May the new year bring us all peace, health and prosperity!!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!! Mine was spent in Germany, with family and friends, and the break was relaxing and restful! It was great to re-connect with cousins that I hadn’t seen in years – there was plenty of catching-up to do!
There are many different traditions in the world to welcome the new year. In Germany, chimney sweeps, four-leaf clovers and little piggies are some of the things that symbolise good luck – you can buy little gifts with those themes all over the place.
I decided to make little piggies from marzipan, to give as presents to friends and family at the start of the new year. They are not difficult to make, I promise!!
Here’s what you need:
- Plain marzipan
- Red food colouring or beetroot juice
- A little icing sugar
- Cloves or nigella seeds for the eyes
- Slivered almonds for the ears
- New pennies or one cent pieces
As you can see, I didn’t have new one cent pieces – the bank didn’t have any new ones. So here’s a trick to make them shine like new: I mixed a couple of tablespoons of clear (spirit) vinegar with a few pinches of salt. All I had to do was to add the coins to the vinegar and watch the patina disappear. Then I removed the coins from the vinegar, and rinsed and dried them. In no time at all I ended up with a nice pile of shiny coins!!
To make the pigs, I broke the marzipan into pieces, added the food colouring (I used beetroot juice) and kneaded the marzipan until it was evenly coloured. A little icing sugar helped to offset the added liquid, so that the marzipan did not get too soft.
Here’s what it looked like when it was all finished:
For each pig, I rolled one ball the size of a small walnut and five small balls that were a little smaller than a pea. The larger ball was elongated a little for the body and four of the little balls formed the feet. The fifth little ball was used to make the snout, flattened somewhat. I also rolled a tiny little sausage shape for the tail.
With the help of a toothpick I made two holes in the snout, and then I added the cloves and almond slivers for the eyes and ears. The piggies were finished off with the lucky pennies in their backs.
I used up all the marzipan – it made quite a few piggies and no two were the same! My little four-year-old nephews helped me count them, and they even gave names to some of them! 🙂
I left the tray with the piggies out to dry overnight. The following day I wrapped them. First I cut cardboard discs, which I covered with silver (aluminium) foil.
I wrapped each little piggie up in some cellophane, decorated the parcel with some ribbons – et voila!
Of course my little nephews each got a piggie on New Year’s Day! No prizes for guessing – they had eaten theirs before January 2nd!! 🙂