Another month gone, the weather is turning very cold here. We have had a couple of really heavy frosts. The potatoes are looking worse for wear and we are going to have to dig them up. 
Last week we spent preparing for a Christmas fayre. The range was lit every morning and mountains of food was cooked. We decided to sell the stuff that we missed from England and obviously the normal Christmas stuff.
I made 80 sausage rolls. I make everything from scratch so had to make  the sausage meat first, mincing the pork, onions and garlic and adding the herbs out of the garden.

The sausages here have aniseed in them and we do not like it. This is what spurred me on to start making my own sausage meat and sausages too.
Next came the mince pies. Again all made at home. I prepared the sweet mince meat about a month ago, using dried fruit, suet and brandy. I used a rough puff pastry as it is lighter than short crust.

One of the things that we have missed was traditional pork pie. I researched it on the internet and found an amazing recipe. 12 medium pork pies were made...about 600g each in weight. 

The next project was to make hand rolled truffles and chocolate covered coconut balls. These are normally very straight forward to make, but this time I had problems. The range was being lit in the morning and so by the afternoon the kitchen was very warm...this did not help the truffle project at all. When dipping them in the melted chocolate they began to melt and it took so long for the chocolate to set. I had to rearrange the schedule and make them each morning when the kitchen was cool.
We decided to wrap some to a box and in cellophane. We think they look good.

We have decided to give these as Christmas presents this year. This will mean making more...
3 Christmas carrot cakes were cooked next and iced with orange flavoured icing. These are so simple to make and stay moist for ages. 

Mulled wine was next on the agenda. 20 litres of the stuff. The recipe I used contained way too much sugar. I cut it right down and thought that people could add sugar if they wanted it. It worked well, most people being like me didn't add any sugar and liked it just the way it was.
The day of the fayre arrived and the weather was not kind. It was freezing and the winds were very strong. We had to have a change of plan and moved everything inside. The turnout wasn't as good as we had hoped (obviously the bad weather) but it all went well and lots of the food was sold. 
This was a lot of hard work, cooking everyday for about 12 to 14 hours, but to hear peoples comments on the stuff as they ate is just priceless. Would we do it again? With a few tweaks here and there...of course, 2014 will be bigger and better!