Sunday, 5 January 2014

Twelfth Night

A belated happy new year. You can probably guess what one of my new year's resolutions is, from my lack of blogging at the end of 2013.

As it's the twelfth day of Christmas, I thought I would add some Christmas photos, before decorations get packed up and put away for another 11 months.

I did two themed Christmas bouquets last month. One was The Miracle of 34th Street, inspired by the 1947 film with Maureen O'Hara and a very young Natalie Wood. It's red and green, with anemones, rosemary, pepperberries, and viburnum. It is supposed to represent tradition but also a childlike sense of fun. I used rosemary in all of the festive bouquets, and as well as making them smell delicious, they also conveyed one of the sentiments of Christmas and new year - remembrance.

The other was Joyeux Noël, inspired by the 2005 film about the Christmas truce during the First World War. I saw the film when it came out at the cinema, and I thought it was lovely - just the right side of sentimental, with some wonderful acting. Although it was odd to see Alex Ferns as anything other than Trevor from EastEnders. This bouquet has blue, red and white, with bubblegum-scented muscari, anemones, pepperberries, some had viburnum and others white hellebores (Christmas roses), and most had senecio. They are supposed to represent warmth and empathy. I got all of the ribbons for the jam jars from Bromley market on Small Business Saturday.

There was a lot of Christmas baking, too. Two different attempts at lebkuchen (this one, thanks to a recommendation on Twitter, which I amended to replace the ground almonds with flour because of an allergy, and this one, which I added a bit of melted butter to as it wouldn't bind), mint chocolate cakes, spiced mocha cakes, peppermint fairy cakes, and mince pies aplenty (using variations on Nigella Lawson's and Mary Berry's recipes). The peppermint cakes just use the standard 2oz to 1 egg sponge recipe I was taught as a girl, with melted dark chocolate for the mint chocolate ones, and peppermint essence. I do recommend the Primrose Bakery book as the recipes are wonderful (the Earl Grey cakes, for example) and the bakery in Covent Garden is the perfect pitstop.

And finally, this was one Christmas present that went down well with my little sister. I admit it - I probably enjoyed playing this game more than her.

Happy Twelfth Night!


  1. Lovely bouquets- striking and original.
    And it looks like you all had a delicious Christmas! Beautiful photos!

    You should blog the recipes.

  2. Thanks for your lovely comments!

    Good idea - I've edited the post and added some links. Happy baking!