It's been a while, I know! 2012 has whizzed by in a blur ... but recently I have started to want to blog about Plum Cottage again and the stuff that we get up to. It's just finding a time when I am not at work, rushing around taking Miss Plum to ballet or various play dates, not stressing about the state of our flat (I would love to have a cleaner!) or asleep (usually in front of the TV at 9pm)! yes, my life is still as rock 'n' roll as ever!
So suddenly, December is upon us. I had thought of a festive re-launch of my blog, but as it is now mid-December that is unlikely! ha ha! December is here ... and I don't feel very festive.
This is unusual for me. Christmas cakes are usually baked in October and decorated at the beginning of December. This year's are still sitting on my work top waiting for their marzipan. I must get on with that. I have normally started the Christmas weight gain by now having started truffle making and cupcake baking ... but (thankfully, for once!) this has been delayed!
I had lots of plans to get on with various crafts - a felt Christmas tree for Miss Plum, an Advent Scarf that I had seen on ravelry, a tutu for Miss Plum to wear to ballet, a sleeping bag for her favourite doll. Most of these are still on my to do list! I must sit down and get on with them!!!
So here I find myself on a rainy Friday morning, recovering from the bug that has been doing it's rounds at nursery, sitting with a sleeping babe beside me on the sofa (I have exhausted her out with Christmas card decorating and biscuit dough preparation), watching Meet Me In St Louis (this, if anything will make me feel Christmassy I hope!).
We have decided, for the first time in a long time, to spend Christmas in London, rather than go to our parents (we alternate). Miss Plum is 2.5 years old (can you believe it?) and we wanted her to have Christmas morning at home. We are looking forward to it - and will be heading to my parents on Boxing Day and then up to Yorkshire to spend New Year with my inlaws. But I think that I have been in denial about the whole thing as .... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM GOING TO HAVE FOR MY CHRISTMAS DINNER! So I am having a flick through my favourite cook books to decide on a nice veggie dinner ... anyway, here I come to the reason for my post.
My inlaws are rather partial to port and Stilton ... not separately, which would be nice (!) but Stilton with port in it (this is far too strong for my palate!) They discovered it while cruising and are often prepared to pay up to £30 for a tiny jar of it in Fortnum & Masons. Crazy! One year I made them some. I think they liked it, although they may have been humouring me! On a recent visit to Fortnum's, my mother-in-law glanced towards the Stilton ... but came to her senses and didn't buy any as she thought that she would be able to get it in Waitrose. (Waitrose did it for about a tenner last year, I think). It turns out that Waitrose aren't doing it this year ...
I have found a recipe for potted cheese in my Betty's "A Year Of Family Recipes" cookbook
250g hard cheese (such as Wenslydale, Stilton, Cheshire, Swaledale, Single Gloucester) - finely grated.
85g butter at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons of port
pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Place the grated cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix together to form a paste.
2. When well amalgamated, work in the port and cayenne pepper.
3. Transfer to one large pot or individual ramekins and place in the fridge to set.