Cracking Christmas Fun!
Hello everyone, I’m so excited to be joining Mollie’s Guide. My family and I have been long-time readers of this magazine and I’m delighted to be sharing all things food, nutrition, and crafts - particularly eggs!
Encouraging families, especially children, to eat more eggs is something I’m incredibly passionate about. Eggs are so rich in protein, which not only makes them ideal for exercise, but also to help active kids grow big and strong, too.
And, there’s lots of fun to be had at craft time with eggs and their boxes! Dig out your paints, scissors and glitter, and use your imagination to create a whole world from decorated egg boxes.
Now winter is upon us, we have ideas for a messy Christmas dessert that the kids can help to make, and a super easy craft that will feed the birds in your garden throughout the colder months.
This festive take on the classic summer recipe of Eton Mess is a great way to get the children involved with Christmas dinner. Using fresh free-range eggs, you can make meringues to mix with lashings of whipped cream and seasonal fruit and berries for a luxurious but fun dessert.
For the meringue
3 large Scaman’s egg whites
175g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Christmas Mess
600ml double cream
400g Greek yoghurt
Punnets of mixed fruits and berries, frozen
4 tbsp icing sugar
1 pinch of cinnamon
Start with the meringue. Preheat the oven to 140°C (or fan 120°C) and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and then gradually add the caster sugar. You should add a table spoon at a time until the mixture forms stiff peaks and has a glossy texture. Remember the bowl-above-your-head test! Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Use a metal spoon to place dollops of the meringue mixture on the baking tray, leaving space in between.
If you like a soft, mallowy texture, bake your meringues for 75 minutes. Then, you can transfer your meringues to a wire rack to cool. However, if you like crispy meringues, bake for 1 and a half hours and leave them in the oven, which should now be turned-off, for a few hours.
When you’re happy with your meringues, it’s time to get messy. Gently heat your frozen fruits in a saucepan over the hob with the icing sugar and cinnamon until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave this to cool.
In a bowl, whip the double cream and Greek yoghurt until it’s well combined and starting to hold its shape. Break up half of your meringue dollops and add it to the cream mixture.
In your serving glasses, or a trifle bowl, add some more of the crushed meringue, then spoon over some of the cream, followed by the cooled fruits. Repeat again until you have a layered Christmas Mess topped with any remaining berries and meringue.
Winter can be a tough time for birds as they look for shelter and forage for food. So, give them a helping hand with a homemade bird feeder.
You will need:
An empty egg box
Paints or craft supplies
First, carefully cut the lid from the egg box, you will only need to use the bottom half. Remember to recycle!
Then, get creative. Use paints, glitter, whatever you like to decorate your bird feeder.
Once your egg box is dry, put small holes in the four corners. Cut two pieces of string to the same length, round about 30cm, and feed them diagonally through the holes. Tie a small knot in the ends of the string and add a little glue to secure them.
Fill your egg box with bird seed and find a quiet, sheltered spot to hang your new feeder.
Simone, the Egg Lady, lives in Little Grimsby, near Louth, with her husband Neil, and two children Lotte (11) and Phoenix (5).
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