Hello my lovelies! This week I had some of my favourite people over for Friendmas. I had a meltdown trying to make a fancy dessert for it while I was tired. I had to say goodbye to my sourdough starter. And it has rained. Twice!
I know I’m big on Christmas. I also know that many others aren’t. For lots of reasons. It can be stressful. It’s busy. It has a lot of forced interactions with people you don’t necessarily like or get on with. I am extremely lucky to have great Christmas memories to go with my love of all the stuff that goes with it. And I love to share it with people I love. Saturday was Friendmas day. Some of my favourite people ever. We had snacks and sweets. We had a homemade present swap. We watched a trashy Christmas film. Laughs, catch-ups and naps were had. We ate roast chicken and salads. We drank horchata and lemonade and bubbles. We had ice cream and raspberries in the evening sun on the deck. I hope it was a little slice of time out from Christmas pressures and busyness. I even got a beautiful Christmas jumper. The best ever.
So remember how I was going to make a Paris-Brest for Friendmas dessert? Well it didn’t work out so well. I was trying to make the components on Friday afternoon. Not a time renowned for high levels of energy and attention to things. I was dog-tired. It’s been a big year. And a busy month. It was going well at first. I made the creme patisserie. I made the choux. I piped the choux in a fairly tidy ring. I sprinkled sliced almonds on it and put it in the oven. I watched it bake. Natch. The almonds got very brown but the rest still looked a little pale. I had to take it out before the almonds burned. It’d be ok surely. Not really. It hadn’t baked firm and dry enough and it collapsed immediately. Womp-womp. I wasn’t in much of a state to deal with it like an adult. I threw it across the kitchen. I had a bit of a cry about it. My snug bug calmed me down and sent me out for a walk while he cleaned it up. He’s the best. Once I regained my faculties I thinned down the custard and churned it into ice cream with piles of chopped gingerbread cookies. It was a super hot day so the ice cream worked out for the best.
I talked a bit before about how my sourdough starter had been playing up with the changing weather. Well at the moment it’s so warm that microbes are getting away on us. I forgot to feed the starter on Thursday and on Friday morning it had suspicious pinkness on top. The infection grew so quickly on the surface it got established before the acid could deal with it. I made an executive decision. Thankfully I have multiple friends who also have starters and one of them brought round a new baby for me. It’s hanging out in the fridge. It’s super aggressive so hopefully it can behave while I’m away for a week!
It’s raining. Like right now. It’s the second time lately. I mentioned last week that we have had a super hot and dry summer so far. I have never seen Wellingtonians be so thankful for rain. My Facebook feed was full of excited comments earlier in the week. Especially at Christmas. It’s comforting but not heavy enough to make a real difference to water levels. In NZ the perennial problem is whether or not it rains on Christmas day. This year it’d be an extra gift! When I was out running this morning the poor brown grass was trying to grow again. I hope it’s faith is rewarded.
Spend time with people you actually like. Stay calm. Have a nap. Look after each other.