December Letter from The Ferns Vegetarian / Vegan B & B chatting about the garden, Christmas in Newport and Christmasy biscuits


Cotoneaster berries

Holly tree in the back garden

The garden

Well its a sign in the garden that we have had a lovely summer. The holly and Cotoneaster  are loaded with berries.

The quince is heaving with fruit as well ( time to make quince cheese again see my Blog last January) Normally at this time of the year the blackbirds have eaten all my holly berries and generally, although I have a big holly tree, there are very few left by the week before Christmas. This year it is still loaded, so we shall be having lots of holly in the house this year.

Because it’s been quite warm, the two annuals –  Bacopas –  by our front door are still flowering. You can tell when this was taken because the fern is turning brown – yes I took the photo last week!

A Bacopa by the front door

A Bacopa by the front door


Newport Christmas decorations are now turned on, and make a bleak time of the year very cheerful!

Near the Shakespeare Inn

Near the Shakespeare Inn

Jewelled Slice

I have made a lovely Christmas fridge cake from a recipe in the Co-op  Magazine for December. They have a ‘Make it of fake it’ section; you can buy the product or make it yourself. This time they had  a Festive Jewelled Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Slice. It was a so easy to make and so delicious, hope some of you may try it!

My version of the Jewelled Slice

My version of the Jewelled Slice

Ingredients: 200 gm chocolate ( milk or plain)

200 gm butter  ( or marg might be a possibility)

5 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp cocoa power

20  plain biscuits ( digestive, rich tea)

100 gm glace cherries, 60 gm dried mango, 75 gm dried cranberries ( or similar – to the same weight) I didn’t use cherries but did try some dried apricots.

a few brazil nuts and other seeds

100 gm dark chocolate to drizzle on top

Method: 1. Line a  tin with  parchment paper.

2. Break chocolate into pan and add butter syrup and cocoa. Heat gently until all melted. Remove from heat.

3. Crush biscuits ( but not too finely) and then add to the chocolate mix. Spoon into tin. Sprinkle the fruit and nuts while mixture still sticky.

4. Chill for 2 hours and drizzle the melted chocolate on the top. Cut into squares.

Many thanks to the Coop for their recipe! They suggested having it with  Irish coffee, so I may give that a go! Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Prosperous New Year!