Christmas Mincemeat Muffins, new White Cloud packaging and The Royal Tournament

My recipe for December:

Christmas Mincemeat Sultana Muffins
(This is a yummy New Zealand recipe, makes about 12 standard size muffins)

10 oz self raising flour
Half tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half tsp salt
3 oz fine granulated sugar
1 egg
8 fl oz milk
About 12 oz mincemeat
3 fl oz vegetable oil or 3 oz melted butter
3 oz sultanas
Icing sugar for dusting

Prepare muffin tins and preheat oven to 375-400 degrees f (or 190-200 degrees c)
Sift together into a large bowl; flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar
In a separate bowl beat egg with fork, stir in milk, mincemeat and oil/melted butter
Pour all liquid ingredients into dry mixture and stir until just combined, adding the sultanas during final strokes. The batter will be lumpy but no dry flour should be visible. Do not over-stir.
Fill muffin cups three quarters full and bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are lightly browned and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool for easier removal and dust with icing sugar.

Big excitement today- our very first parcels complete with new packaging went out today- a trade order going to Home Store in Galway (thank you Eric!). We have been using our new cartons for about a month but we now have labels to match- so all duvets, all underblankets and all pillows now have White Cloud packaging. Also today we sent 30 coloured wool throws to Robeys in Derbyshire, these have all been stitched and finished with the new blanket stitch machine. As Sue says “we have the technology … we can do anything now”!

To finish on a personal note, we took two of our boys to see the Royal Tournament at Earls Court on Sunday- it was a really inspiring spectacle and showed off the very best of the best. Our eldest son is destined for the army and I am sure all of us in the audience were left feeling immensely proud to be British and very grateful for all that is done on our behalf. We enjoyed lots of pomp and lots of ceremony and the re-enactment of an incident in Helmand gave a very real impression of the noise, the anxiety and the bravery that goes on every single day. Well done to the organisers for reviving the Tournament, it was last done in 1999 so hopefully the next generation will now have a chance to see what we all saw when we were young …

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