Spring by Kathryn White

Friday, December 10, 2010

Truffle-Making and Ornament-Taking

"It's the most wonderful time of the year... "

I love the decorating, the twinkling lights, the music, concerts and programs, the festivities and the food, the gathering together of friends and family, and the message of love, joy, hope and peace. Every year at this time, I make room on my calendar for hosting special gatherings and events at my home.
Yesterday, after making plans ahead of time, I hosted 8 dear ladies in for an afternoon ornament exchange, along with enjoying some festive food and fellowship.
After cleaning my home, preparing the food, lighting the candles and putting on my Christmas play list, I was eager to receive my first guests who arrived at noon to help me with final food preparations.

I have never made truffles before, but after attending the wedding of my friend's daughter, I wanted to experiment with making my own truffles. After several challenges which I overcame, I was pleased to present the results of my efforts which were well-received.

Some of my friends brought along their baking to add to mine for a wonderful array of goodies.

My friend M is an avid and gifted card maker. She brought me this adorable snowman wrapped chocolate bar that she created:

I served punch, along with several teas, hazelnut coffee and mulled cider to my guests.

One of my friends asked me for the punch recipe so I thought I would include it for all my readers...just so easy! Here you go S:)
Festive Punch:
~Cranberry/Raspberry Cocktail
~Raspberry Sherbet
~Cream Soda

For the ornament exchange, I used an idea from this site, reading the story aloud using the left/right approach with the ornament each of the ladies brought along. We also played the "Name that Carol" game which the ladies enjoyed, also found at this site.
I have a collection of snowmen, so when I found these adorable cards, I picked them up to send a card home with each of the ladies as well as a mulled cider candle and an ornament.
Inside each card I used these words taken from inspiration found at my friend's house:
Thoughts of favourite people
and a candle burning bright
illuminate God's blessings
and warm a winter's night

Thank you friends for sharing your afternoon with me. May the Lord bless each of you as you prepare your hearts and home for this Christmas Season.
And as for my beautiful trifle, which I couldn't wait to present to you, it was forgotten in the fridge as I was so busy wanting to bless you all and be 'the hostess with the mostess'.
Ah, the imperfections of myself that I have to live with each day:)
I hope to have you in again sometime and will be sure to serve you trifle. In the meantime I promised to share the recipe, so here you all go:
Glorious Sponge Cake recipe found here.
Dutch Vla or British Custard (any custard recipe will do)
Fresh or frozen berries
Whipped cream
Cut cake in cubes, then assemble cake, fruit, pudding and whipping cream in layers in trifle bowl...top with whipped cream and berries.
(I bought a new trifle bowl at Walmart after losing mine in that mishap)

So easy, so pretty, so good:

When most of the guests had left by 4:30, two of my friends who live further away, suggested that we could do a little shopping trip yet. Alright, I'll admit it...we know how to make the most of our day, don't we?
We headed to Elmira for two of our favourite shops:
The MCC Thrift Shop
Elmira Gift Outlet
And a few more snowmen scenes were added to my collection:)

As I was wrapping up this long-winded post this afternoon, there was a knock at the door.
There stood my local florist with the most beautiful floral arrangement...for me!
I feel so blessed and grateful for all the good gifts God has given me, including the valuable gift of friendship!
Thank you S for blessing me with this gorgeous arrangement!

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year...