It's a relatively new family tradition in our house to make the christmas cake in the autumn half-term holidays because a) it's a good afternoons work with two helpers and b) because my mum always makes hers in October and as some of my readers (not yet followers!!) will testify, she makes the best Christmas cake ever. I am not expecting to match her beautiful fruit laden cakes, but this is another family tradition passed on from her. I had been hoping that my mum would pass on her "secret" recipe to me, but I have a feeling it's a Delia Smith recipe from the 70's anyway, so I found a Delia Christmas Cake recipe a few years ago and it turns out well (especially if you "feed" it with brandy every couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas before you ice it). I pre-prepared all the ingredients before calling the apron-clad helpers in to help (as it tends to minimise stress), I had even prepared the tin, tying the extra protective layer of paper around the outside before the chaos began. My five year old began by sifting the flour - it looked quite christmassy in the kitchen after this(!), while the three year old started to crack the eggs!!! All came together eventually though and as soon the mixture was ready to go in the tin, which I was quite grateful for as an electric whisk wielding boy was distrating me somewhat. So into the oven it went (for four hours) and we sat down to relax. Whereupon my five year old said "mummy, weren't we meant to put these in as well".... Luckily it was only the orange & lemon zest and Lys Syrup (substitute for black treacle) but annoying nontheless! I will just give it an extra drink of brandy before the marzipan and icing. Anyway, here are some before and after pics. I didn't take any of the kitchen, you can just imagine the state of that once we had finished
For the past couple of days I have put my three year old into nursery so I could spend some exclusive time with his sister on her half term break. Yesterday I took her to the Glyptotek as she had wanted to see the Little Dancer by Degas. My funny little girl is full of surprises, the amount of Danish she was speaking to the other children here was really interesting (if not a little worrying the more she learns, as I can't understand a word of it!). She also decided to take a sketch book and pencil with her to the museum and spent ages sitting on the floor and drawing various sculptures and pieces of art while I hovered about, looking at art (and trying not to look like some sort of obnoxious pushy parent - luckily it was quite quiet as I don't know how to say "it was her idea" in Danish...!), it was really nice to see her enjoying something I love and it even raised a smile from Mrs Grumpy in the Greek section! I especially loved R's interpretation of the Little Dancer!
The only downer of the day was on the trip home. A homeless guy was wandering up and down the train asking people for change, nothing unusual there you might think, until he entered the carriage next to ours and spotted another beggar obviously on his turf. He immediately jumped upon him and had him in a headlock and they started fighting. It was over in seconds and the surrounding passengers did the usual slow and silent retreat, as I saw on many occasions during my commuting years in London when something similar broke out. The poor guy seemed to be OK and his aggressor got off at the next stop. My little girl seemed rather oblivious to it all and thankfully wasn't really watching, but just in case I said "that wasn't very nice was it", and she replied "but they were only dancing mummy"...if only!
Guests arriving tonight, we will be investigating Halloween Tivoli tomorrow and then probably hibernating over the weekend if the weather forecast is anything to go by.
Will update when I can...
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