Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Christmas Cake is in the Oven!

Great was my concern when I saw via Facebook that my mother had already baked, wrapped and put to bed her Christmas Cake for its long Advent nap. However, I have been busy clearing the decks for my trip to Warsaw, so I managed to start only yesterday.  That's when I bought, washed and dried the sultanas, California seedless raisins and currants and soaked them overnight in brandy.

Today I bought the rest of the ingredients for the fun part, which is putting everything into a vat and mixing it up with my arm. My vat used to be part of a tabletop oven. I have no interest in the heating device/lid, but the safety-glass oven itself is excellent for mixing the Christmas Cake batter.

Christmas decorations appeared in Edinburgh shops on November 1, and there are now post-Bonfire Night supermarket adverts--actually alluding to Bonfire Night--on TV counselling us not to resent Christmas stuff. "Too soon?" asks a supermarket ad husband, showing his wife a Christmas song CD. "Nah, bring it on," says the supermarket ad wife. 

Since proper Christmas Cake must soak in brandy (or rum, if your family uses rum instead) for at least six weeks before eating, the appearance of Christmas adverts is a sign that it is now time to start the Cake. Perhaps this is why I don't mind the beginning of British Christmas shopping season falling on November 1. Meanwhile, many Britons--including my husband--get holidays from Christmas Day until New Year's Day, so there are at least Eight Days of Christmas, instead of Almost Two Months and Then Blah. Friends of ours have an annual Twelfth Night party, too, so traditionally enought that is the last hoorah before Burns' night.  

This year I have promised B.A. that I will not go crazy with the Christmas baking and will even make a small version of the trifle. I didn't say anything about the Cake. Or the Bun. Wigilia Supper, however, has been banned by name.

"Unless a Pole spends Christmas here," I qualified.

"No," said B.A. 


  1. Did you ever post that recipe? I have a feeling you did once. Maybe you could relink it. It's always hard not to start the Christmas celebration too early. In Poland, they are very strict about not singing any Christmas songs in advance, I've heard.

    Anyway, I would like to share this article about the liturgy in the Catholic Diocease in Sweden (we only have one). I think there is a great love for traditionalism and gregorian music genrelly in the dioease. It is very nice!


  2. Thank you! Which recipe? The Christmas cake? It is a bit complicated. A half pound of this, and a half pound of that, and a quarter pound of almonds, etc, etc. etc.

  3. PLEASE...please post a good family recipe for Christmas Cake!!

  4. Proszę! Post the Christmas Cake recipe!!