Today I am talking about Christmas (some of you may be appalled and would perhaps like to return to this post in about 3 months time, but you'll be sorry......) HEHE
I am notoriously a bit of a scrooge at Christmas time, let's call it too many years of miserable family members, put together in a room, screaming children who are so materialistic that they don't appreciate anything you give them, or understand the magic of the season, who only want the latest future landfill craze that lasts 2 minutes before it is broken or cast aside.
So it is with great happiness that this year will be different. I am not going to be there. My very very good friend (the American one who came to stay with me last March, (remember, when the weather was good, seems such a long time ago) is working in Germany this year and she has nothing to do between 18th December and 28th December and no one to do it with and so I have invited her to come and stay with me, for a traditional British Christmas, one that will not involve endless hours of shopping, screaming spoiled kids or any sort of misery, if I can help it. The joy of this particular friend is that she is wonderful with food, both cooking it and eating it. She is non materiel and will enter into the true spirit of the season with me.
So with no time to spare when it comes to proper traditional food preparation, I got on with it today. I am going to be wholly traditional and cook everything from scratch and much of it in advance, trying to find the frugal way of doing things.
So with that in mind today I started preparing my Christmas cake and some cherry brandy.
Now I made cherry brandy a year or so ago and it was one of the best and most worthwhile things I have ever done. So delicious to drink, the cherry's themselves becoming a delicious desert ingredient.
I won't repeat the recipe, because here it is from a past post, only to say that it is well worth trying:
So having bought a bottle of very cheap Aldi brandy, I decided to start on my Christmas cake. Now I have to admit that I was inspired to do this, it being years since I made a Christmas cake, by a new blog I have been reading called Being Penny Wise (and I recommend it). Mrs Penny Wise over there is making a Christmas cake using the cheapest value ingredients, to see how it comes out. Well, I am all for this so thought I would do the same.
This is her post on the subject.
Now, we all have our slightly different ways of making cakes, so I will be doing my own version, but basically the premise is the same, using value dried fruit, value brandy, value flour, etc I will make a lovely large cake for as little money as it is possible to do.
So today I put 2 packs of value dried fruit (1KG), asda in my case, into a bowl and added the remaining brandy (after making the cherry brandy) for it to steep in for the next week. After this I will make my cake and show you how it turns out.
So it is going to be a season of good food, prepared well in advanced (well come on, how many of us actually like supermarket shopping in December and horrendous last minute panicking?), home made well thought out presents (yeah, need to start thinking about that) and a celebration of the true joy of the season.
Will I finally get the Christmas I have always wanted? Let's find out.