine in my parent's house as they have a massive superwide marble mantel. But attaching to a rope is an excellent plan and will make removal easier too I imagine (can lift it out in one piece and then deconstruct outside).

girlywhirly Wed 26-Sep-12 11:34:43

Yes, it does also make it easier to hang and drape if that's what you want to do because the rope is flexible, and all the bits are attached. I did City and Guilds in Floristry!

Ooh thanks girly that sounds fab.

Ilovemyteddy Wed 26-Sep-12 12:43:17

For Starshaped

Piccalilli Recipe

I cauliflower
3 large onions
8 large or 16 small shallots
1 cucumber
1 pint white wine vinegar
10 fl oz malt vinegar
¼ tsp chopped dried chilli
12oz castor sugar
2oz powdered mustard
1oz ground turmeric
3 tbsp cornflour

Apologies for the non-metric measurements – I copied this out of a book I no longer have, and didn’t write the metric measurements down as I am an old gimmer and still use imperial measurements grin

Cut cauliflower into small florets. Peel and cut onions into ½ inch dice. Place cauli and onions/shallots into a bowl; sprinkle with 10z of salt and leave to stand for 24 hours. Rinse in cold water and dry.

Peel and de-seed cucumber. Cut into ½ inch dice and sprinkle with a little salt. Leave to stand for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry and add to cauliflower and onions/shallots.

Boil the two vinegars together with chilli. Leave to cool for 30 minutes and strain to take out chilli.

Mix the sugar and remaining dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix in a little of the cooled vinegar. Bring the vinegar back to the boil and pour it into the sugar mixture whisking until it is all blended. Bring the mixture back to the boil and cook for three minutes. Pour it over the veggies and mix well. Leave to cool before putting into sterilised jars. Seal and store.

You may think that the ‘sauce’ is a bit watery. It will firm up when cooled and stored.

Gary Rhodes says this will keep in the fridge for a month. I used some, made in November, at Easter, and it was fine.

Taffeta Wed 26-Sep-12 12:58:14

Right, ponces!

I've been using the Sarah Raven book the last 3 years and here's what I've done from it in case anyone is remotely interested:

- Banbury cakes ( wouldn't do again, prefer mnice pies, use Ballymaloe recipe, bought mincemeat with added small chunks of marzipan and a few glugs of brandy plus some orange zest. I have made my own mincemeat before but prefer this )
- Cranberry and orange compote. This is extremely good - it makes a few Kilner jars which I give away keeping one for us
- Apricot and apple chutney - very good but a bit of a faff, as with all chutneys
- Apricot and almond compote - wouldn't bother again
- Forced hyacinths
- Iris reticulata ( great as gifts )
- Allium heads. I save mine every year but will stop doing so as have loads now and its costing me a fortune in silver spray! btw Sarah's silver spray, whilst expensive, is much better than cheapo silver spray paint which you have to virtually use a whole can of for one allium
- My mate makes me a wreath with foliage from my garden, uses Sarah as inspiration. One day I'd love her hydrangea wreath.
- Nero ring - fab for a Christmas party, looks huuuge!
- Very cheesy biscuits - a bit heavy and greasy IMO
- Sea breeze. I serve it at our party, and also Prosecco and mulled wine
- Bread sauce. Although I buy it now shock CBA with some stuff TBH
- Pecan apple and celery stuffing. Yum
- Pork and pancetta stuffing. Yum.
- Iced berries with hot white choc sauce. I make this NYD, nice and easy.

I am a BIG Sarah fan. I love her other cookbooks too and have cooked more recipes of hers than anyone ( even Nige! )

BUT it has to be a Delia Christmas cake, IMO. smile

marssparklesdownonme Wed 26-Sep-12 13:05:32

Have been at work for last few days so now catching up with poncing.
I will be making Nigel Slater's Christmas Cake from the first Kitchen Diaries
www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2005/dec/11/foodanddrink and Mary Berry's Christmas Chutney which goes down well with the family and friends.

marssparklesdownonme Wed 26-Sep-12 13:09:32

TaffetaI made a wreath with ideas from Sarah Raven last year and am hoping to do the hydrangea wreath this year if I have enough flowers left. I've also saved some artichoke heads for the wreath too.

Taffeta Wed 26-Sep-12 13:32:10

Oooh mars do post a pic! envy

Wolfcub Wed 26-Sep-12 14:43:15

Please can theroseofwait post the nectarine and rosewater jam recipe?

Whilst on the topic of things not to make:

Betty's christmas pudding
Good Food's Winter Spice Jelly

Things that are fabulous:

Good Food Stollen Wreath - I make three of these every year but add pistachios and cranberries for more christmas colour.

