Saturday, December 26, 2015

Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath and Our Christmas for 2015

If you are here for the Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath, which is the simplest Christmas dessert ever, it's right at the bottom, so scroll down.   My daughter wanted me to say it tastes like Cookies and Cream Ice Cream too. 

But first a bit about our Christmas 2015.

I'd love to tell you the click bait version of Christmas, but that would irrevocably damage relationships, so we shall stick with the G rated one. Go on admit it, we all have a click bait version of Christmas, it's just not the one we put up on Facebook.  That version is what I call the Christmas Show Reel.

Anyway Christmas 2015 started with the gingerbread house.  A half arsed attempt on my part at best, with no icing sugar dusting and green store bought icing to glue it together, which backfired, as you could see it on the outside too, but the littlest Beach House Brat loved it and gobbled it up with her brother, so generally speaking, all was well there.  The 'good' thing is with all Christmas fails, there is always the faint hope of improvement next year.

We then gathered momentum with the very expensive Christmas jazz ballet concert.  But I have to say although I didn't get much change out of $100 to see my own daughter perform and purchase the as yet unseen DVD of the show, in a funny kind of way, it was worth every cent.  It was actually a very professional production.  My daughter was part of the camp fire scene, hence the red costume, but I was blown away by how good and watchable the production of Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie actually was.  Well done Miss Arianna for your dedication and thanks for the dance lessons, they are working because she is very good for a 7 year old.

Now every year the boys in the family have a joint birthday, several days before Christmas.  What bad planning that lustful session was all those years ago, on a hot March evening.  But we were young and ignorant of how much work Christmas with children really is.  For the mum anyway.  Throw a wedding anniversary, that my husband never acknowledges, into the mix a few days after the birthdays and just before Christmas and you have a tinder box developing right there. But I told you this was the G rated version, so I shall stop at that, because I am sure the resentment that has built in me over the years for never being appreciated, would only make me look bad.

The up side was that after going through the shots on another camera, I did find one where we were all smiling together, at the birthday dinner.  

As all mothers, who have a believer in the house know, you turn yourself inside out keeping the dream alive.  Hiding presents so they will never be found.  In my case fighting the spiders, cobwebs darkness and sharp sticky outie bits on bikes, hidden in the farthest most reaches under our house.  You then have to hide the paper and cards Santa wraps his presents  with in a similar fashion, so it will not be associated with you in anyway.  I learned that the hard way one year, when the observation was made that Santa and mummy had the exact some wrapping paper.  Some fast talking and an explanation of the meaning of the word coincidence got me out of that one, but it's all more pressure added to the cooker.

Then there are the icing sugar footprints.  Try cleaning those up the next morning before the ants find them.  The sugar is a bitch to get out of the cracks in the floor boards too, but my kids love that bit of Christmas as it adds to the magic, so footprints it is.

I also let it all hang out with the Christmas decorating this year, with every hand made decoration, paper chain and crepe paper wreath, going back all the way to preschool, being on display around the Beach House.  This approach goes against all my decorating genetics, but this year I let it go and surprisingly no one died.  The kids said it was pay back for the year our Christmas tree was a vintage ladder.  They hated that and have never let me forget it.

Watching my daughter open her presents on Christmas morning and become more and more delighted with each one, is reward enough.  She forgets about all the exorbitantly priced and unrealistic stuff on her Christmas list that was not provided and just goes with the flow.  It is one of the most joyous moments in the whole Christmas affair.

Being told by my son that he felt I didn't care about him, because he didn't get enough this year hurt, but I remember doing the same thing to my parents, as Christmas became less exciting.  It's a hard transition to make, as a teenager, but I told him it will become exciting again, when he has his own kids.  I also told him that he had had a lot of presents during the year, owing to his competitive mountain biking pursuits, not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on school fees, which will take us the rest of our lives to pay off.

Growing up is a tough gig for all of us.

Like so much about parenting, he doesn't get it now, but will one day. One can only hope he has kids of his own one day, to show him the way.

As I have not received a birthday present from Mr Beach House for the last two years (before that I bought my own from him anyway), I went and laybyed a ring that I wanted, in a store near where he worked, to make it easy for him.  Can you tell I am sick of being over looked?  I told him about the ring several times in the month leading up to Christmas.  I said to him that any effort on his part meant a lot to me, so I did get my beautiful ring. Thank you if you are reading here.

This year we lunched with my mum at our house.  Speaking of kids not truly appreciating their parents until they have their own, my relationship with my parents is a case in point.  My mother has been such a support for me over the last 13 years (and beyond) both in person and financially.  All that she has done for me over the years, is too much to list here, but without her, I could not have raised these kids so well and I wanted to honour that this Christmas.

