Here we go dear Adventurous ones, I am so excited to officially announce the 2020 Ambah X Advent KAL open!
Welcome to you all.
It is morning of December 1 here in Australia, you can open your package and cast on now, or if you prefer to wait until December 1 in your time zone then that’s fine too.
Jana and I will be creating daily videos, where we open our daily yarn, chat things December and life on two different hemispheres and have some fascinating interviews with yarnies plus other insights to share with you. Here is our first edition:
Thank you to Ann AKA littleberry on Ravelry for these thoughts and delicious looking recipes.
“I can’t think of any particularly unusual traditions I had growing up through advent although I think my mum developed the concept of a ‘chocolate advent calendar’ in the 1970’s.
I had my traditional advent calendar back then (born 1970) they were religious based on a nativity scene etc after I’d opened that I was allowed to take a chocolate that she’d hung on our silver tree in the front room. I remember apart from solid chocolate shapes there was ‘liqueur’ chocolates, which made me feel so grown up. Apart from the lights and chocolates my mum had a selection of glass ornaments and that’s all that was hung on it.
This tree was and still is (it’s been refurbished with new tinsel over the years) about 4’ tall and used to stand on the sideboard. It had my favourite ‘Sputnik’ lights on which until last year stopped working many years ago but they hold such memories of Christmas for me (my dad would ask me every year which lights to put on the tree and it was always ‘sputniks’) that I couldn’t part with them. My husband Paul is a whiz with electrics and likes fiddling so last year he placed LED’s inside them and used a Raspberry Pi and programmed it so you can make them do different effects, they’ve never looked so good or so colourful.
I suppose the other tradition my mum started (she died this May aged 90) was for our elderly friends who don’t want presents etc especially as my mum used to say ‘nothing I have to dust!’ She would give them a homemade Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies and shortbreads something I’m still doing although nowhere as many as she/we used to make. I do remember she always used to make table decorations for the neighbors to with Holly and greenery from the garden and candles.
I thought I’d share my shortbread recipe and mince pie recipe with you again these were perfected by mum, I know the pastry for the mince pie might seem odd, but rolled thin it makes a melt in the mouth pastry.
Ann aka Littleberry
Cathleen Berry’s Shortbread
250g Butter (cold) – cubed
125g Caster Sugar + some for dredging
250g Plain Flour
Makes approx 18 using cutter stated.
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C / GM 4. Lightly grease baking trays.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until combined and the mixture forms a ball. Stop as soon as it starts to form. It can be finished off by hand, but don’t overwork it.
Roll to 1/4” / 1.5cm thick and cut, using a 2.75” / 7.5cm cutter.
Bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes until starting to turn pale gold, cracks should have formed. Remove from oven leave on tray to cool for 5 minutes before dusting with Caster sugar. Remove from tray and allow to cool on cooling rack.
Cathleen Berry’s Mince Pie Pastry
1 lb.S.R. Flour
½ lb Stork Margarine (block)
¼ lb Kilvert’s Lard
¼ tsp Salt
1 small egg (beaten)
Rub the fats into the sifted flour & salt
Mix in the sugar
Bind together with the beaten egg added gradually
Leave pastry to rest for at least ½ hour in fridge wrapped in clingfilm (it can be frozen at this stage too)
If using an electric mixer, add the sugar before adding the fats as the pastry will soon start to bind together, leaving little time to add the egg or part of the egg.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface as desired to make your mince pies, this pastry recipe can be rolled out quite thinly.
Bake @ 400F. for approx. 15 – 20 mins.