sometimes I amaze myself

Other times I shake my head and think how could I be so blind.

You've read recently that I was thinking of locking Angel out of the lounge and kitchen, so I could empty the table and make my annual Christmas mince pies. Fruit mince, not meat.

Well, last night I was drying my dishes and noticed the bench area holding the microwave is really quite large.
Large enough to mix and roll pastry. Hmmm, how did I miss that?

All I had to do was move all the stuff.

there's space on the other side of the sink too. Not much, but room enough to place things I'll need as the baking progresses.

I moved a few things to the other side of the hotplates,

and the rest out on to the table. Even the dish drainer.
Because that side of the sink will be more useful empty.
For some reason known only to himself, Angel doesn't jump up onto the kitchen benches.

Ta-Da!! Tons of room.

first batch of pastry decimated.
I've had these cookie cutters so long I can't remember when I got them.
They're a set of three, I don't think I've ever used the largest one.

here's the first dozen pies waiting for their lids.

and here they are just out of the oven, with the final sprinkle of sugar added.
On that oh-so-handy, now-empty sink, very easy to rinse off all the spilled sugar.

Second dozen in the oven.

23 pies, cooling off. I did a taste test on the 24th. Yum.

I kept baking most of the day, eventually making seven dozen.

The last dozen look a little wonky, the left over bit of the final batch of pastry got reworked and rolled out and patched together until I had that extra dozen for myself. 
The rest are going to family and friends.

after all that I still had a chunk of pastry and some fruit mince left over,

so I made this. Rolled out the pastry, scooped the mince onto it, scrunched up the edges and baked it.

I'll eat it with ice cream for dessert.


  1. Wow, seven dozen. That is quite a feat. Yes, good lateral thinking.

  2. Seven dozen? That is amazing. You must be exhausted - but I bet the house smells good. Very good.

  3. Andrew; I didn't want to rearrange the kitchen again, so I set everything out and just powered on. I'm glad it's done.

    Elephant's Child; and one of those dozens is all mine! Plus the funny looking dessert.
    I am exhausted, my legs are feeling it most. The doors are open to let the cool air in, it's raining here, so the wonderful baking smell has disappeared already.

  4. .. wow, River ... well done..... I love it when you see a solution to a problem..... that doesn't cost anything except a bit of effort.... your baking looks fabulous.... hope your legs get better quickly... Hugs ... Barb xxx

  5. Those pies look incredible. And a much better gift than just a bunch of Christmas cookies. Is a fruit mince pie sort of like a mixed berry pie?

  6. That was a solid days work.

  7. They look wonderful, River. Now I feel like one or two for breakfast! :)

    I was waiting to read that Angel had finally taken a liking to the the middle of your prep! lol

  8. Merry Christmas to you & Angel!!

  9. Barbara Neubeck; my legs are fine, but my neck is a bit stiff, that microwave is quite heavy. Merry Christmas.

    Marty Damon; the fruit mince is a mixture of raisins, sultanas, currants, apple, treacle and spices. I don't make it myself, I buy it in jars. Merry Christmas.

    Delores; it certainly was and I'm glad I don't have to do it again until next December. Merry Christmas.

    Joanne; he's pretty smart. knows exactly when I'm about to get up and do something important, and jumps up for a cuddle so I'm stuck there. I really don't know why he never gets onto the kitchen benches, but I'm glad he doesn't. Merry Christmas.

    Lee; they're right here waiting for you....Angel mostly stays out of the way when I'm doing stuff in the kitchen. And I'm grateful. Merry Christmas.

    fishducky, thank you, right back atcha!

  10. Sometimes when reorganising is concerned the obvious is so obvious!! Well done River, but oh my, you've made me realise I've gotta get baking too! Like this afternoon!!
    It's HOT HOT HOT here, how about your neck of the woods?

  11. Rose~from OZ; we're cool down here, mid to high twenties all week, with a couple of cooler days thrown in. We had a couple of days where I had to lower the awning and one where the breeze was hot, but overall it has been very comfortable weather.
    Hie thee to the kitchen, maid and bake! (*~*)

  12. Everyone knows it's a cook's DUTY to conduct regular taste tests. And if I had to choose a pie for myself (I wish!), I'd choose the free form one at the end ... but I'm guessing it's already gone :D

  13. Oh my goodness they look fantastic. Seven dozen?! That's amazing. And I'm sure they are just delicious. I had to laugh at your realization you had this space all along. That's the kind of thing I do. It's so easy to overlook what's right in front of us. And even small microwaves take up a lot of space. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy those beautiful pies.

  14. Red Nomad OZ; yes, that free form pie is long gone. It was bigger than it looked, so I divided it and had dessert two days in a row. I actually prefer the tiny ones. Merry Christmas.

    Jackie K; It's a good thing most of that seven dozen went to family and friends, I could so easily eat the lot. Merry Christmas.


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