Christmas on Becca's Books | My Worst Christmas Presents and My Best Christmas Recipe by Ann Troup

~ My Worst Christmas Presents and My Best Christmas Recipe ~

By Ann Troup

Many thanks to the lovely Becca for asking me to share the highs and lows of a Troup family Christmas.

To be fair there have been many more highs than lows, we love the festive season and go all out to have a really great time and share it with as many people as possible. Even the lows have caused us to laugh more than anything else.

So, my worst Christmas presents…there have been a few and I prefer to believe it’s because I’ve been kicking around for a lot of years and that there are bound to be a glitches every now and then rather than that people are trying to tell me something! Anyway, here they are in no particular order -

Not strictly mine but I got to open it as my daughter was only a month old at the time – a second hand sleepsuit complete with vomit stains and the smell of stale pee (I have no objection to second hand, but would have preferred it to smell of soap powder) Afraid to say it ended up in the bin with the wrapping paper!

A chenille scarf – now you might say that’s a nice present and it would have been, except this particular scarf was quite recognisable. You see it had been a friend’s dog’s favourite ‘blanky’ for some years until the dog passed on. I received it complete with a few souvenir dog hairs from poor departed Fido. It’s the thought that counts! ;)

A bottle of squash – yep, nuff said!

A box of chocolates four years past their sell by date…

And my all time favourite, a tube of nappy rash cream! The giver had lost interest at the word ‘moisturising’, thought it was hand cream and handed it over very proudly indeed. He was only fourteen, so he’s been forgiven (for now…)

Hmmmm – now I come to think about it, perhaps people were trying to tell me something!

Of course if I were to list all the fabulous, brilliant and wonderful gifts I’ve received over the years we’d all get bored, suffice it to say I do all right on the prezzie front, despite the odd doozy J.

Now for one of my favourite recipes – I’m not a Christmas pud fan, too rich for me but I do like some of the flavours and always have some leftovers, so this recipe is a great way of using them up and making something yummy that everyone can enjoy. I believe the original recipe came from Rachel Allen.

Christmas pudding muffins with sherry butter icing.
Preparation time: 
20 minutes
Cooking time: 
20-25 minutes
Total time: 
40-45 minutes
Makes: 6

For the muffins:
1 egg
75ml milk
30g salted butter
2 tbsp sherry, whisky or brandy
125g leftover Christmas pudding
125g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice 
75g caster sugar
For the icing:
125g sifted icing sugar
50g salted butter, softened
1-2 tbsp sweet sherry, whisky or brandy 

1. Preheat the oven to 350F or gas mark 4. Line the muffin tins with paper cases.
2. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, sherry and the Christmas pudding.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into another bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre.
4. Add the wet ingredients and mix together until a soft batter forms. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
5. While they are cooking, make the sherry butter icing. Mix together the icing sugar and the butter. Add enough sherry, about 1 tbsp, to just soften the mixture and make it spreadable.
6. Once the muffins are cool, spread the icing over the top and serve. 

Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble's throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write. Her many skills include an unparalleled ability to consume coffee, and the gift of being able to kill houseplants by merely admiring them. In addition to that she is a great proponent of the Miss Havisham method of housekeeping, which includes regarding cobwebs and dust as nature's ornaments. Her first novel The Lost Child was published by Carina UK/Harper Collins on 19/5/2015 her second, The Silent Girls, will be published in February 2016.

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