1 EAGLETON NOTES: Only 93 Days Until Christmas

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Only 93 Days Until Christmas

So I decided I'd better get a move on and make Christmas cakes.  So on Saturday I bought the ingredients and yesterday I soaked the fruit in brandy and this afternoon I set too and made the first two.







They came out of the oven at 11.30pm and can cool overnight. Tomorrow they will be fed and wrapped up in silicone paper and then silver foil and all that I have to do is feed them every so often until it's time for them to be iced (or given away for the recipient to ice them: it's not my forté).

35 comments:

  1. As usual, I shall leave the baking to my Mum - she is just so much better at it than I, plus she has a lot more time. But I am not kidding when I tell you that I already have a Christmas present for my sister. Months ago, she mentioned something she'd like to have (not for Christmas, just generally), and when a week or so later, I happened to come across exactly that item in a shop, I bought it. Now it sits in the cabinet in the Third Room where I always keep presents until it is time to give (or send) them to the recipient.

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    1. Meike I started baking in 2000 when I was sort of confined to the house (in that I wasn't allowed to drive) after my heart attack and then when we lost our cake maker at the pottery café I had and had a coach coming the next day. I loved it. I don't do much now but I am back to making Christmas cakes this year. Who knows what will follow.

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  2. No cracking, no sinking. Perfect.

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    1. And, Adrian, by the time they've been fed for three months they should even taste ok....I hope!

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    2. I make a boiled fruit cake every now and then as I enjoy it with cheese. You are streets ahead a Master Baker.

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    3. I used to make boiled fruit cakes too for the pottery café. I enjoy anything with cheese!

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  3. Was just saying to my boarder that someone would mention the countdown to Xmas anytime now - and sure enough 30 minutes later....
    Impressed at the cakes :)

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    1. Fiona I shall probably never be allowed to forget my rashness in mentioning it!

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  4. So nice to make Christmas cake. I usually make mine later, which I am sure means it is not as good, although none of the family ever notice the difference. :)

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    1. Jenny in recent years I've made mine early and given them to people to feed and ice because I've been in New Zealand.

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  5. I think the title of that blog might upset your brother!

    I on the other hand have already been drooling over christmas stockings on the internet. I'm determined to buy and hang some on our new fireplace. I don't care what's in them - I just love the way that they look!

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    1. Helen the title even upsets me!!! Christmas stocking eh! Ah well I'll send you an orange!

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  6. Cakes........Christmas...........mmmmmm

    Now I'm excited!!

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    1. Jaz I rarely get excited by Christmas I'm afraid. It used to be a time of pilgrimage to my parents 450 miles away but that was a long time ago.

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  7. I've never been a fan of (Christmas) fruit cake. Now if you were making mince tarts, I'd be on the next plane!

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    1. I've never made a mince tart VS. Hmmm. That's an idea. I like them too.

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  8. Wow! I'm impressed. Enjoy. My Mom made Christmas cake that I'll never forget. We've given up making Christmas cake here with only two of us.

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    1. This may sound silly Red but I never make one for myself because I hardly ever eat it. I did used to half one with my Uncle before he died because he loved it. I just make them for sort of Christmas presents.

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  9. A kind of cake not in our tradition here (and certainly would not have been in my family of teetotallers)... I'm intrigued by the layers of newspaper... ink flavour? ;)

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    1. Not everyone uses brandy in their cakes Monica and, in any case, I think all the alcohol burns off or evaporates during the cooking just leaving a flavour. I feed them afterwards though so mine would certainly be off limits. The cakes are in the oven for about 5 hours so the paper is to insulate the sides and top against the main heat generated by the metal cake tin and allow them to bake evenly. The top is protected from the newspaper by silicon cooking paper.

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  10. I can forgive you for making your cakes so early. Just. But mentioning the C word....that's a step too far.

    I was intrigued by the advertisement in thenewspaper for the "former coastguard store".

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    1. Oh dear Frances. I may not be a Christmas person but I accept that others are and they are traditionally called Christmas Cakes because they are eaten at that time of year in the Christian Calendar. So I decided against the suggestion of a few of my friends who said I should call them End of Year Cakes. The newspapers have been replaced for todays batch because they were possibly 10 years old - perhaps more - and were showing their age. From my knowledge of the area I assume that the store was not where former coastguards were stored but where things used by the coastguard were formerly stored making. Isn't language wonderful. At least it wasn't a matter of the omitted (or included) comma.

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  11. Looks yummy :)). Never knew cakes could be made so many days in advance!!

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    1. Rich fruit cakes will last for ages if properly kept Ruby but mine have the added preservative of brandy!

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  12. Nice bit of infectious inspiration in those cakes. GB. Thanks! I will make mine earlier this year. And mincemeat - mincemeat has long (always) been something I loved to hate - until last year, when I helped make some for a charity sale. At the end of the day there was literally a refrigerator full of the stuff made with commercial mincemeat and secret ingredients. Having helped with the making, I thought I should probably help in the tasting, and that tasting led to dozens of mincemeat tarts, some of which generated more funds for charity at the Great Cookie Walk, and the Children's Christmas Sale, and some of which made it to Christmas Dinner at the food bank. (Then there were those that - eh-hmm - never made it from the cooling rack to a serving tray when they came out of the oven. Fun to recall. Good luck with yours when you make it!
    Take care, McGregor (p.s. secret ingredients: shredded apple, various spirited liquids, so to speak, along with more than a pinch of goodwill.)

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    1. Fascinating machinations, McGregor. Thanks for the pointers.

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  13. Love Christmas cake, but haven't started mine yet. I guess I'd better get cracking. Of course if I make them too early, we just keep nibbling at them and there's nothing left by Christmas. Still -- only 93 days, hmm? Maybe I need to re-think this! :) xoxox DeeDee

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    1. DeeDee I'm a bit early because I just had a sudden desire to get started and decided that if I didn't do it now I might just let it slide. I have the advantage that I'm not really a cake eater so I'm not tempted.

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  14. Ypu beat me to it. I was going to do a post with a similar title because I saw racks of Christmas cards (and even bought a couple of packs) in one of our local charity shops. Christmas cards and it's still September. Aaaaahhh!

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    1. You've bought Christmas cards CJ!?

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    2. We're ahead of you here. I chided the local charity shop manager for putting theirs out on 20th August ! Apparently, head office rules that they go out the day after the schools go back, which here was 19th August. Perhaps the same rules apply in England, as they would have gone back to school in September. Another reason to pity us Scots.

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  15. Wow, I am truly impressed...you baking Christmas cakes....impressed for sure.
    They look delicious.
    You are way ahead of me with your Christmas cakes. This year I am late getting my fruit ready....hopefully this weekend I will be able to mince my fruit and put the mixture to soak in some heavy liquor until baking day around December 20th.
    They will then be then "fed" liberally for a few days until handed out as gifts and stored for guest consumption.

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    1. I bake very little these days Virginia because I eat very little cake. I do enjoy it though and used to do a lot of it when we had the pottery and tea-shop.

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