Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday 22nd December - Christmas Preparations continue

The tree is up, as you will know by now.

I also made brandy butter and rum butter yesterday.

Brandy Butter

Cream equal weights of softened unsalted butter and caster sugar. My mother taught me to keep the caster sugar in a jar with vanilla pods, long before anyone had heard of vanilla sugar. It is perfect for baking and for strawberries (oh, do you remember strawberries and cream and hot sun and thin cotton summer clothes and going barefoot, a few months ago?). For us, I used three ounces each of butter and sugar - that would be around 75 g I suspect. Once the butter and sugar are combined, beat in brandy. I probably used three tablespoons, hard to tell as I just use the cap from the bottle. It is as much brandy as the mixture will hold; some tends to leak out a bit. I also grated in some lemon zest - about a quarter of a lemon.

Rum Butter

As for brandy butter, but use soft brown sugar and rum (obviously!) and some grated orange zest.

They will keep for a while in the fridge.

We always have these, and cream, with mince pies and with Christmas Pudding. In the unlikely event you have any left over after Christmas, use them as part of the ingredients for the farmhouse fruit cake which you will find here
or make buns (Victoria sponge recipe). Weight up the left overs, and assume half the weight is butter and half is sugar, and add and subtract and adjust your recipe accordingly. Now you know why you had to do sums at school.
Next to be done are the dining room and the fireplace.

Neither will happen today, as first we will have Sunday lunch and then I will be playing for a carol service over in Hampshire (their organist is on holiday on the other side of the world!) and before anything else can be done we have to deal with this:

I had a bit of work to do before I could practise the carols for this evening as the overspill from the dining room table was spectacular, even for us, but I just moved the mess to somewhere else. For now.

I think we'll be eating our roast Sunday Lunch on our laps. As usual.


  1. Ah! This surely demands a comment.
    Why is such a distinguished liquid called rum be assaulted with butter and sugar? And why is there not one that combines said ingredients with that liquid known as whisky?
    Also, on close examination of the pictures I see a jolly olde gentleman glad in a red suit! Surely he deserves a multimedia post of his own :-)

  2. Luckily for the rest of my readers, I don't know how to upload music... Santa will be working hard to provide the background music once we have cleared enough space for him!

    I've never tried to make whisky butter... I guess you would follow the rum butter (what an EXCELLENT way to consume rum, in my view) recipe, but omit the orange zest. I'm, no whisky expert, but suspect that the peatier malts wouldn't work so well.

    You were serious, weren't you? no? yes?

  3. Whisky butter - we'll give you a pass on that as BB may cite it as grounds for divorce :-) but couldn't resist.
    As for the music, it needs the full multimedia with all the actions. There is a challenge for BB & #1 son