Happy New Year!
Christmas has come and gone. I was planning to make a feast of sorts, and decorate the house immensely, however, there was a problem. A good problem though – we moved house!
This was our fourth move in two years, and probably the last for a long time. Originally Alex was meant to conduct the move, seeing though he was meant to finish work a week before me. But fortunately, Alex was offered the most amazing job a week prior and he was to start ASAP. So tough old me did the whole move myself. It wasn’t as stressful as I’d imagined. Even though all our goods didn’t fit in the moving truck (including the television, which I was to transport in my little hatchback by myself), and we moved one hour away and I had to make several trips – it was over in half a day. My two-door hatchback surprisingly does very well when we move.
Unloading the last few items from my car into our new house, I realised how many things we have. I really want to cut down on “stuff”. In fact, before we left I sold quite a few things online and made enough to buy my Christmas present – a gorgeous vintage-style mint green bicycle. I’m addicted to selling now – I want to clear out the house! The less we have, the calmer I feel. Currently the spare room is still full of miscellaneous items, but slowly it’s being organised, tidied and put away. We also have a lovely “Things to get rid of” pile.
Moving day was on the 18th of December. The first thing I unpacked was our Christmas tree, and immediately I started trying to plan Christmas rather late. This year we decided on no presents, as a house and new furniture is plenty already. However, I still wanted to make a nice dessert for feasting on after Christmas dinner.
Christmas morning began bright and sunny. We started the day with fresh blueberry pancakes coated with lemon and sugar. We emptied our chocolate-filled Christmas stockings and began to enjoy our peaceful day.
Soon after, we made sandwiches, grabbed a bottle of sparkling strawberry wine, and headed to the beach. I on my new bike and Alex on his skateboard, we rode around for a little while until settling on the beach we liked best, the one only a few minutes walk from our house. We are very grateful for this. Using a new picnic set we got for free for doing surveys (honestly, best way to make easy money), we set ourself up, ate, and took a short nap in the warm sun, feeling the cool sea breeze blowing over us. A perfect afternoon!
We headed back home and Alex prepared a lovely mushroom risotto, and I a delectable green bean and olive pesto salad.
The dessert I had prepared the day earlier. Originally I had wanted to make a pie of some sort. I noticed at the supermarket that the cherries were kind of on special, so I decided on a cherry pie. As I didn’t have a recipe on hand, I thought I’d buy 500g of cherries and a pie tin and work out the rest later. Upon my arrival home, I realised a pie pan and a tart pan were different, and I had bought the latter. Not sure if I could bake a deep enough pie in the tart pan, I stumbled upon a recipe for a cherry ice-cream tart which I thought would do nicely. I also figured it looked quick and easy, and seeing though our kitchen wasn’t really set up at the time, quick and easy was the way to go. I’ve also heard pie crusts can be a little tricky.
The dessert was rather yummy and definitely Christmassy – our favourite part is the biscuit base! I say “is” because obviously I have been unable to take the ice-cream tart to work. So half of it is still in the freezer, but it shouldn’t last very long into the new year. The most painful part was pitting the cherries – I halved them all then scooped out the pit which took about 40 minutes. I think I would use less cherries next time, or use canned cherries as the original recipe indicates. Also, as it was a warm day, the ice-cream melted slightly rather than softened, so you need to work quickly, otherwise the ice-cream will go all bubbly and melty which is not so pretty.
Also, yesterday was my birthday and I bought some gorgeous new pastel coloured measuring cups and spoons – I plan to bake up a storm in our new kitchen. Now to organise an internet connection in our new place so I can blog all about it.
Cherry ice-cream tart
Adapted from Arnott’s
Makes 1 tart (about 12 slices)
- 250g (8.8oz) of rough chocolate biscuits (I used Chocolate Ripple)
- 60g (2oz) butter, melted
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 L (34fl.oz) vanilla ice-cream
- 400g (14oz) fresh cherries, pitted (or a 425g/15oz can of drained, black cherries)
- Shaved chocolate, to decorate
- Process biscuits until well-crumbled. Put biscuit crumbs into a bowl.
- Add melted butter and milk, and stir until combined. Using fingers, press the mixture onto the base of a 22cm/8.5in tart pan with a removable bottom, spreading the mixture evenly.
- Place ice-cream in a large bowl and leave standing for a few minutes to soften slightly. Keep an eye on it so it won’t melt.
- Stir cherries into ice-cream until well-combined. Spread ice-cream mixture evenly into tart base.
- Place in freezer for at least 6 hours before serving. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.