The Christmas Food Fayre was very well supported this year, with a deluge of shiny 4 x 4s descending on the pub car park. The fancy photographer from The Prattler showed up and was snapping gaily away at the groaning tables of food, celebrities and villagers, Mrs De La Pole, embarrassed us all once again by wearing her leopard skin coat, which although somewhat scabby around the edges was photographed a plenty and even more so when the hussy opened the coat to reveal a very small polka dot bikini, not exactly what the poor man was expecting, and most certainly not a desirous sight on a woman of Her age, who has lived on nothing but coca-cola for the last 60 years!
As l was walking to the Post Office this morning, l thought that under the 6 inches of snow, the village looked incredibly festive. Sparkling lights, inflatable Santas Christmas wreaths. Strolling back through the woodland path that meanders past Longshort Manor, l caught a glimpse of what l can only describe as the most shocking thing l have every seen coming from the place in all the long years that l have lived in the area, even worse than the various elopements or card game frauds. The wonderful Elizabethan house, which had survived, Civil War, murder and shortage of funds, was bedecked in enough lights to drain the entire grid of electricity. Every gable, gutter, down pipe and window was dripping in white fairy lights, whilst perched a top the very highest roof was Santa, resplendent in his sleigh and complete with all his reindeer, Rudolf with his neon red flashing nose leading the entourage. I was indeed so disturbed by what l saw, that l had to desperately race home to down a good half a bottle of sloe gin to restore my equilibrium.
175gr unsalted butter, diced
73g golden caster sugar
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
100g ground almonds
4 medium eggs, separated
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4 / bottom shelf AGA. Butter a 30 x 23 x 4cm baking tray. Mix butter, sugar, flour, baking powder & ground almonds to a crumb like constancy, add egg yolks and mix to a sticky dough. Press dough into base of tin and smooth using your fingers. Bake shortcake for 25 - 30 minutes until lightly golden and slightly risen.
Whisk egg whites until stiff. Spoon mincemeat into a bowl and fold in the whisked white in two goes. Fold in 100g cranberries and smooth the mixture over the shortcake base. Scatter the remaining cranberries over the top and bake for 20 -25 minutes until slightly coloured on the surface.
Allow to cool then cut into 12 squares, approx 7cm, then dust with icing sugar.