Sunday 16th September 2012 – Christmas cake is cooking.

I know this has nothing to do with the allotment, but I thought I’d let you know that at this moment in time my Christmas cake is in the oven. It’s got about 5 minutes left, and it’s smelling great. Tomorrow I’ll feed it with a couple of capfuls of brandy, then every 2 weeks I’ll feed it again. I’ll keep this up until the middle of November when I’ll feed it every week until I marzipan it. It get very alcoholic, but is lovely and moist. I have to put a warning on it as there is so much booze in it, you’ll be over the drink drive limit. I’ve always used the Mary Berry Christmas cake recipe which makes a fantastic fruit cake whatever size you decide to do. Bless you Mrs Berry for writing your Ultimate Cake Book, I’ve had my book since 1995 so it’s very, very, very well used.

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8 Responses to Sunday 16th September 2012 – Christmas cake is cooking.

  1. You are well organised. Last year I did mine the week before, albeit the fruit had been steeping in whiskey for a good few days. Good tip re the Mary Berry recipe – will look it up.

    • I’ve just taken it out the over, and it looks so tasty. I like to feed it quite a bit, and it gets quite dark by the time Christmas comes. I’ve got to get it done now and the next few months are frantic.

  2. Kimba says:

    I’ve always used Delia’s recipe but am going to try Mary Berry as I love all her other cakes! Thanks

    • I use Delia’s mincemeat recipe, which is really lovely. Every year before Christmas I have to watch Delia’s Smith’s Christmas. It’s like a ritual. I know Christmas isn’t far away when that’s on the telly.

  3. Oh, you are so organised! Lovely to bump into last week.

  4. Northeast Old Newbie says:

    Claire,
    Great site and full of good news. However it’s time a miserable failure was posted, so here I go. Everything the team & I have tried to grow in our first season has been attacked from above or below. Sometimes even invisibly. We have taken turns at guarding the veg, but to no avail. Us old timers have been beaten at every turn.
    Our 1st early spuds only put in a part appearance due to wet boggy clay and persistent rain. Followed by 100 onions and 100 shallots just disappearing or turning to mush in front of our bleary eyes. The lettuce fared no better, almost making its own way off the plot. I am sure we planted swedes but dont recall seeing them. Our cabbages are (what’s left of them) so moth (caterpillar) eaten they resemble our old gardening trousers. We thought the kale wasn’t liked by anything in the northeast, but finally something found it and demolished them. The late spuds, although blight resistant and haulms looking beautiful was hit subversively by wire worm so we lost 70-80%. Now to cap it off we found rust on all of our leeks!
    I don’t think I have missed anything out, apart from asking, “is it worth planting spring cabbage and over winter onions plus garlic or should we retire well beaten”? — Tesco’s beckons.
    No wonder we were offered a nice looking half plot without a fuss lol

    • To be honest last year was a rather crappy year. I could say worse, but I don’t want to offend. I tend not to plant spring cabbage, as I like to leave the allotment over the winter months to recover, and regenerate for the following year. And it’s too cold to go down to the plot in November-January. Please try again this year. I know it started off cold, but it seems to have got better. If you do have clay soil, the best thing to do is raised beds. If you know a gardener or builder who may have some spare wood from a job, it’ll make great raised beds.

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