Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions.

Still no 'mojo' but I thought I better post or you'll think I've dropped off blogland - and if you think that, then you might stop coming by to 'read' me! And I wouldn't want that to happen.

Despite having new sofas I've still not felt in the mood for knitting. I was busy painting in the living room and kitchen last week and also planning a birthday party for my soon to be 8 year old little princess (yeah, not so little any more!). The party was at our house yesterday and it all went well. We had just a few friends over and we had a bouncy castle in the back yard.


With no knitting to show you I thought I would post about 'Christmas Traditions' as suggested over at Amanda's blog earlier this week.........

..... this is my 'tradition'! Dried Fruit? Well not exactly. A Christmas Tradition for us in England is making 'Christmas Cake' - otherwise known over here as 'Fruit Cake'. OK, stop laughing!

When I first came to the US (10 years ago) I was shocked when I heard how fruit cake gets such a bad rap. I was once told there is only one fruit cake in the US, because everyone who recieves it will wrap it up and mail it on to someone else! I have to say, when I saw what fruit cake in the store over here I wasn't surprised at that joke. It's a much lighter 'cake' here, but in England our fruit cake is very dark and filled with a lot more fruit.

My mom used to make a Christmas cake every year when I lived at home. The tradition (for a lot of families) is to make the cake at least a month before Christmas and then 'feed it' in the following weeks so that it's nice and moist when you cut in to it on Christmas day. When I say 'feed it' I mean adding a spoonful of brandy or sherry each week until the big day. HERE'S a little history on the English Christmas Cake.

I am happy to say that this year I have found a lovely knitting friend who wants to join me in baking a cake :-) The lovely Claudia didn't laugh when I told her about my 'tradition'. In fact she told me she loves fruit cake and has made her own in the past. I shared with her this year a recipe I have a from a friend that worked really well for me, and we've both planned on making one together and even sending each other a slice of our own cakes to try :-) I'm really excited about this. And so the big day looms. . . . I have my ingredients all gathered and one day next week I plan on making the cake. The other tradition I told Claudia about is that I have to have Christmas songs playing while I bake and the 'cook' (that's me) has to have a glass of her favorite drink poured (usually a glass of wine).

Now, if there's any other 'fellow Brits' out there in knitting land that would like to join our Christmas 'bake-along', please do so, and of course let us know via your blog if you can, or leave me a note here :-)

One other thing before I go, I just want to say Thank You to Nicole. I was the lucky winner in her blog competition a few weeks ago and I received my prize last week. Her beautiful alpaca 'Toasties'.

Nicole took much nicer pictures, but here's my toasty arm inside of one. Thanks again Nicole.

10 comments:

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

I made mine today :) The house smelled wonderful all day.... Oops, I added 3 or 4 tablespoons of brandy to begin feeding the cake. Maybe we'll get tipsy eating it! My mom is very happy to know that I'm bringing home a Christmas Cake!

Love your toast! What an awesome gift :)

tiennie said...

Glad the party went well! Congrats on your prize!

Sam said...

I love a good English fruit cake! It's making my mouth water just thinking about it. Yes, they just don't do fruit cake well here in the States.

amanda said...

Yes Christmas songs and a glass of wine are an absolute must when making your Christmas cake! We did the pudding yesterday and tried using the electric steamer for the first time. I'm sure the pudding will be fine but the steamer required topping up every half hour for 9 hours!!!! Back to steaming in a pan of water next year! I'm looking forward to seeing your decorated cake. :)

Ren said...

it's so nice to have Christmas traditions... i can't say that i've enjoyed the fruitcake i've tasted, but yours sounds pretty delicious. i hope you get your mojo back! : )

Suzanne said...

Glad to see your still around too! :) Nice Mitts!! I'm working on a few for Christmas!!
Suzanne

kv said...

congratulations on your win! as for fruitcake, i eat so few sweets nowadays (in athe desparate attempt to stay something like my usual size) that i confess i wouldn't waste the treat-opportunity on fruitcake. i do love peppermint bark, though--only available at x-mas.

kim said...

Lucky you! I love the color of those Toasts!

I never knew that Fruit Cake could be anything other than a joke. In fact, I questioned whether the store-bought ones were even edible. I enjoyed the history you provided!

stitching under oaks said...

Thanks for the good p.r. for the fruit cake. I like mine with lots of nuts. Does that count as fruit cake? Love the yarn you won! How fun!

Heather said...

Denise,
I am not a fellow knitter BUT I would love to share in your baking a "Christmas cake" my niece is coming home from England on dec 23rd. I would love to surprise her. Wish you lived near me to teach me to knit socks...