Day 174

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Estelle (Clara’s mummy) breezily reminded me this morning that I am hosting the pikkujoulu (small Christmas party) after trampolining tomorrow. With Katie off sick I had completely forgotten about it. So, after taking care of the last of the really really urgent paper war (at last) and finding a company to print the Christmas cards, it was off to the supermarket. Under normal circumstances, catering for a small party like this would be a piece of cake – the complicating factor is that Estelle is dairy-intolerant, which makes everything that bit more complicated. So far I have made a Spanish tortilla (the omelette kind, not the thin crisp thing American’s call tortillas) and remembered not to put any cheese in it, and I have a recipe for a dairy-free chocolate cake. I bought some more gelatine, so tomorrow I will make marshmallows and of course the stuff for the children doesn’t have to be dairy free.

Most importantly of all, I have the mulled wine underway. Recently a Russian friend told me that the best mulled wine is made by mixing the wine with grape juice the same colour as the wine (so purple grape juice with red wine). Frankly I had no idea that anyone mulled white wine! So today I simmered a litre of purple grape juice with clove-studded clementines, cinnamon stick, and half a dozen star anise. By the time Nick got home it was smelling so good that I think he thought some fancy pudding might be in progress. Then he looked hopefully at the preparations for the tortilla and asked eagerly if that was dinner. ‘No, that’s for the party tomorrow!’. Relax dear reader – I did eventually feed the poor man: fried new potatoes, sea bass and broccoli.

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