Hairy Bikers Mincemeat - the absolute best every but not with the orange pastry (hate orange and it's just a bit too much).

givemeaclue Wed 26-Sep-12 14:47:20

Gah! I thought I was ahead with the hyacinths but am informed am too late ...never mind we'll have them blooming in jan to cheer us up.

which sarah raven book is it that everyone is raving about?

Overreactionoftheweek Wed 26-Sep-12 14:50:58

This thread has made me intensely happy - I LOVE Christmas and want to ponce it up this year, as it's our first in our house, rather than at my Nan's or mil's

Last year was a blur as ds was 2 months old, can't wait to enjoy it with him this year - not that he'll have any idea what's going on!

Nothing to add yet but please keep all your fantastic ideas coming

theroseofwait Wed 26-Sep-12 15:42:55

of course, Wolfcub, here

Ilovemyteddy Wed 26-Sep-12 16:20:20

Oh thanks for the nectarine jam and MB Christmas chutney links, poncers! I usually make Delia's Christmas chutney but fancy a change this year. And that jam sounds delish. Shame I won't be able to eat any as I am low-carbing!

I'v just cut out 120 triangles to make Christmas bunting. I did a lovely holly garland last Christmas, but our neighbours have chopped down the holly tree sad sad sad so I'm going for bunting instead.

Re: Sarah R's hydrangea wreath. I've got her book, but couldn't work out from what she says whether she cuts and dries the flower heads NOW or waits until she makes the wreath. I'm worried that the flowers that are currently in my garden will get destroyed by the weather between now and Christmas.

Some0ne Wed 26-Sep-12 16:31:06

Ooh, I think I'll do the Hairies' mincemeat, I've loved everything of theirs that I've cooked so far.

It's looking like Delia for the cake. It's so popular it's got to be worth a try.

I tried Nigella's ultimate pudding last year and wasn't mad about it, though I wasn't able to get the right sherry; that may have made a difference. And I was sort of guessing the cooking time because I did it in the slow cooker. Actually I might try the Hairies for pudding as well.

Starshaped Wed 26-Sep-12 18:20:24

Thanks teddy - that's fabulous. smile

Stitchthis Wed 26-Sep-12 18:51:10

Sarah raven has arrived!!!

MadBusLady Wed 26-Sep-12 18:55:12


<gets cosy>

Badvoc Wed 26-Sep-12 18:59:22

I did delias cake last year having never made an Xmas cake before...it was a triumph smile
I want to build a toy box and personalise it for my young dn...she will be 13 months old at Xmas.
I have found a pine box/seat in Argos of all places. Will need to varnish it obv.
Any tips on how to pad the seat and paint her name in it?
(Long name too!)

Nagoo Wed 26-Sep-12 19:04:45

I'm sorry if I missed it, did anyone already do the Christmas vodka? Can we have a review please.

I love your wnakery taffly I like the sound of the orange and cranberry compote smile

Taffeta Wed 26-Sep-12 19:06:36

Ah Goo you have hunted me down to my true spiritual home

Wolfcub Wed 26-Sep-12 19:34:58

thank you theroseofwait

oreocrumbs Wed 26-Sep-12 19:45:12

Badvoc I'm on doing a toy box for DD. Have bought this box from Ikea. The wooden bits I am painintg with mint green gloss (would be better with an outside paint like cuprinol shades but I have what I have).

The side panels I have bought some wadding sheets and have glued that on and stapled to the inside, then they slide between the wood bits.

The top comes assembled so for this I am planning to either make a cushion and glue it down, or glue the padding to the box leaving an inch border, bondaweb the edges and staple/glue then fix a trim/cord around the edge.

I have bough these letters to put her name on - but DD's name is only 5 letters!

oreocrumbs Wed 26-Sep-12 19:47:28

That should say I have stapled the fabric to the inside for the side panels.

The fabric I have used is purple gingham and purple and white polka dots, the wood is pale mint green and the pastel letters are mainly yellowy tones - but that was just the luck of the draw!

Badvoc Wed 26-Sep-12 20:14:12

Oh wow! Thanks Oreo!
Have just ordered the ikea box and letters.
For The princely sum of £23!
What sort of paint should I use to paint the white bits? I favour lilac.
Also, how would I put pockets in the sides?
As you are all such experts smile I need to also ask some advice re a church project I have been put in charge of...
We are making some large advent banners (14 ft long!)
My group is making the "morning star"banner and I am a bit at a loss tbh.
I thought stars would be easy for the smaller kids (some are toddlers).
I need them to be able to make stars (any size) that can be attached to the banner.
What do you think would be the best way?
And what is bond a web?

