Words and no pictures this time.
Did you ever get the feeling you were not supposed to be doing what you are trying to do? Because I can't eat wheat I have to make my own Christmas cake each year. I don't really like it much but I want to be able to eat it if I feel tempted and I do usually, to be part of the tradition, part of the family get-to-together and all that. So I make a gluten free cake every year and I eat a couple of small slices. No-one else cares either way that its gluten free because its mostly fruit anyway.
And because I don't really care for it I just use whatever recipe has been published in the paper around the time they reckon you should be making your cake. This year the recipe was for a boiled fruit cake. Ok. it looked easy and easy is good when you are living in chaos and your kitchen has been reduced to the basics.
So I found what supplies I had - lots of lovely organic, sulphur free dried fruit. I bought the sherry the recipe called for. I boiled up the fruit with sugar and butter and jam. I let it cool and added eggs, sherry, spice, flour and baking powder. I double lined the cake tin and heated the oven. I poured the cake into the tin and carefully carried it to the oven - and dropped it splat on the floor! The special baking tin with the removable bottom dropped its bottom and the cake was all over the place. Well, organic sulphur free fruit is expensive, there was no-one around, the floor was washed that morning (Wednesday, cleaning day) and it was going to spend 2 hrs in the oven... so I scooped it onto a plate, rearranged the paper lining and tipped it back in the tin. Strike 1.
While it was cooking I rang my mother (tip of the month, ring your mother). I mentioned that I was making my Christmas cake and using a boiled fruit recipe. She said she had never really liked boiled fruit cakes, they didn't have the 'life' of unboiled ones. Strike 2.
So, the next day, Thursday, I thought the cake was pretty small, I had a lot of dried fruit left and I am soon to pack my kitchen up into boxes. Lets see if I can make a cake that hasn't spent some time on the floor however brief. I mixed up another one and offered to let Terry lick the mixing bowl - I had the spoons. He said thanks. After a couple of tastes he said no thanks, he didn't like it. Strike 3. Well three strikes and you're out but what was I going to do with all that uncooked batter? I decided to cook it anyway certain that after three strikes nothing else would be allowed to go wrong.
The cake had been in the oven about an hour when the power went off. After 10 minutes and it hadn't come back on I was getting anxious about my half cooked cake so we rang the power company. Oh, yes, we know its off, no we don't know why - best estimate is back on in 5 hours! Strike 4.
We drove into town and finished it off in Jennifer's oven. I also bought ingredients for dinner which we had while the cake cooked. I bought ham for Terry which he didn't want and he didn't want the salmon I bought for myself either but that doesn't count as a strike against the cake, just against the week.
So if you visit and I offer you Christmas cake you get to choose which one.