Sunday, 29 November 2009

The advent of Advent.. Christmas must be on it's way now for sure.. as I heaved my sorry ass out of bed this morning and set about weighing and measuring out the fruit for three cakes I plan to bake later this week. I am going to make two Red Wine Fruit Cakes, recipe courtesy of some friends at Leedstown School (thanks Mary) and one mega cake which will be an amalgamation of Ainsley Harriots's Mum's cake (where did that come from?!) and a Deluxe Cake from an old BBC Veggie Christmas magazine which has been languishing on my kitchen shelf for years.

So... 90 ounces of fruit later (sultanas, apricots, dates, cherries.. you know, all the things your Mum tried to get you to eat as a kid, but you hated, then miraculously find irresistable as you reach the summit of your I'm- in-charge-of-festiveness-realisation at the age of 30+ somewhere).. and a pint of red wine and some port and Old Monk's Rum in the other. 

(Ainsley reckons you need to start this process some 4 weeks at least before you bake the cake, but unless I started back in October and then discovered a festering bowl of fruit packed away forgotten in some dark cupboard somewhere, a few days will have to do...he also says to blitz 2/3 of the fruit before cooking but that's not going to happen as the best bit is picking out the pieces of fruit...isn't it?)  So you can see how the recipe is an amalgamation, I will put in the best bits of both.... like the veggie mag cake doesn't even include spices.. what's THAT all about?!

The Old Monk's Rum by the way has long sat on the roof of our dresser or kitchen units, only of interest on this one day a year..a bit like a alcoholic sad version of One Little Christmas Tree!  Col got given it by someone when they worked in India, the only time it has been drunk for real was when Ross took a swig (aged 10 or 11) as I teased him that Lisa had tried it already....his swig prompted cries of agony about tongue and lips on fire / burning etc..he always did like to make a drama out of a crisis.. can't think where he gets THAT from either!

It'll be great to get out my Christmas scrapped album, all 9 long pages of it, made it in January so it will get a nice airing over Christmas this year while Uncle Bill and Deborah come to spend some time with us... I only hope it's not quite such an icey snap this year as last when Will & Michele appeared to bring a New York chill with them!

PS Sorry about the repeat pics, I have a new camera phone but it has a sad, very sad camera and those candid shots require the subjects to 'hold it like that' for about 30 seconds while I get this to 'take'.. need less to say Santa is threatening to get me another tiny, lightweight one for scrap subjects..


  1. Is that a SPROUT?! Did it go in the cake? Blimey, that's a real almalgamation of recipes if it did lol. Only just made my cake this week. Have done 2 - over half a bottle of brandy has gone into both!

  2. No, it was a lime I think, must have used it instead of a lemon last year.. I always seem to start baking and THEN look to see if I have everything!


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