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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Order your Traditional English Christmas Cake

I am currently taking orders for Traditional English Christmas Cakes. Enjoy throughout the Christmas season with a nice cup of tea, or a glass of sherry, the cakes contain raisins, sultanas, currants, almonds, and cherries and are made following a time tested recipe from England. Each 6" round cake weighs just over two pounds and can be ordered plain, or with the traditional finishing of marzipan and royal icing. Order yours today: Plain Cake $18, finished with marzipan and royal icing $25. To order email

Monday, October 3, 2011

Contemplation on "Tension", a Recipe, and Bits and Bobs

A Contemplation on "Tension"
As a knitter I have often struggled with getting the tension right while knitting, too loose and the end result is a shapeless garment, too tight and the end result is a skewed garment.  I struggle with "too loose" tension, after a google search I discovered that I held the yarn incorrectly, I have corrected this and am pleased with the results.
While walking the other day I was thinking about tension and how important it is in sewing and knitting, and realized that it is important in life too.  We have to have things in balance, too many activities, too many deadlines, too many obligations and we end up skewed, stressed out, and unpleasant to be around.  If we have no obligations we end up a shapeless mess, we are created to be productive, after all there is great satisfaction in a job well done, helping another, and feeling useful and necessary.  
When we have things in balance, time for God, time for our spouse, time for our children and grandchildren, time for work, time for rest, we find contentment.  I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8.

A Recipe - Jumbo Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
Yum, Yum, Yummy O!!

Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set to one side:
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt

Cream together:
1 lb of soft butter
2 cups of white sugar
2 cups of brown sugar

Add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and stir well:
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups of peanut butter

Add the flour mixture and stir well.
Add 12 oz of chocolate chips and stir well.

Bake at 375 for 15 - 16 minutes. I bake 8 cookies at a time, I use an ice cream scoop to measure the dough, I would say the dough is an extremely rounded tablespoon size blob.
This recipe will make about 60 cookies, they freeze very well.

Bits and Bobs

Last Friday I made my annual Traditional English Christmas Cakes, each year I make one for us, one for my parents, and one for each of my sisters.  Traditional English Christmas Cake is a rich fruit cake, the recipe includes 2 lbs of dried fruit, cherries, almonds, and sherry, it is very rich and very enjoyable.  The cake is always made at least five or six weeks in advance, after baking it is stored in an airtight container, the cake is pierced in several places with a skewer and each week is fed a few tablespoons of sherry.  A week prior to Christmas the cake is covered in marzipan, then one week later the cake is covered in royal icing.  English wedding cake is traditionally this type of fruit cake, the top tier of the cake is saved in an air tight container and is enjoyed as a Christening Cake when the first baby arrives.  Fruit cake keeps amazingly well as long as it is kept in it's tin (airtight container).  This year I am advertising to make fruit cakes, I will be selling a six inch round fruit cake (no marzipan or icing) for $18, with marzipan and icing $25.  If you are interested in ordering a Traditional English Christmas Cake please email me or leave a comment and I will contact you to make arrangements.
Christmas Cake, Christmas Cake Recipe

Cake with marzipan and royal icing.

Grandson Pictures

King Henry busy with his play dough.  
His crown is Grandmas tea cozy.

Henry and Patrick model their new winter sweaters, they were made by my Mom, their Great Grandma!