Before I launch into this post, let me wish everyone of you a Happy New Year! :-)
You may think that it's far too late to be posting up anything about Christmas. I thought so too initially. And the longer I left it, the less irrelevant it seemed. Until today.
There were a lot of firsts for me when it came to Christmas gifting last year - these mainly revolved around giving homemade goodies as Christmas presents. I've never felt that what came out of my kitchen was ever good enough to give away as presents (Christmas baking somehow different from cooking a meal for friends) - although every year, cookbooks and food magazines were earmarked and mental notes taken whilst watching the likes of Nigella and Donna whip up what seemed like amazingly simple yummies to be wrapped up prettily as presents.
However, 2011 was different. It was the year I blogged about food. And to do so, I increasingly found myself cooking and baking recipes I would normally deem too difficult so that I could blog about it. All the hours spent in the kitchen finally gave me the guts to decide that this was the year for homemade Christmas goodies. That and the fact that we were still a one-salary household. Although I'm not entirely convinced that going homemade was necessarily cost-saving! Ah well...
So there I was. After multiple exhaustive online recipe searches and an entire booklet of mini post-its, I managed to come to my final list. It was made up of a few 'firsts': marmalade, onion jam and spritz cookies. I decided to throw in a couple of repeat recipes as well, just in case my first attempts bomb out - deciding on chutney and granola (with slight variations to when I first made them).
Many photos of the final products were taken with every intention in getting a post out before Christmas. However I completely underestimated how much time it was going to take baking, preserving, bottling and wrapping up goodies for 15 people! With all that plus the usual madness and chaos which is the lead up to Christmas, meant that I kept putting off the post. Sitting down to sift through photos, touching them up and writing a decent post was so NOT what I wanted to do after all that.
So here we are, just past mid-January. Looking through all the photos that I took of my Christmas goodies efforts, with the initial thought of deleting them all. But as I went through one after another, I decided, what the heck. As far as I know, there were no rules about posting up something Christmas-sy almost a month after the event. And even if there were, tough ti**ies! I'm doing it. I've done it.
Happy new year - again! If you've had a great 2011, here's to an even fabulous one for 2012. And let's be there for each other so that 2012 will be a memorable one, for all the right reasons! xoxoxo
PS: Will post the recipes for these soon!!