VoldemortsNipple Wed 26-Sep-12 20:34:22

I've just made up my first batch of Christmas pudding vodka and realised that my db is going to love it smile

Can anybody tell me what do I do with the fruit after I strain the vodka.

oreocrumbs Wed 26-Sep-12 20:48:48

Firstly bondaweb is bought on a little roll and is like a webbing material. You iron it between 2 pieces of fabric and voila a hem! For the none sewers out there. I use it to take up trousers and for crafts.

The white panels are like a melamine type finish. I have covered them with fabric. If you want to paint them then you could either put them in with the wrong side out, or buy ESP (a surface primer spray) from a craft type shop, or B&Q, and the paint it.

You could cover the sides with wrapping paper/wall paper etc and varnish as another alternative.

As for pockets can you sew? Is so, sew a pocket and then staple or glue the edges and buy some ribbon/cord and glue that over the edges to cover the staples.

If you can't sew, you can probably fashion some with bondaweb!

I'm a bit clueless about the star banner though, I will have to have a think about that!

Voldermort, I plan to put the fruit in a small jar and give it with the vodka to my SF to have with brandy cream or ice cream. I'm not a fan of the mixed fruit and spices myself otherwise I would be keeping it!

I'm going to blend the rhubarb and the plums from my other offerings and make belini's with them! yum, those I will be drinking. DP better pass his driving test by christmas as I intend to be drunk untill easter grin

Badvoc Wed 26-Sep-12 20:52:08

Hmmmm...how would I attach fabric to the white panels?

Doodlekitty Wed 26-Sep-12 20:58:04

For anyone doing Christmas pudding Vodka, I used the same recipe but with Rum last year for FIL and it was a massive hit. MIL was upset that I had thrown out the rum infused fruit as she said it would be wonderful with ice cream. Repeating this year but will save the fruit this time

oreocrumbs Wed 26-Sep-12 21:05:11

I've attached the fabric to the white sides that are fixed buy hemming it with bondaweb to make the square neat and using double sided carpet tape to stick it to.

On the big side panels I have put the wadding on and wrapped the fabric around it and stapled on the inside then slid into place. You don't have to put wadding in though, you could either do the same as above with the tape or staple it without wadding.

Was very easy. If you have a sewing machine you can stitch it, but I don't so I use the bondaweb. I'm not very good at sewing, and it would take me ages and I would never get a straight line.

I have the Sarah Raven book ( I'm guessing it's the same as the one I had last year )

A friend and I are doing a floral art class , friend made the hydrangea wreath last year , cutting the flower heads that afternoon .
Looked fantastic !

Dried cow parsley sprayed silver looks lovely too , if you don't have alliums .

Went out foraging today , and picked a kilo of sloes , so now have 2 litres of sloe gin maturing .
Lovely killer jars in Wilkinsons ( I know it's a shop that must not be named , but litre killer jars there cost £3 )

I've made Nigella's black cake for the last few years , I might try the chocolate fruit cake this year .

I have Sarah Raven , Nigella and the original Delia Christmas book , I wonder if I need another one ? Maybe I need one that's written by a man .....--as long as its not ghastly Gordon Ramsay--

VoldemortsNipple Wed 26-Sep-12 22:11:16

Thanks oreocrumbs, but could I use it in Christmas cake or pudding and if so do I need to freeze the fruit until I'm ready to use it.

On other poncy matters, my Sarah Raven book has been dispatched, as has my new JK Rowling book which is likely to distract me from poncing.

I've found some beautiful fabrics to make Christmas stockings. I can't wait to get busy with them smile

oreocrumbs Wed 26-Sep-12 22:48:24

Yes use it in cake, mince pies, pudding. I don't think you will need to freeze it presuming you will use it in a matter of weeks. It will be well pickled in 40% booze!

If you want to keep it for a long time then it might be worth freezing, but I don't know if it will freeze with that much alcohol in? Vodka doesn't freeze on its own.

I saw your thread about the JK book, hope it's as good as I want it to be. If it is it's going on my Christmas list!

