Festive Christmas Fun

I meant to make my Christmas Cake on the traditional Stir-Up Sunday, but I got a day’s work and the impulse passed..it kept right on passing until eventually I had to make up my mind – did I buy a cake or did I buy the ingredients for a cake?. Now I actually made a cake while I was recovering from my knee replacement. Surely I could do one with two (more or less) operational knees… surely… I decided to seize the day and take all the foreign mail to the post office to send off, then go to London and get the oddments I want for Christmas presents (skulls, M&Ms, that kind of thing) and come back via Sainsbury’s to pick up the essentials for the cake. Sadly Sainsbury’s appeared to have been attacked by a gang of ravenous locusts with a taste for dried fruit. There were no currants. Absolutely none. I persuaded myself that I probably had some in the store cupboard. I use raisins and sultanas in ordinary cooking, but never currants… I must have some…I bought the necessary orange and lemon, the small packet of almonds which was all that was left and went home. Just before midnight I checked the cupboard. There were no currants… but there were some packets of what was described as a luxury mix of dried fruit. A mix must include currants…surely. They were a bit old looking, true, but a good soak in brandy would deal with that…if we had any brandy… would whisky do? Possibly not gin… well, I put them in soak, reminding myself to take the butter out of the fridge an hour or so before I started on the cake so it would soften.

But I did not take it out of the fridge. And when I came to make the cake the butter was as hard as a rock. But I needed to to take that cake out of the oven before I went out that evening… so I put the butter into the oven on what I thought was a low temperature…it was the crackling sound and the smell that alerted me to the fact that I was wrong… I managed to salvage enough butter for the cake (the melted butter was not wasted – I used it to grease the tin). I cleaned the oven. I mixed the ingredients, many of which differed more than somewhat from Delia’s recommendations by now, wrapped the tin in brown paper and shoved it in the oven.

Actually it smelt quite nice. I’m sure it will be fine..

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