Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmas cakes and library van day

Yesterday I got the tins all ready for making the Christmas cakes, today I added all the other ingredients to the fruit that had been soaking for 3 days and stirred for ages then got the mix into the tins. Two have been topped with almonds for mini Dundee cakes and the others will be marzipaned and iced. 4 are for gifts.
 One of the things I like from Lakeland (as opposed to all their many, many silly gadgets) is the parchment mini roll for lining round cake tins, makes the job a lot less fiddley. I use a double layer for the bigger cakes.
Into the oven for long slow cooking and out again a few hours later
When they are cool I'll wrap them in grease proof and foil and the big one will get fed with a little brandy every week until it's decorated.


 The library van was round today so as usual I biked down to the village to collect my requests. A good haul to last me through to January as Decembers visit is cancelled because it clashes with Christmas.


Sorry it's a bit blurry, I'll re-do it when the Davis Cup tennis has finished on TV,  GB's first time in the final for umpteen years!
There are several Christmas stories there to get me in the right mood including two from Anne Perry who  has written several short Christmas Crime Novellas. A chicklit by Trisha Ashley, The Geogette Heyer - A Christmas Party has just been reprinted, it was originally published in 1941. I'm very excited by the Alys Clare new book, the next in the Hawkenlye historical crime series and the new Anne Perry in the Inspector Pitt series. There are a couple of books about the home front - The Taste of War by Lizzie Collingham and Our Land at War by Duff Hart Davis. Also several by authors new to me.

The 27th tip- very apt for library van day - is :- Do you need to buy a book straight away, wait for paperback or for secondhand or just borrow it from the library.

 Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday and for the information about recovering from strokes. I do hope our friend gets better soon.

Back Soon
Sue 

23 comments:

  1. I try and borrow from the library - especially if I have read a good review on somebody else's blog! Must check out that River Cottage one. Currently enjoying the Fern Verrow Cookbook [I think you might enjoy that] - so pleased to find it in the Dorset Libraries Catalogue

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    1. Christmas cakes look good Sue - I feed mine liberally every week until Christmas - after all it only comes once a year.

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    2. Thanks Ang for the recipe book info, have ordered it from the library

      Pat - yes, a little extra brandy is good for cakes!

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  2. I'm a great believer in libraries, they must not suffer cuts in service

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    1. Too true. Our libraries are now run independently of the council and will need to fight to survive again when funding is cut. Mobiles went from 2 weekly to 4 weekly in the last cuts but they managed to hang on to the branch libraries

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  3. Cakes look yummy I can almost smell them :-)

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    1. I'm cross with myself as the big one had about 20 mins too long

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  4. Cake looks good. I am inspired! I thought it may be too late but perhaps I might give a small one a try as fruit cake is not one of my success stories in the past. Also need to triple check any milk product content as grandson is hyper allergic. My latest library success is a book called The Beach Hut by Cassandra Parkin.

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    1. Plenty of fruit and long slow low temp cooking is the trick. My Christmas cake recipe on the recipe page could be halved for a small cake

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  5. I am not too good about baking, but I will have to check out your recipes... ;-) I seldom buy Books when they are first published. What I love to Do - buying used books, especially when it com es to English books, ordering them via Amazon.

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    1. I do buy off Amazon especially if the books I want to keep are 1p!

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  6. Books are hard to resist, we have a small library in walking distance, I do use it, but often I can't find anything, not sure is the choice is too much or they are small and don't have many authors I know.

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    1. Luckily ordering books is free in Suffolk so I request things on line and then pick them up from the mobile

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  7. I have had my fruit soaking for three days too, I thought it might have been to long until i saw your post as i just haven't felt like completing them but i will have to tomorow , Usually three of mine are for presents but this year one family member has decided they are not giving presents although we dont buy to receive it would embarrass them if i still gave them a cake, so as i have baked the same amount we have an extra one , You cant have to much home made christmas cake , Poundland have some great cutters to decorate cakes with I bought three star shaped cutters in the same pack different sizes

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  8. Cakes look great, I will have to look out for the parchment mini roll as it is such a faff cutting your own.

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  9. Cake done here, as was a load of mincemeat. Unfortunately mince pies are a real favourite in this house, so Lady M will need to make another wheelbarrow full if we're to have any for Christmas.

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  10. The power of the public library is very underestimated - I recently was talking to colleagues about public libraries and was basically laughed to scorn

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  11. I don't make cakes because there's only me that'd eat em and I'm fat enough!! BUT I am tempted to say duck it and do one anyway!! I might check out what dried fruits I've got in my box later. Perhaps I could cobble a small one together!! I saw one done in a bread tin to make a loaf shaped one for easier slicing for one!

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  12. ooh, those cakes look good.
    Good tip about the books. I am so bad for buying books, but this year I put a stop to it. By now I'd have bought at least 20 or so, through the entire year so far, I think I've bought 5 in total. Something like that. A huge improvement for me. Yesterday we were going to peruse The Works, but when I peered in it was bustling and I didn't need to jostle in there just in case a book caught my eye. Especially as I've been getting rid of those that I never looked through or used.

    I love Lakeland. Was in there yesterday buying disposable icing bags. The thing that I love most is the chandelier near the till! Gorgeous! ;o) x

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  13. Those cakes look wonderful!
    I too love books!

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  14. How lovely to see Dundee cakes looking as they should ~ rich and brown. I have seen some lately that are so under baked you can barely see the almonds! I agree, that parchment of Lakeland's is the best and they do sell an awful lot of silly gadgets.
    Great haul of books. I must be an awfully slow reader, it would take me all year to get through those, and I read every day!

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  15. A warning about the Devil's Workshop, it is definitely "darker" than The Black Country novel of his I read first. So be warned and don't read it as mealtimes!! You've got a lovely selection there, as always.

    The cakes look good. I will be making Blueberry Muffins today (some to eat and some to freeze) and hopefully jam making.

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  16. Your cakes look wonderful.
    I must look up what a Dundee Cake is besides looking very yummy.

    cheers, parsnip

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