As I type my Chirstmas cake is baking in the oven and so the house is filled with the heavenly scent of mixed spice, cinnamon and brandy. The cake has almost another 2 hours to go before I have to take it out, feed it some more brandy and then wrap it snugly till it's cooled down.
Before coming to Germany I'd never made a Christmas cake and only rarely made mince pies - not because I can't cook but because the shops in the UK are always full of such delights at this time of year & I'm a bit lazy...
However, living here means that while we can enjoy the many German culinary offerings that are around for this season (and trust me there are far more delights here than in the UK) if we also want our traditional English food then we either have to make it ourselves or beg people to bring it over with them when they come (remember my Wensleydale cheese someone please!!)
This is the 3rd year I've made this cake, following Nigella's recipe carefully...the mixture of fruit was soaked in brandy for a week and then this morning I prepared the cake tin - brown paper around the outside (of course I didn't have any brown paper (having been an efficient little elf yesterday and posted off the presents to the UK & Ireland) or anything that could be a useful substitute so a trip to the post office was required first) & baking paper on the inside. Weighed out all the other ingredients, grated a lemon and an orange (and my thumb) then mixed and mixed and voila - instant Christmas cake.
I shall leave icing it until maybe Christmas Eve...and then we can start eating it!! So I shall need the Wensleydale cheese then - you just can't beat the taste and texture combination of rich, moist Christmas cake with a piece of dry and crumbly Wensleydale - heaven!
Jas has also been busy, putting together a gingerbread house, it's
from a kit so all that was involved was making the icing and then trying to stick the pieces together...I had a minor hissy fit when I couldn't get the walls to stay up but Simon manfully stepped into the breach - his cement laying skills are better than mine! And then Jas took over the decoration - a work of art I think you'll agree, although whether there will be any of it left when the grandparents get here for Christmas and New Years is open to debate!