Reasons to be cheerful


Reasons to be cheerful:
1. My friend made her batch of Christmas puddings and gave me TWO of them. She makes the BEST puddings I have EVER tasted. All I have to do is steam them. The one in the picture is the smaller of the two and is waiting its turn in the pressure cooker. When they’re done, they’ll have their lids popped on and be put away to mature over the next couple of months to be totally delicious for Christmas.

They can’t be steamed in the pressure cooker with tight fitting lids; instead they wear little caps of greaseproof paper (2 layers) and tin foil over the top tied with string to keep them secure. This allows the steam to permeate and circulate without pressure building up inside the pudding bowl and blowing the top off. The big one is already in the pressure cooker and the aromatic fumes of the irish whiskey she gave them a dose with is filling the house. Glorious!

2. My Christmas cake is looking lovely. Unwrapping it and feeding it with spirits gives me a frisson of excitement; that sense of getting ready for the festive season and happy days ahead. I’ve just given it a chug of Southern Comfort which we had left from last year which is why it looks so wet and shiny. The house smells like a distillery this morning!

I waited for the alcohol to sink in and covered it up again. There, all wrapped up to go back in its box for another week.

3. My third reason for being cheerful is that the sun is shining again and it looks a good drying day. The smell of washing dried outdoors is the reason why Mrs God made clothes lines.

So, three reasons for being cheerful and it’s not even 10.30 yet!

A little Hello from a cat I made with a couple of pieces of wool and some embroidery floss. A pretty sprinkling of French Knots on its tummy kept me busy while I watched the Great British Bake Off the other night.

Now, off to find Nadiya’s marshmallow and icing sugar fondant recipe!

Makey bakey Christmas cakey… rich, fruity, moist


It’s had a good couple of tablespoons of brandy (I poked it all over with a fine knitting needle then poured the brandy over). It smells lovely, it looks lovely. It’ll be wrapped up again in greaseproof paper then tin foil and unwrapped every week or so for a brandy tipple until it’s time to cover it with marzipan, probably early December but no later than a week before Christmas.


Download the PDF recipe here (free):

Makey Bakey Christmas Cakey