I make the Christmas cake that my mother made, and that (she tells me) her mother made too. Everyone who likes Christmas cake prefers the one they grew up with I think. Our recipe is heavy on the basic fruits, not got any whole nuts in it, and is free of any 'tweaks or exotic touches'. I love it just the way it is.
The only part I hate is lining the tin. What a palaver! All the best planning means that no matter what I can never find any kitchen twine, and end up going into my yarn stash and picking something from there to hold the extra layers of lining on the outside of the tin.
The recipe is a very easy one to follow. The majority of the ingredients are measured at 3/4 of a pound - butter, sugar, flour, raisins, currants, dates, sultanas, etc. I just bung the butter and sugar into the Kitchen Aid and it goes the hard work of creaming it all together. Add eight eggs, and beat them in in a trice. Only there comes the time to add the fruit and the realisation that the Kitchen Aid bowl is not big enough to handle this much stuff. (And coming to the conclusion that I obviously need a bigger Kitchen Aid!)
Next comes the bottle of sherry. For the cake - not me! It was 9:30am for goodness sake. What do you think I'm like? Don't answer that, rhetorical question and it would be opening up a real can of worms.
And I waited, and waited, and waited for it to cook. I stress every year that I will get it wrong. Not cook it enough and it will fall in the middle. Burn the top. Just muck it up somehow. For someone who loves cooking and baking this is pretty pathetic. Eventually it came out the oven. It's only just come out so no idea if it is fine yet. But it smells good! Time to liberally lace it with sherry and rum, wrap it up tight and put it away until Christmas.
Soon after I got the cake in the oven this morning the post arrived and I received an unexpected gift. From the lovely Jan who blogs over at Isisjem. Jan lives not too far from here but for reasons of busy lives and other distractions we have not met in person yet. But we should do in a couple of weeks time and I am really looking forward to it. She put together the loveliest parcel of a perfectly made wide mouthed pouch and chocolate. Then I opened the pouch and found she had given me some of her precious supply of texty fabrics because I had missed out on that swap. How very, very kind! Huge thank you to Jan and I so look forward to being able to say thank you face to face.
|Check out the amazing quilting on the pouch!|