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.