Every year it is Mum's job to make the Christmas Cake and of course she keeps it in theme....
Her mother before her made The Cake.
My mother's side of the family came from a small outback town in the middle of QLD and Nan made most of the cakes for weddings, Christmas, Christenings and such. She wasn't a fancy cook, but a competent plain one. My Grandfather would always deride her scone making and say,
"Tan did you about the poor Brolgas, I threw Jeanies' scones across the dump and killed a couple. The ones that weren't hit broke their beaks trying to eat them!"
She was a very good fruit cake baker though....
So I passed the tradition into Mum's hands and she agonises every year and makes about seven cakes because she is forever cutting them early convinced they are not good enough, or have dried out or some such. Finally, after my many assurances and I dread to think how much money in dried fruit- we do end up with a cake for the buffet.
This year she covered it in Marzipan (I know most people don't eat this but it gives a nice blank canvas) and then placed a tree cookie cutter on top. She painted inside this shape with egg white then sprinkled on cachous and let it set and dry. She then removed the cutter and let the surplus loose ones scatter ALL over the floor (modify that step). Then a beautiful wide ribbon in red of course completed a very simple and elegant cake. Thanks heaps Mum, beautiful as always.
2009 - Yellow
2008 - Pink
I am a traditionalist and I leave Christmas in place until the 5th of January but it really is over bar the shouting.
My youngest has her birthday on the 27th and we always make it as special and un-Christmassy as we can.
This year she turned 21 and I'm proud as punch.
Today I am making canapes for a quiet New Years' Eve celebration on a balcony overlooking Launceston and the Tamar River.
I have sourced recipes from two of my favourite books.
La Technique by Jacques Pepin and
Cordon Bleu Cookbook by Rosemary Hume and Muriel Downes
Salami Cornucopias, Salmon Pinwheels and throwing in some Devils on Horseback for sheer popularity factor.
Cheers everyone! Hope you had a beautiful Christmas and wish you every happiness for the New Year.
Peace On Earth.