Friday, December 22, 2006
Merry Christmas! - Lebkuchen
My run-up to Christmas started about a week ago. I was out shopping and happened to see the perfect gift for my brother. Before that, I didn't think we were really going to do Christmas this year, as we're all busy with work and we don't usually have a tree anyway. All I had planned for this year was a festive roast goose for Christmas Eve. In all honesty, I think we're still recovering from last year's mega-turkey-feast.
Anyway, back to my story. I bought my brother the gift, and then realised that it would be more festive if we actually had a tree in the house to shelter the gift. (I also realise that displaying my brother's gift under a tree 2 weeks before Christmas would increase the likelihood of me receiving a gift this year. Sneaky). So Mum and I hit the local nursery and got a conifer bush to display in the kitchen.
Then I baked some lebkuchen (recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess) to decorate the tree. Lebkuchen are delicious little crunchy German biscuits, rich with spices and dark sugar, and hot with pepper. The pepper might sound a bit weird, but it tastes good. After rolling and cutting out your little biscuits, you cut a little hole in the top (I used a chopstick), so that you can later thread some ribbon through and hang it on the tree. The icing is just a mixture of icing sugar and water, which I then decorated with cachous and other random sprinkles I found in my pantry. Luckily for me I only have a small conifer bush, and not a proper hardcore Christmas pine tree. The recipe made more than enough biscuits for decorating, and we got to eat the rest. Score!
Since the lebkuchen day, Nigella's Christmas Kitchen has been screening on the Lifestyle Channel, which got me even more mega-pumped about Christmas, and Christmas plans are now in full swing. I've been shopping and baking like crazy and I have my Christmas Eve roast goose dinner and my Christmas dinner (non-turkey) all planned out. Check back over the next few days to see progress.
Edit: Having recently heard my friends' plans for traditional turkey lunches, and seeing Nigella's fabulous Christmas lunch on the final episode of Nigella's Christmas Kitchen tonight, I can't help but feel a pang of emptiness in my heart that only a roast turkey smothered in bread sauce can fill. Oh well, there's always next year. Or Boxing Day.