I'm totally smitted with the stockings that theroseofwait has bought. I think I'm going to try and copy them myself next year. I'm re/discovering crafts and my sewing is a bit crap, so if I get some practice in, I will get a sewing machine next year and that will be my first project!

moajab Wed 26-Sep-12 22:55:57

I made Christmas pudding vodka last year. I used the left over fruit to make christmas pudding sweets. I mixed the fruit with melted milk chocolate and some sugar. Then put little heaps of the mixture on baking paper until they set. Then I melted some white chocolate and poured a bit over each one. I topped them with tiny scraps of green and red marzipan to look like holly. They looked fab. But they were very boozy (as in don't eat and drive!), which I'm not so keen on, so this year I'm going to try to reduce the alcohol a bit. Maybe heat the fruit so some of the alcohol boils off? Or just add some more fruit? Or extra chocolate?
Does anyone know if I can make the vodka now or will it not last? Last year I didn't discover this thread until much nearer Christmas, so made it much later!

champagnesupernova Wed 26-Sep-12 23:49:02

OMG my Sarah Raven book arrived today.

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 08:00:27

What's is this Sarah raven book of which you speak??
Thanks so much Oreo.
You have sorted out my toy box dilemma!

WineGless Thu 27-Sep-12 08:14:01

Badvoc, I too want to know if it's worth getting this Sarah Raven book?

My CK organizer arrived last night so can't wait to dispatch the dc to school to study ponce about filling it in

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 09:29:25

What's a ck organiser?
Whatever it is I have a feeling I need want one!

oreocrumbs Thu 27-Sep-12 09:44:35

Ooh I hope my SR book comes today!

You do want a CK organiser.

I've described its contents somewhere up the thread. Its basically a file to plan your ponce!

FellatioNelson Thu 27-Sep-12 09:57:01

Hello all, just to say I am v.v. busy in RL this week and cI have very patchy access to the interweb at the moment (that's what happens when you will live in daft far-flung places hmm) so I cannot be on MN much but I am just sticking my head into the thread to say I haven't abandoned you and I will catch on all the reading as soon as I can. Please keep flying the flag of ponce while I am gone. Mwah xx

FellatioNelson Thu 27-Sep-12 09:57:02

Hello all, just to say I am v.v. busy in RL this week and cI have very patchy access to the interweb at the moment (that's what happens when you will live in daft far-flung places hmm) so I cannot be on MN much but I am just sticking my head into the thread to say I haven't abandoned you and I will catch on all the reading as soon as I can. Please keep flying the flag of ponce while I am gone. Mwah xx

FredWorms Thu 27-Sep-12 09:58:59

Is this just a SR fan club then?

I mean that book's alright, I spose, but I haven't used mine much tbh. To those wondering, try it from the library before you buy.

Oh dear, I'm going to kicked off the thread now, aren't I?

girlywhirly Thu 27-Sep-12 09:59:21

oreo, I think the crafty among us could make something very similar for craft/Christmas fairs. Or just for themselves!

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 10:00:37

You see?
Now you have made me buy both from amazon.
I will be an uber ponce this Xmas smile

BiddyPop Thu 27-Sep-12 10:57:25

The boss of our whole organisation found me in the coffee shop this morning - checking my "Holiday Grand Plan" check lists and calendar (from Organised Christmas website), complete with Nutcrackers all over the place! blush Eek!

I still can't get DH to commit to where we will be. I am making enquiries about possible places to rent though, with a view to poncing them up as well as home.

And I am planning on buying vanilla pods today to start a couple of batches of vanilla sugar for my baking and for giving as presents. I think I will be making green tomato chutney this or next weekend as well (have not made this since 2007 and there is 1 jar still to be opened I had such a glut - but they were all eaten happily).

2 years ago, I made "cherries in honey rum", to use up the bottle I had bought in the Canaries a few years back (we were never touching it). I used those afterwards to go into chocolates, which were VERY well received. I have the last few to use this year (sitting in the rum ever since - delish!!). I just got a punnet of fresh cherries, stoned them (using my trusty olive stoner) and threw them into the rum in a spare kilner - which I then ignored, studiously, for about 3 months.

oreocrumbs Thu 27-Sep-12 11:28:44

To make vanilla sugar do you just pop a few vanilla pods whole in a jar with granulated white sugar?

oreocrumbs Thu 27-Sep-12 11:29:55

Badvoc, I am a bad influence grin. Equally I am easily influenced and am being led astray by other ponces!

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 12:36:05

I shall refer to you henceforth as my Xmas budget nemesis smile

WineGless Thu 27-Sep-12 13:41:11

I have a new Paperchase rollerball all ready to write in my new Carh Kidston organizer.

My local libraries don't have Sarah Raven. Am I missing out?
Really? Honest opinions please. She is a bit annoying tbh

BiddyPop Thu 27-Sep-12 13:42:37

Oreocrumbs, I put 3 or 4 vanilla pods in a large kilner of caster sugar (cos I tend to use it for baking). I kinda mostly ignore it for at least 6 weeks, but shake it every once in a while when I remember to (to distribute the vanilla throughout the sugar).

