Happy recovery day, readers! Here’s hoping your Boxing Day be well spent eating leftovers, holding your stretched stomachs, watching the cricket and Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Or shopping, if you were better organised than me and had actually set an alarm to tackle the sales!
What special recipes did you use this Christmas? Did you keep the food traditional, or experiment with something new to grace your dining table? I have to say, the month of Christmas-themed recipes littering Pinterest, the newspapers, the morning talk shows, the supermarket brochures, the advertisements and the conveniently-timed new-release cookbooks look incredible. And overwhelming. Or is it just me?
In line with my quest to resurrect Nana Jean’s menu, I embarked on one of her copperplate recipes for a family Christmas party. Soft gingerbread. How could I resist such a promise of a sweetly spiced soft cakey baked serve of Christmas? I couldn’t! I even trialled the recipe, how excited I was!
Oh, Nana Jean did her crafty protective trick with this recipe, too. Ambiguous ingredient quantities and a blatantly incorrect baking time. But I must be getting better, because I trusted my instincts and the sheet cake came out a dream. The sugar and butter gives the cake a glossy sheen on the surface, but it is gloriously soft on the inside. I can’t even come up with a more fitting adjective than ‘soft’. It isn’t delicate, like a sponge. It isn’t fragile, like shortbread. It is simply soft, and not at all dry or airy.
The soft gingerbread was a hit. My grandfather (from the other side of the family, not at all familiar with the recipe) went back for thirds, not just seconds. And my three-year-old second cousin went back for fourths, not just thirds. Clearly, moreish doesn’t even cover it.
I would say, unequivocally, that this has been my most successful recreation of Nana Jean’s recipes.
So here’s to family, tradition and the sharing of food!
Happy holidays, comrades.