Today Simon is away (not an unusual event by any means, and indeed this year promises to be a year of much travel for Simon - China, Korea, Australia getting added to his more usual venues of Sweden, Finland, England and Norway) and I plan to take complete and absolute advantage of his absence.
I'm going to eat the last piece of Christmas cake!
I know it's not exactly a momentous occasion, it wont be written down in the anals of history, there will be no fanfare or tickertape parade, but it is an occasion worthy of note, in my opinion anyway (and as this is my blog, that's what counts)
If the last piece were to be eaten while Si was in residence it would have to be (whisper it) shared...and I don't think it's big enough, although it is admittedly almost too big for 1 serving, I shall manage!
The end of the Christmas cake marks the ultimate end to Christmas, it is the final, lingering reminder of the one day in the year that families strive to spend together and then strive to enjoy (I find a bottomless bottle of fizz helps*)the decorations came down 2 weeks ago, the presents have all been forgotten (by the children anyway) we still have the credit card bill to look forward and so the cake is the final reminder.
It was a long time in the making.
At the end of November I hunted for all the ingredients (Germans don't make fruit cake like the Brits so the constituent parts have to be hunted for in many different supermarkets, and you know I don't hold with multiple trips to different supermarkets) it was important to start this early as the 1st stage is the most important one, soaking the fruit in brandy until the dried fruit is no longer dried and can take no more alcohol.
A week and a bottle of brandy later the fruit finally waved the white flag of surrender and stage 2 commenced, combining all the ingredients and baking, this involved a panicked rush around town as I discovered neither I nor my emergency supply cupboard (Rebecca) had any brown paper (which while not a constituent of the cake is required for the wrapping around the tin during the 4 hours of baking, no idea why, but Nigella says to do it and who am I to argue?)
Stage 3 was one of the easier ones, the cake is left to stand, all wrapped up in layers of foil, in a nice cool cellar until icing time.
I had to phone a friend (actually email as she's the wife of a friend and I don't have her number) to find out what quantity of icing I should be making for a cake so large - Janice has her own cake making business http://www.top-tier-cakes.co.uk/ and was the ideal person to seek advice from. Simon helped with the actual icing of the cake, I think it was Christmas Eve or maybe Christmas Eve eve and he was at a loose end, either way, I think he makes a better plasterer than me, although I added the finishing flourish of silver sprinkles...
I have to admit to being mightily proud of my cake, better than last years I think, we enjoyed eating every morsel (especially those with Wensleydale on the side, yum) but now it's gone and Christmas is vorbei.
Although I seem to remember a small container of mini mince pies lingers in the freeezer.
And there it was...gone!
*it's a joke dad, I would personally be bereft if you two weren't here to witness the ritual present opening at 6am on Christmas morning...