Tuesday 18 December 2012

Advent 18 - Manger, straw (cheese straws) and a double helping of Elvis

December 18th

Holy Trinity Church, Wysall, Nottinghamshire
Photograph by Syd Spence - thank you Syd

Luke 2:15-16

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.


Thinking about 'manger' in French it means, 'to eat' so it's very appropriate for Fancy Pans. Also, when thinking about manger, you think of straw.

Continuing with the cheesey theme, these Cheese Straws are great little nibbles and easy to make.  Funnily enough, margarine works best in this recipe; butta is, well, too buttery and lard too lardy, so block margarine, like Stork is the one to use.

Grease a couple of baking trays and turn on your oven to 180-190C, 350-375F, gas 4-5.

Into a large bowl sift 8 oz (225 gm) self-raising flour and add ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder.

Cut  4oz (113 gm) of margarine into small pieces and add to the flour mixture, then rub it in until it resembles bread crumbs.

Add 6 oz (170 gm) of grated cheese – I like to use a strong cheddar as it gives more ‘bite’, but any hard cheese is fine (make sure it’s grated though). Mix it in well.

Beat two eggs and add them to the mix. Work everything together until you have a stiff pastry.

Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the cheesey pastry quite thinly. You can cut shapes using pastry cutters (I used a Christmas Tree cutter) or finger-like strips.

Put them onto your greased baking trays and pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

And there you have it, or rather them, lovely cheese straws and biscuits.

Here's some I made earlier

And here's another helping of a fabulous song by the King himself - on a snowy Christmas night

For more Advent and Christmas recipes, please click here

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