On Christmas Eve I made a pie. A big meat pie, full of pistachios and cranberry sauce.
I've never made a pie before, it was a bit of an adventure and took my pretty much all sodding day, despite the fact that I'd cunningly made most of the various bits the day before. All I had to do was assemble it.
But first I baked a little tiny one, just to test that it would all work out fine.
Ho boy, that worked, that worked so well.
Crispy pastry. Moist, seasoned pork. Tart fresh cranberries.
I am the pie-king.
Now for the big one.
Please excuse the white line on the photo. It's a headphone cable, not the ghost of Earthworm Jim haunting my pie.
And into the oven it went.
I baked it for as long as the recipe said. And then I stuck a meat thermometer into it.
And the thermometer said “Hmmm….perhaps a little cool?”
I had visions of everyone attending the party I was cooking for going home with a head start on their “Lost twelve pounds by spring” New Years resolutions.
So I gave it another twenty minutes.
The pastry at this point was saying quite clearly that it was done.
But the filling? Not so much.
Still, I hauled it out of the oven, separated the pie tin and watched in dismay as a gaping chunk of pastry wall collapsed.
“It'll taste fine…” I thought to myself. Packed it up and stuck it in the fridge.
Then off to see Sooty and Amos and get a little bit (massively) drunk, before staggering home to build this in preparation for Christmas morning.
I'd uploaded a picture to Facebook when I originally bought it and received a stream of messages saying “That thing takes forever to build…”
And realised that Christmas morning, with an impatient nearly-five-year-old was not the greatest environment to try and build an ocean-going vessel.
So Christmas eve, with a bellyful of wine, was probably only marginally easier.
And while it was fun to build, I struggled a little with the rigging. Which makes me wonder just how health and safety conscious those pirates are, swigging at grog and rum while climbing up and down masts.
Someone should probably notify RIDDOR.