Posted by: tabliope | November 8, 2020

A Christmas Memory

It’s a dreary November day with drizzle and grey skies so I decided to bake the Christmas cake. I don’t particularly like Christmas cake; I’m not sure anyone particularly likes Christmas cake but my mother-in-law likes to have one for the family Christmas and I am keen to please her. We shall be very small numbers this year because of Covid but pieces of cake can travel with my mother-in-law to various family members and they can do as they wish with it.

It strikes me that much of our Christmas sweets consist of various blends of dried fruits: mince pies, cake, stollen, and the Christmas pudding. When I lived in Germany I was talking about mince pies to one of my friends and she asked me to make some for her. When she tasted one she looked at me and asked me if I had forgotten the mint. It seems that mince pies sounded like mints pies and it was yet another disappointment based around British food. Although Germany has many of its own disappointments too. I think I was meant to be born in southern Europe.

Although I’m not fond of eating the Christmas cake I do like to bake it; I like the warmth of the kitchen, listening to the radio and measuring out the ingredients and then the smell of the bake drifting through the house. A story I love is A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote; it’s terribly sentimental but I enjoy reading about Buddy and his cousin making the cakes which they give to friends and relatives and even send one to the White House. I bet Joe Biden would love some of my Christmas cake.


  1. I actually feel quite aggressive about Christmas cake, and mince pies, and how bad they are. When someone tells me they like them, I question them a bit relentlessly because I don’t actually believe them, because how could anyone? But I like the sound of a tradition of making one that sort of starts off the season – presumably there is a step that involves soaking it in booze which I could definitely get behind, if only because that would make it easier to set aflame.

    • yes there’s a lot of booze soaking before and after – you soak the fruit before baking and then feed the thing with brandy once a week until you ice it. It’s like having a pet

  2. I am very keen on plum pudding with brandy butter and also mince pies with brandy butter. Christmas cake also goes well with brandy butter. Surprisingly, I have only just realised the common denominator in my preferences.

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