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I've won a couple of battles, but lost the war, I think.

I'm not happy with Cedric (this year's boar's head for Yule.) I tried a couple of new things: the turnip to look like an apple worked much better - it held up to the heat; I baked the parsnips in place for the tusks - the tips browned, but they look good; I set the eyes firmly in place so that they wouldn't slump - that was a mistake. They need to slump with the crust. Won't try that again. But, two out of three is pretty good.

I had horrible trouble with the ears this year - they didn't want to stick, and I had to replace them twice. That's annoying, but an occupational hazard.

But the biggest disappointment is that he slumped badly - possibly the worst slump yet. I'm pretty sure it's because the fat content of the ground pork was much higher this year. So Cedric looks a bit like Jabba the Pig. No, I think there will not be pictures.

He's not awful, but he's not what I wanted.

I think that over the next year I need to experiment with the recipe. Grandpa's recipe calls for a pound of ground pork and a quarter pound of ground beef. I'm going to try dickering with that ratio to get the beef quotient up as high as possible without affecting the taste noticeably. Cutting that fat amount down will reduce the slump factor. Bob is just going to have to eat pork pie occasionally.

On the other hand, the baked walnut shaped cookies for the ring subletie look spectacular - many thanks to vynehorn for coming over, mixing up a batch of royal icing, and putting most of them together for me.