Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

and a very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beer money

I asked my friend's son how he had enjoyed his first term at York University. "It's just like boarding school," he replied, "except we get drunk more often!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

White Christmas?

This is how Winchester looked this morning which may bode well for next week. I was in London yesterday and was offered a chocolate mint truffle flavoured tea. That is an offer not to be refused: mint tea with a hint of chocolate - very good accompaniment to snow (if there's no sloe gin to hand)!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bad joke of the month

Why didn't the turkey cross the road?

Because it was too chicken

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unemployment 2010

Today's FT has a good article about projected unemployment in Europe next year. Although GDP growth is forecast to improve in all countries, unemployment will also rise. The worst countries, at 20%, will be Spain and Latvia while the best will be Norway at 3.7% and Switzerland and Ukraine at 5%. The UK is in the middle: 8.7% and better than France (10.2%), Germany (9.2%) and Ireland (14%). US unemployment meanwhile is forecast to peak at 12% in the first quarter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seasonal recipe

1kg plain flour

200 g sugar

110g fresh yeast

1/2 litre milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

a few drops of almond essence

a pinch ground nutmeg

a pinch of ground cloves

a pinch of salt

400g butter

110g chopped almonds

400g raisins

200g currants

250g chopped mixed peel

450g marzipan

Melt the butter and put aside to cool. Gently warm the milk. Break up the fresh yeast and place in a bowl with a teaspoon of sugar. Add the warm milk and let it rise.
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the sugar, pinch of ground nutmeg, pinch of ground cloves, pinch of salt, vanilla and almond essence. Mix it all together, add the melted and cooled butter and the risen yeast and knead it well. Add the chopped almonds, dried fruit and chopped peels and
when everything has been mixed well, place back in bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
Then knead it again, roll it out, place the marzipan in the centre and fold the Stollen over with marzipan inside Place on an greased baking tray and leave to rise again for 1-2 hours.

Finally, bake in a preheated oven 190 C for 1 hour.