I can’t wait until the children come out of school this afternoon as today is the day the mums from the Friends Committee put up the huge Christmas Tree in the school atrium. Of course as the children grow and have been at the school a while they become accustomed to the sight of the vast tree in all it’s glory, taking up more than it’s fair share of space in the already overcrowded primary school atrium. But when the little ones come out of their classrooms at the end of the day and see the tree for the first time, their little faces light up, jaws drop and eyes sparkle as they stare in awe at the decorated tree, hung with an array of decorations, some of which have been made by the children themselves.
It is of course a reminder that Christmas is just around the corner, and I am pleased to say that I have never lost my childhood wonder of this special time of year. Even though as an adult it involves a lot of hard work and planning to make everyone else happy, I still enjoy the hustle and bustle, the lights, the smells and of course the food.
The tree is so tall is just about scrapes in under the glass ceiling, the laughter fills the air every year as health and safety goes up the chimney with Santa’s helper as the ladies put the tree together. Balancing on tip-toe up ladders that some men wouldn’t venture up, to add the lights and the baubles to the tree until it groans under the weight of sparkling delights.
It is a lovely afternoon, full of Christmas spirit, and gets the ladies started for the upcoming holiday season which culminates in the huge school Christmas Fair which is always a great success due to the hard work and effort put in by the Committee and its helpers. The money raised from these events helps the school enormously and for such a small rural primary school it’s an incredible achievement. Last year with fund raising we managed to raise £15,000 to build a new school library, the grand opening of which was attended by Nick Sharratt who shared his time very generously with the children.
Today I have made an edible Christmas Tree which hopefully will help us along as we untangle tinsel, fire up the fairy lights (fingers crossed) and toast the tree for another year.
The idea was filched from a Pampered Chef party I went to recently but I have used all butter puff pastry and changed the filling to a combination that I use every year and works fantastically together. Can’t wait to get up the school to have a piece. I might have to get the sherry out.
Sorry girls, I’ve just had a piece off the corner. Hope you won’t mind!
- 1 pack of ready rolled all butter puff pastry
- 400g mincemeat
- 280g full fat cream cheese
- 50g caster sugar
- icing sugar and glace cherries for decoration
- Preheat oven to 185c
- Roll out the sheet of pastry on a sheet of baking paper until very thin, about an inch bigger all the way round than it is already.
- Spread over the mincemeat.
- Mix the cream cheese with the sugar.
- Put dollops on top of the mince and spread evenly over the top.
- Using the baking paper as a guide, roll up the pastry, starting at a long side. Just let it roll itslef, don't try to make it too tight as the filling will ooze out.
- With a sharp knife cut into 16 segments.
- Cover a baking tray with the sheet of baking paper.
- Using one segment as the trunk at the bottom, put five segments on a line above the trunk, then four, then three, two and one at the top.
- Bake in the oven for approx 30 mins, making sure pastry is cooked.
- Leave to cool and decorate as required.