I'd often just top up the one for my own baking, but every once in a while I take out the old pods and use those in a victoria sponge or some such. And then start off the jar again.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 27-Sep-12 13:50:25

I went to Dunelm this morning and I can report that they had some nice Christmas things.

These fleece blankets were actually quite nice and really quite cheap, I thought

I managed to refrain as I was focused on what it was I needed to get, however I think I may be making a return journey.

bezzyk Thu 27-Sep-12 13:57:53

If looking for vanilla pods, tesco had a deal this week (although you'd need to check its still on) on Schwarz spices. The vanilla pods were 1 jar for £2.55 or 2 jars for £2. Go figure! I ordered 4 and plan to get more with my next shop if they're still cheap x

FredWorms Thu 27-Sep-12 14:35:19


Horrors! shock

i have poncetastic stuffs!!!!! i made lemon and poppyseed soaps, and lime and coriander soaps. also, the basket i ordered for my mums christmas present has arrived and i luff it, and so will she.

girlywhirly Thu 27-Sep-12 15:21:43

Iliketo, I have just bought two of the 'Gingerbread' fleeces from Dunelm, for the two Ikea chairs with cream covers that our Black Cat likes to sleep on! I could argue that the cat will think they are poncetastic.

Although not as smart as the pale gold bedspread that I bought in Dunelm's sale two years ago, and embellished (hand sewn) with beads and sparkly things from Hobbycraft.

skirt Thu 27-Sep-12 15:24:57

Ive just googled the hydrangea wreath and the pic says it's dried but it doesn't look like that. The man next door has gorgeous hydrangeas on his bush that's hanging over our drive and I'm sure he will let me have some. Are they dried or can you preserve the colour some how or dry them out and spray them with silver. That's a bit 80's though, I think? Anyone have a clue?

skirt Thu 27-Sep-12 15:36:31

Oh my, have found the method. Here it is for anyone who is excited thinking about doing this

"place the stems in boiling water for 30 seconds and then lay them in a bath of cool water overnight.

The next day, shake them off and then stand in a solution of 1 part glycerin to 2 parts hot water. Once they have sucked it all up, they should remain soft and retain their colour. This might take as long as a month."

So if I did that now, would they just stay looking nice forever?

oreocrumbs Thu 27-Sep-12 15:39:08

Thanks BiddyPop, I fancy making some up for my own use, and if I get stuck for gifts I might do some for the Aunts.

I'm doing a tesco order later bezzyk so I will keep an eye out for them, thanks!

Darker hydrangeas hold their colour better - I did a blue one and a dark red on last year and they both lasted well - the blue went a lovely mottled purple.They were dried, but not as brittle as dried flowers usually are, if that makes sense.
I've not tried the glycerin method but I don't know about forever - they;d get awful dusty.

skirt Thu 27-Sep-12 15:44:50

Thanks - his are a pink/green colour but beggars can't be choosers! When did you cut them and did you just put them in a case in your garage or somewhere till you needed them?

girlywhirly Thu 27-Sep-12 15:48:28

Have just looked at drying flowers, and it says that woody stemmed flowers are best preserved by standing the cut stems in a solution of 50% hot water and 50% glycerine and leave for at least a week. The stems suck up the glycerine which makes the flowers supple, but can undergo colour changes the book says. However they wont be crispy and shrivelled like most dried flowers.

You don't have to completely spray them with silver or gold, sometimes just a light waft from the aerosol is enough to give a light sparkle. Or you can spray the paint directly onto a sheet of polythene, and while still damp touch the edges of the petals to it and then let them dry for a more subtle effect.

At my last house (just moved) i had lots of bushes so had them all over the house - they last for ages cut. I had no idea SR did them - I'd seen in in Country Living years ago - and I did it as an Autumn wreath <ponce>. It lasted up for about a month outside and I did another for my kitchen wall which was up until it got dusty and too dry - 3-4 months. I cut them as the colour was going over - so about now for me in the SW - and just weaved them onto a wire wreath - no oasis or owt.
here - I just googled to see if I could find a pic of her ones and I think hers look dried or on their way. They still look good - just more muted so praps not so Christmassy.
No hydrangeas for me this year so I haven't tried - let us know how you get on!

skirt Thu 27-Sep-12 16:11:23

I'm going to wait until the chap next door comes home from work then I will pop up and as he will obviously be desperate to get inside, he will say yes ravage cut my bush. <sniggers>

I think I might theme my wrapping paper also with brown paper and hydrangea stencils to look like baubles and small heads, spray painted green.

Oh Yes.

