Day 85 – December 24th – Mince pies and carols

Making mince pies...

Making mince pies…

Christmas Eve, and my ‘Christmas Day’ celebrations with the Johnson side of the family. We skyped with all the Australian family this morning, catching them rather tipsy near the end of Christmas catch-up dinner. Then I made mince pies under the watchful eye of grandma. Though I do know how to make pastry, I think she was just quite anxious that I get it all right, and kept wandering into the kitchen to remind me of what to do next! With our combined efforts, though, the mince pies tasted fantastic – not quite like mum’s, but also not far off! I had so much fun that I really didn’t mind too much how they tasted, and was pleasantly surprised that they turned out so well. Yum.

....and the end result!

….and the end result!

As for the afternoon, we had a bit of a relax, some presents and I played some Christmas carols. I now have a huge supply of chocolate-coated ginger, some warm socks and another jumper. Christmas time is family time, and it feels so lovely to be up here spending time with my grandparents. Round two begins tomorrow!

Day 78 – December 17th – Mince Pies and Enescu

I have to admit to not feeling terribly prepared for tomorrow’s class, as until two days ago we all thought there wasn’t one! However, Trevor confirmed that there indeed is, and our repertoire piece is Enescu’s Cantabile et Presto. Lovely piece, but a lot of notes for those of us like me who haven’t played it before!

I certainly won’t be putting my hand up to play in class tomorrow, and if possible I might take my turn at sitting out on this one, since I’ve played every other repertoire piece and excerpt so far. That said, I was pleasantly surprised how much of the piece I could get at least nominally under the fingers in today’s practice session – all the work on scale pattern over the last few months is definitely paying off.

This afternoon I finally got round to making some mince pies, though I wasn’t terribly pleased with the result. I bought mince meat ages ago, but never got round to making pastry, so then got some frozen pastry at Tesco on Tuesday. Anyway, the pastry was rather too thick and puffy despite my best efforts at rolling, and didn’t taste like mum’s at all. So I’m treating them as a practice batch for making proper ones and my grandparents’ next week, and will probably finish up the rest of the mince meat with my porridge in the morning!