This winter we got off to an early start. Christmas baking is usually in full swing by the first week of December. However this year the smell of candied peel, dried fruit and local whiskey filled the kitchen during early November too. It was all hands on deck to make the hundreds of puddings, cakes and mince pies that help make Christmas at Ballymaloe extra special. Anne, Stephan, Breda and Rebecca have been working very hard to ensure all of the Christmas baking goes to plan. I even heard “Ding Dong Merrily On High” being sung as dried fruit was folded into one particular batch of cakes!
Edible decorations made their way onto the menu this year also! The pastry team had great fun working with Iona, Ballymaloe’s in-house florist, to produce festive shapes biscuits and dried orange slices to hang on the enormous Christmas tree in the drawing room.
Now that the house is in full festive flight it is time to ice the Christmas cakes, put sherry in the trifles and serve mince pies galore. On behalf of the staff and family at Ballymaloe I would like to wish all our friends around the world a simply delicious Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.