MrsBovary Thu 27-Sep-12 16:26:32

Marking place. Rather late this year!

I've been looking at fruit dehydrators and wondering if they might prove a waste of money (very likely), as I'm wanting to dry fruits (and flowers), whole and sliced, for decorations. My oven attempts have always turned out slightly singed.

MrsTwinks Thu 27-Sep-12 20:12:49

if anyone making bits is near a 99p store, not sure if its just my local but they have really nice BIG kilner-style jars in there at the moment. But don't try Haywards Heath I think I cleared them out lol.

Having to wait until payday to continue on the gift front, working on my food stocking up at the minute. Anyone have a really good mincemeat recipe?

Badvoc Thu 27-Sep-12 20:15:20

Hairy bikers one is supposed t be good mrstwinks

FellatioNelson Thu 27-Sep-12 20:30:15

Right. I am back.

I made the mince pies with orange pastry last year and to be honest I prefer plain mince pies. The orange pastry was a bit too sweet. They had dobs of mascapone, or creme fraiche or something inside as well, which was ok, but not as good as just a common or garden mince pie with plain shortcrust pastry and cold cream poured over. Sometimes you can get too poncey for your own good.

WineGless Thu 27-Sep-12 20:41:46

Dunelm Mill is good for the big kilner jars here

Fellatio -wash your mou out

Boxing day breakfast has to be a hot Mr Kipling mince pie , with the top lifted off and some cold thick cream spooned on top .

I'm going to attempt the flower drying on cow parsley . Worth a try ?

Dosey Thu 27-Sep-12 21:46:13

Hi there lady poncers. I have been shyly lurking on this thread. I have never ponced before and would so love to give it a go this year. With this in mind I am going to be a very basic poncer and would love some help. So far I have thought about making some skittle flavoured vodka for friends. When would be a good time to make this???? Also for a good friend I would like to make her the cookie dough mixture layered thing in a jar. I could do with some help with this too, quantities and stuff. I have bought a jar for the cookie dough and that's about it really. I have just checked our drinks cabinet and I have found some brandy that looks slightly unloved, can I ponce this up in anyway. And also am,I too late to make Christmas pudding vodka.

Please be gentle with me, this is my first time however I would welcome any basic poncing ideas x

There are so many poncetastic ideas I want to pinch! smile
Sarah raven book is on its way so the poncing will commence fully when that arrives and dh starts working away next week.

I was thinking of making some mini panettone for Christmas instead of a cake. BUT as I've never made them before I have questions!
Do I bake them in a muffin tin, or do I have a crack at baking them in a empty soup tin?
I was thinking of putting in cranberries but not sure what else?

I did say I was still in the early stages of ponce didn't I? blush

VoldemortsNipple Thu 27-Sep-12 22:31:10

dosey I'm a first time poncer too. I made Christmas pud vodka yesterday and today I've started some cherry brandy which is very simple. Have a look on BBC good food website for recipes in a jar. There are all kinds of different ones.

The postman has put a card through the door today which I suspect is my SR book.

I've been in the garden to inspect my hydrangea bush to see if its fit for wreath making, but my flowers are starting to look a bit worse for wear. Which is a shame because its had loads of flowers all summer long.

I've found some lovely retro style 250ml bottles for a good price which I'm considering for my flavoured vodka. Hold on I'll swap to the iPad and try and link smile

VoldemortsNipple Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:02
Jacaqueen Thu 27-Sep-12 22:49:58

OMGi know I am a few days late but how can this thread have so many posts already. I will have to catch up.

VoldemortsNipple Thu 27-Sep-12 22:50:02

This is the fabric I've chosen for my Christmas stockings. I plan to use calico too and ponce them up with some lovely tassels.

MissPricklePants Thu 27-Sep-12 23:11:55

I am planning on making some pomander's but cannot find cloves! need a lot as I am making a few and have tried lots of places so if anybody knows where I can find cloves post a link!! <off to catch up on the rest of the thread>

MrsTwinks Fri 28-Sep-12 01:21:11

I've gotten cloves in Tesco before (with all the other spices) otherwise I've used eBay before for star anise and it was really good stuff surprisingly (nowhere local could I get any at the time)

Dosey Fri 28-Sep-12 06:43:09

Thank you vold I will keep any eye open an on you for ideas. My hydrangea bush is looking quite good I may just give a wreath a go. Off to google cherry brandy too x

Badvoc Fri 28-Sep-12 07:24:59

Oooooh pomanders!
Must make those!
Got a lovey usborne Xmas cook book for the kids..lovely treats easy for kids to make...if anyone wants any kids recipes let me know and I will post some.
Very excited about my dns toy box smile
My ck planner and SR book should come today!

girlywhirly Fri 28-Sep-12 07:56:48

It might be worth looking in multicultural grocers shops for cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks etc as they quite often have big bags of spices reasonably priced, compared to the tiny jars sold in supermarkets.

