As you can see, it’s a mess.
At the time of making it, I was coping with a serious diagnosis, the first sessions of treatment and was feeling sick, discouraged and as weak as a kitten. But I ‘had’ to make a Christmas cake because I always have made one. Buying one or doing without was out of the question, despite my husband’s entreaties not to be an idiot. It was crazy; I admit it. But I simply had to make the cake.
Slowly and with many stops to rest, I managed to bake the cake, ice it and, as I was carrying it to the storeroom, in its tin, I lost my balance and fell. The tin stayed shut but the cake was shattered.
As you can imagine, I was desperately upset. And then, as I tried to patch the shattered cake back together—while pushing away two beagles who wanted to help clear it up with great enthusiasm— my first tears of frustration stopped and I began to laugh. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I patched up the cake, still laughing. I laughed all the way through that Christmas, every time I saw that disreputable, messy and cracked cake and every time I remembered it. I showed it to family and friends with delight. They laughed too. It became the highlight of the whole of Christmas.
And, what’s more, it was delicious.
And it made me think - because all the pictures of Christmas cakes you're going to see all over the Internet are perfect. Mostly they're made with that kind of plasticy-roll-on icing which I'm too snobby to touch with a bargepole. Frankly, my icing is always a bit of a mess - and I don't mind.
So, from now on, this blog is going to be my Not Fake Food cooking blog, with real cooking pictures. Enjoy!