Another non-yarn post, but I wanted to share one of my favourite winter activities. Right, well, ok it’s not quite the season yet. But the way time flies it won’t be long! October is the start of my Christmas prep. I love Christmas. It *can* be a great time if you avoid the rhubarb. I personally find all the commercial and falseness most horrid. However I do love those simple pleasures you can have in those cold dark winter months. There’s nothing I like more than coming in from the cold to a warm house and various other lovely things like family, friends and a wagging happy dog 🙂

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One other thing that makes winter good is a good old fashioned Christmas cake. It’s around this time of year I get started with a traditional fruit cake. This year was a monster feat as I’ve had to increase the volume of cake produced. Making an 8″ round cake just isn’t enough to satisfy friends and family and me.

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I use a Mary Berry traditional celebration cake recipe. Very easy method, tho maybe hard work due to soaking of the fruits and the long cooking times. But definitely worth it! This year as well as the usual 8″ of round rich boozey fruityness I decided to do a square one of 10″. For the 2 cakes I used around 3kg of assorted organic dried fruits! Currants, sultanas and raisins with apple, apricot, cranberries, dried and glace cherries and almonds.

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After soaking these in brandy, calvados, plum brandy and rum I add them to a generous mixture of treacle, muscovado sugar, spices, citrus peel and zest and flour. A total of 9 hours baking later and I have 2 seriously weighty yummy fruit cakes. Now all that’s left to do is feed them weekly with brandy to keep them moist. It’s a long expensive process. One could buy a supermarket one for pennies these days, but where’s the fun in that? Roll on a bit of snow and the chance to curl up in front of a log burner with iced and decorated Christmas cake with my Alfie.

Yarn over and out…..

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