BiddyPop Fri 28-Sep-12 08:30:14

I'd agree with looking in Asian supermarkets for cloves and large size packets of different spices. Handy also for getting bulk amounts required to make your own mulled wine spices etc (I have a lovely recipe that I will try to root out that is something like 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, 10 peppercorns, cardomon pods and cloves....which is great to add to a bottle of wine for a present and easy for kiddiwinks to count out for individual sets).

Speaking of which, does anyone have a nice recipe for mulled cider?

MonthlyChange Fri 28-Sep-12 10:12:56

Oo mulled cider! Please someone have a recipe.
How do you make pomanders shameful novice poncer

FunkyMonkey1983 Fri 28-Sep-12 10:27:52

Delia has a recipe for mulled cider and although I haven't tried it out, it sounds lovely as it also has buttered apple slices in it!

I don't have the recipe at the moment though as I'm at work but I could dig it out later.

Taffeta Fri 28-Sep-12 10:30:33

Sarah has a mulled cider recipe.

For 12-15 glasses
2.5litres dry cider, still or sparkling
2 apples washed cored and sliced
3 oranges, washed and sliced
zest and juice 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
10 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
6 tablespoons soft brown sugar

Put all ingredients in a pan and gradually heat, simmering gently for about an hour. Do not let it boil. Strain and serve in heatproof glasses.

Taffeta Fri 28-Sep-12 10:32:06

tbh I've made mulled drinks with poncey shite inside , eg blanched almonds, buttered apples etc, and no one bothers with it they just drink the alcohol

Maybe this is just my friends, though hmm

Badvoc Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:48

My organiser and sr book have arrived!

demisemiquaver Fri 28-Sep-12 13:55:59

OMG this is SO exciting! : but I'm panicking now as 5 days late 'onsite' already .Home-made salt-dough deccies last yr [poss got recipe here???] -artfully arranged on 'christmas branch'-found in park,naturally-....a la christmas tree of course....went down well last year.Am now thinking miniature [dolls actually] house all done up with[mini?] decorations...dont know where it could go,though....unless it doubled as a 'present store',say...?

oreocrumbs Fri 28-Sep-12 14:00:48

My SR book still hasn't come sad. I need to learn how to make wreaths while the flowers are still good.

Oh and DD has De ponced my lovely new CK organiser. The front cover has been scribbled on in biro shock. There was shouting, and tears (mine).

Never mind I shall lock her up untill the rest of the poncing is finished. - Joking maybe.

Scout19075 Fri 28-Sep-12 15:20:51

For the Cherry Brandy -- when do I take the cherries out? The sugar is already dissolved and the cherries seem to be shrinking a bit (surely that can't be right but they seem to be).

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 28-Sep-12 15:28:19

Toddlers are the enemy of ponce oreo grin

MrsTwinks Fri 28-Sep-12 16:10:41

any fruit-based booze i leave for as long as possible to be honest as they only taste better with time, i generally wait 2-3 months. that said i just had a snifter of my sloe rum and mmm"drool"mmm so maybe have a taste and see if its cherry enough for you?

TeaOneSugar Fri 28-Sep-12 16:51:13

Has anyone used Delia's mincemeat recipe.

I've never made mincemeat before, sounds like a nice sunday afternoon activity for me and dd. Has to be a vegetarian recipe, this one says it works with veggie suet.

ariadneoliver Fri 28-Sep-12 17:58:07

MrsBovary I have a dehydrator. It's great, I get quite a lot of use out of it drying tomatoes and chillis which I grow. It's also fab for making your own dried fruit. If you would use it for something other than Christmas decorations then it's probably worth it.

BiddyPop Fri 28-Sep-12 18:05:55

I recently tasted (purely a quality control exercise of course) one of the cherries I put in honey rum about 27 months ago......sooo much more delish than the first Christmas. Definitely leave them as long as possible, the booze preserves them.

TeaOneSugar Fri 28-Sep-12 18:51:38

As a follow up to my mincemeat question, will it be OK without the Brandy?

I don't fancy buying a bottle of brandy for 3 tbsp.

VoldemortsNipple Fri 28-Sep-12 19:13:41

Sarah Raven is here in my living room....
Well not exactly in person but my book has arrived. It's very shiny grin

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Fri 28-Sep-12 19:14:55

I think mincemeat tastes better with brandy tbh, can you not ponce some off of a chum or family member?

