The 12 Days of Christmas
food and romance
food and romance
I've invited 11 friends to share with you all about their favourite Christmas foods, traditions and indulgences. And I have some pretty awesome friends! The blogging line up includes: Ebony McKenna. Joan Kilby, Anne Gracie, Sarah Mayberry, L.A. Johannesson, Alison Brideson, Robin Covington, Louise Reynolds, Cathryn Hein, Rachel Johns, and more!
Today -- to kick things off -- you get, well, me. (Mostly because I only thought of this idea a couple of days ago and I really needed to give everyone else a little more notice.)
And today I'm willing to share with you TWO of my ultra-ultra-secret, kept-in-a-bunker, never-shared-with-anyone recipes for Christmas baking that never fail to deliver.
(Okay, so I might have been overdoing it with the ultra-ultra secret bit. Okay a lot. So, one recipe is from the Women's Weekly and one is from Donna Hay. So not really all that secret at all.)
First off, fruit cake.
I was never a fan of fruit cake. In fact up until a couple of years ago, I always gave it wide berth. My only fond memory of fruit cake was from when I went to Bath, in the UK, and treated myself to afternoon tea at the Pumphouse restaurant in the famous Bathhouse.
But even after that, I wasn't a big fan.
Until I discovered the Australian Women's Weekly Grand Marnier fruit cake.
Yes, this is a lot of work -- it's not one of those Nigella "whip it up in an hour and you're done" kind of things. It's the proper, soak-the-fruit-for-days, line-the-cake-tins-twice, be-prepared-for-the-oven-to-be-on-for-hours, kind of palaver.
|Depending on your expertise as a cook, |
this is the kind of mess you can anticipate.
|Last year's effort.|
None of my family were ever big fruit cake eaters, either. But I'm proud to say that my fruit cake, this fruit cake, rarely lasts until New Year's Eve.
My second not-so-ultra-ultra-secret recipe is for shortbread. In contrast to the fruit cake recipe, this really is one of those done-in-an-instant kind of things. And yet it tastes as if you've spent hours slaving.
My hint? Use really good butter. The best butter you can afford. It really makes a difference. The recipe from the book (which is a little different to the one I've linked to) suggests baking the shortbread in a slab. I much prefer individual biscuits (cookies) and the dough is well-suited to holding its shape for all kind of cutters.
For an extra special touch, you can dip in a little melted Lindt 75%. (My dad is especially fond of them done that way, but even without the chocolate, he'll hover down half a containerful if no one's watching . . .)
So, that's it for Day One, of the Twelve Days of Christmas Food and Romance Blogging Extravaganza! (I wonder if I'm going to regret that insanely long title?)
My next guest, in two days' time, is the awesome YA author, Ebony McKenna. Ebony is the author of the Ondine series of books, and the owner of a hugely impressive imagination.
I'm also, throughout TDoCFaRBE (it's a crappy acronym, too), going to be encouraging you all to remember to spread a little kindness in the world. Random Acts aims to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time. You can make a donation to them to support some of the amazing work they do supporting homeless children in Haiti and in spreading kindness throughout the world. Or you can just undertake your own little act of kindness and help spread the joy this season.