Christmas this year is going to be even more low key than usual as I have opted out almost completely. The weeks crept up and I kept putting things off and in the end there were no cards sent and very limited presents bought. I realised that I do most of my preparations out of habit, as an atheist have no particular affinity with the celebration and decided it was time to step back from the cultural pressures to participate. Creature has already left the house to go and stay with a friend so it will be Dunk, Tish and myself gathered around the free range turkey (I happen to like turkey). I have however made a cake (something else I like) and when I put the marzipan on the other day decided to make some of our traditional favourites.Coconut Ice:
1 tin of sweetened condensed milk (avoid Nestlés if you can)
12oz desiccated coconut
1lb icing sugar
few drops of red colour
Mix the whole lot in a big bowl. Divide the mixture in half and colour half pink. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, sprinkle with icing sugar and press the white mixture in with your fingers spreading it thinly, cover with a layer on pink. Leave to dry for a day and then chop into small chunks. Will keep for up to about a week if you keep it in a sealed box.
1 egg white
1lb icing sugar
Lightly whip the egg white and beat in some of the icing sugar. Keep beating in the sugar until it is a thick dough. Knead in more sugar until it is no longer sticky. Sprinkle a tray with lots of icing sugar, roll the dough into small balls and flatten. Leave to dry overnight, turning occasionally to ensure they do not stick to the tray. Store in a box, will keep quite a long time, except they are less sickly than the coconut ice and so get eaten very fast. The green ones are peppermint, the yellow ones are flavoured with orange essence, I did a batch of each. You can also use lemon or some other to your taste. Can also be dipped in melted chocolate.