Monday, 19 October 2009

Scents of Home

The aroma of spices has been wafting from my kitchen recently. It is that time of year again when my thoughts turn to preparations for Christmas and one of the first of those is baking my Christmas cake. I start by washing and drying the fruit ~ yes, I know that it is 'dried' fruit, but I have found that I get much better results if I take the time to rinse it in cold water and dry it in readiness for a soaking in brandy. (This after I have gone through and removed all those hard bits of stalk that seem to be attached to some of the fruits).

Once the fruit has soaked overnight, I can begin the more pleasurable part of mixing the ingredients. It takes me about an hour to weigh and mix all of the ingredients and prepare the baking tin.

Then the process of baking begins. I have had problems with my oven this year as it does not seem to be maintaining the correct temperature, so I had to buy an oven thermometer after the first cake came out looking a little overbaked.

Yes, I did say the first cake ~ this is the third one that I have made this month ~ one for home, one a gift for friends and one to share with classmates and friends at work. Considering how busy I have been this month, I am feeling quite pleased with my Christmas baking efforts, which have been squeezed in between revision and attending classes.

A big thank you to all of you who have left messages during my blogging break. I am through the first week of exams, but have more this week, so it will be a little while yet before I have a chance to catch up with you.


Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I hope your exams are going well? I am doing an Open University degree (3rd year has just started) so I sympathise with you about study & exams!

You are very well prepared with your cakes! I have to admit, that although I love the smells of christmas cakes & christmas puddings I am not a dried fruit fan, so don't eat them... I have always been told that my tastes will change as I get older, but still I cannot bring myself to eat anything with a raisin or sultana in sight! Chocolate christmas puddings on the other hand... lol

Have a great week, and good luck with the rest of your exams :-)

Rose XXX

Tea Time and Roses said...

Hello Dear Marie!

I love Christmas cakes, well I have admit I love cake period!:o) But I especially love those at Christmas that are all full of fruit.:o) A slice of cake and a cup of tea make exam taking a whole lot easier.:o) Take care my friend and enjoy a beautiful week.



Tracy said...

Your cake is lovely, Marie... I can almost smell it through the screen! :o) And your pre-Christmas preparations inspire... I feel behind already--LOL! Trying to keep my shop going and exciting for holiday shopping and trying to accomplish my own and make some gifts is always a challenge. Hope this week with your exams goes very well. Look forward to hearing your new soon. Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Heidi said...

Hi Marie! I was thrilled to see your comment on my blog post and thought you might be blogging again. Now I must tell you that you were on my mind while I was making my latest free ornament for my handwork blog. It was figgy pudding and I remembered you making your Christmas cake. Now here you are blogging about it. You can see it on this blog if you scroll down to October 15th.

Did you take your exams? Did they go well if so?

Hugs ~

Naturegirl said...

Well hello Marie it has been some time since I came by! I always admire gals who bake their own Chritmas cake..always better to have home made bakes with love in your heart!
I see that you are studying of luck in all your exams.