Sadly she had some bad prawns two days ago and was unable to eat a thing, but at least she came and the kids loved having her here.

I made the best Christmas meal I was capable of, which consisted of a seafood entre,
I had intended that there be oysters as well, but the queue at the seafood store on the 24th was literally 2 hours long, so I walked into Coles and bought a kilo of Tiger prawns for $25 instead.  The same thing was $42 a kilo at the fish shop.  The bigger grade of Tiger prawns were $75/kilo there.  There were 6 people in the queue at Coles and I can tell you the prawns were as fresh as a daisy on the 25th.  Clearly, the snob factor around food is alive and well concerning food at Christmas and frankly, after a few glasses of bubbles. no one can tell where you bought your prawns, once they are on the plate.

This year I made sure there was at least one shot of me at Christmas.  You can see the Christmas rash developing between my eyebrows.  Happens every year, without fail. Next life, I am coming back without my A type personality.  Although I am getting better, as I clearly didn't iron the table cloth this year. Not to mention paper napkins.  

The main event

The joy children bring to the season is priceless.

I cooked every kind of Christmas meat known to man, plus duck fat potatoes (BTW they are new at the Beach House and a total triumph), and also an Asian inspired slaw.

And what some of you came here for, the Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath for dessert.

But wait there's more.  After lunch we called in to Mr Beach House's side of the family to pay our respects.  That involved swimming, present exchanging, more dessert and Christmas coits..

The remains of the Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath and the reindeer cookies made by the littlest Beach House Brat, they were so easy.  Here's how!

And now for the  Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath Recipe

Chocolate Ripple Christmas Wreath Recipe

Make this the day before

2 packets of Arnotts Chocolate Ripple Christmas Biscuits(You will only need about 34-38 biscuits)
500ml-600ml thickened cream (3-4 cups)
Berries and icing sugar to decorate.
Olive oil spray to grease the tin.

Grease with olive oil spray and line the base of a spring form tin with baking paper.
Whip 300ml ( 2 cups) of cream until peaks form.
Spread 2 biscuits with a heaped teaspoon each of cream
Stand biscuits up on their side around the edge of the cake tin and repeat until the circle is complete and you have a wreath.
TIP: As you arrange the biscuits, put more cream on the outside bit of the biscuit than the inside, so they kind of splay out a bit towards the edge of the spring form tin and squash in better towards the centre of the wreath.  

Once the wreath is formed up, cover the top of the wreath with any remaining cream and leave covered, in the tin over night in the fridge, so biscuits may soften.
Before serving, release the spring form tin and slide onto a serving plate using the baking paper to gently pull it across to the plate.
Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form.
Cover the wreath with cream using a palette knife.
Decorate with berries and dust with icing sugar. 
Cut slightly on the diagonal, so the slice looks pretty

And remember the good news is, Christmas comes but once a year. Thank Goodness!!!!!!

Make sure you check out my Christmas page for some easy recipes and great decorating and craft ideas.

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  1. Oh dear, I'm sorry your husband doesn't put in more of an effort. I like the icing sugar footprints - but very sticky! Have you tried cornflour? Your Christmas table and menu looks and sounds wonderful. I made duck fat potatoes too - make them every year and always a crowd pleaser. I get all worked up before the main event as well and am so pleased the clock has ticked over to Boxing Day and if anyone wants anything to eat they can go to the fridge and pick over the leftovers - I'm not moving from the sun lounge xx

  2. Oh Carolyn, I feel your pain. That was a little like me in the lead up to Christmas. I'm learning very fast that the memories I go beyond the call of duty to make for my children are far surpassed by the memories they make for themselves. I also picked up a $6 tray of peeled prawns from coles instead of lining up to be seen at the seafood coop and they were delicious. I think I'm finally starting to get it. Much love to you for the festive season. Xx

  3. That dessert looks fab and it's so lovely to see the photos of your Mum too. I've never met her but feel I know her through the posts. I've decided to do Christmas properly every second year so it was bought cake and pud for us this year.

  4. Terrific shots. Just terrific. Love the pic of Layne with Hazel. And like I said elsewhere, the shot of you is a cracker. Phillips looks knackered - burning the midnight oil to get Christmas boats out I guess. Bonne Année!

    1. Yep you are right, he has never worked harder than this year getting boats out for clients to compete over Christmas. The winner of the Impulse nationals was in a DS boat and Mark got Grand Master, so overall a great result. Lots of interest in the boat and a few orders so all is good and definitely worth all the hard work to come to Paynesville. Bonne Annee to you Malcolm See you in September, keep the 21st free if you can as that is the only day we are all there together. Boys coming in late due to Hugh's schooling commitments.

  5. I mean "Pam" Phillips not "Hazel". Doh.


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