Leave the fruit in your cherry brandy until you strain and decant it.

I love the first bottle Voldemort.

MrsTwinks Fri 28-Sep-12 19:18:52

teaonesugar go to an off-licence and you should be able to get a minature for about £2ish, I did that last year for setting fire to the pud.

Wolfcub Fri 28-Sep-12 19:31:45

TeaOneSugar use whisky if you haven't got brandy. My mum is teatotal and she just uses orange or lemon juice instead.
HairyBiker mincemeat is absolutely fine with veggie suet - I never use beef suet as I think the veggie one makes things lighter.

my CK christmas organiser has arrived ... I love it <squee> hope you are reading this oreo, you led me astray

now to fill it with LISTS


Taffeta Fri 28-Sep-12 20:25:55

Sainsbo's sell a smaller bottle of brandy that I usually get for cooking. I get through about half of it each year with mince pies and Christmas cake, and of course brandy butter, brandy sauce etc.

VoldemortsNipple Fri 28-Sep-12 21:07:40

Thanks ilike I've just ordered these they are more like a retro coke bottle than milk bottle. I thought they would also be nice as drink glasses at parties. Including postage, I

VoldemortsNipple Fri 28-Sep-12 21:09:53

Including postage, it was less than £20 for 25 bottles. They also have a good selection of other jars and bottles too. smile

TeaOneSugar Fri 28-Sep-12 21:25:27

I'll look for minatures, good idea, I'd forgotten about those.

MissPricklePants Fri 28-Sep-12 23:07:03

I had seen cloves in supermarkets but they were tiny jars and I need lots (my mum is v poncetastic at Christmas and she is making them too!) Will check out Asian supermarkets although there isn't one in my town!

lindsell Fri 28-Sep-12 23:14:00

this is a great thread, I'm really excited by Christmas this year and as I'm on mat leave and my dm and dsis are coming for Christmas then I'm planing as poncetastic (great word - not come across it til this thread) a one as I can manage grin

So the cake is done, going to do the pudding this weekend. Just ordered the Sarah raven book after the rave reviews on here - for anyone who hasn't got it yet I found it at the bargain price of £4.99 from the book people here Got some other nice looking Christmas crafty books from there as well.

Any recommendations for good places in London or online to get Christmas fabric? I fancy making some bunting & other decorations.

OpheliaBumps Fri 28-Sep-12 23:21:53

I use a Good Housekeeping mincemeat recipe, dead easy with no cooking involved. I also use veggie suet in it, so i can make mincepies for everyone without worrying if anyone's veggie.

I swear by Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries pud, it's really light and so tasty. I make a pud for all of my family, and it's become our traditional pud now.

Going to the local farmer's market tomorrow looking for damsons, the damson tree in the park had a poor harvest this year, so i'm struggling for fruit gin ingredients.

BeaWheesht Sat 29-Sep-12 00:37:51

If you're ordering the book mentioned previously from book people theres a free delivery code on the online bargains thread - FREESEP I think but you should check

I was sooo determined to be a poncer this year, but I will have to do only last minute poncery...we are moving on the 1st Dec, and I don't want to have to transport pots of mincemeat/pine cones/half sewn decorations!
At least my limoncello and green apple vodka should be done drunk by then! And I can 'lose' all of our tinsel during the move somehow.
Had a bash at homemade beauty products to give as gifts-made a lovely rich body cream, some moisturising scrubs and I will be attempting soapmaking and bath bombs very soon.
Failed miserably at crabapple jelly (like glue) and greengage and vanilla jam (like water) maybe I should mix the 2 together...?

Biddypop honey rum sounds amazing smile

BeaWheesht Sat 29-Sep-12 00:41:28

Badvoc - I'm gates crashing here but kids recipes would be much appreciated by me!

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 29-Sep-12 01:15:46

MissPricklePants have you got any huge supermarkets near you? They should have a 'world foods' aisle, and would have bigger packs of spices in the Indian section - look for Rajah or East End brands. Cloves today were 92p for a med sized bag in my 'big' Sainsbos.

WineGless Sat 29-Sep-12 06:57:25

Limoncello - now you Are talking sagelynodding can you link to recipe please
Spent an hour last night with nigella and a bottle of red- very pleasant it was tio

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 07:56:05

Ok Bea will be back when I have time x

TeaOneSugar Sat 29-Sep-12 08:09:44

The book people free delivery code is OFFERSEP, I'm guessing it finishes tomorrow.

The Sarah Raven book is still £4.99.

I got a calendar (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) for DD at the same time, so that's one more present ticked off the list.