jacey: (blue eyes)
xmas treeFrom 1990 to 2004 we were out on the road, travelling the length and breadth of the country (and one year to Canada and the USA) with 'Stuff the Turkey' (the Artisan Christmas Show), usually finishing the last gig late on 23rd December. Most years we did between 20 and 25 consecutive shows. One year we did 28 shows in 27 days. It was exhausting but enjoyable and (let's be honest) profitable. We lived on motorway packet sandwiches for the month, rarely having time to stop and eat a full sit-down hot meal at the appropriate time. Our Christmas shopping was done in snatches in whatever town we were playing that night, ususlly between setting up the stage and soundchecking for the show. I can heartily recommend Worcester and Colchester for quality and quantity of interesting shops within relatively easy walking distance of the venue, but I always particularly enjoyed Richmond (N. Yorks) for atmosphere and a few last minute bargains.

Then, all of a sudden the last notes of the final encore died away, the stage set and PA were packed into the van for the last time and after a cold dark drive home we were stumbling through the door and up the stairs to our own bed at last with just a few hours sleep and then half a day to get ready for Christmas.

xmas dogAnd this is what I learned.

Even if you haven't had time to hoover the stair carpet Christmas comes just the same and is just as enjoyable, so don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the occasion and the people you are with. Relax and have fun.

This year we've had pleanty of time to put up the tree (above) and we even invested in some new baubles. Eska (right) was initially curious, though has (so far) ignored it. Of course, having some light dog-caging around it helps. It wouldn't keep her off if she was determined, but I'm sure the scent of pine needles is not particularly tempting to a dog.

I've made mulled wine (bottled and in the fridge) and instead of Christmas cakes I've made Guinness and whisky cakes this year. Mum's making the mince pies (she's a whizz at pastry!)

I've delivered a big Christmas hamper to my Zulu friends. The family and friends presents are bought, made, wrapped and labelled. Son is home from the USA. Daughter and family can't come up for Christmas this year as son-in law's American bank only gives their employees Christmas Day off (not even Boxing Day), so he's working Monday and Wednesday (how Scrooge is that!) so I shipped a big box of presents down last week. Our friend Sarah arrives on 28th for a week, so it will be an extended holiday for us.

With only four of us for Christmas dinner (Brian, Joe, Mum and me) I've not bought a whole turkey, instead I've bought a fresh turkey crown stuffed with caramelised chestnut stuffing (Marks and Spencer) and I'll do a ham as well.

Christmas Eve is food prep during the day and in the evening we go to the big sing round the village Christmas tree (and then there's the final episode of Merlin on TV).

So that's it; we're all sorted. I hope you are, too.

Merry Christmas to one and all and a prosperous, happy and healthy New Year.

Wes Hael.
jacey: (Default)
Or: You can fool some of the people some of the time... or not

This is a story BB's first (teaching) boss, Bob Stopforth, used to tell against himself. Bob is long gone, but the story is too good to let go and we've shared it with many people over the years..

Bob went through World War 2 as a paratrooper. He survived Arnhem and went into teaching in Liverpool. (Some may say being able to survive Arnhem was a prerequisite.) His first job was in a junior school, an old traditional school building with a small belfry on the roof above the hall. Knowing his war history the head asked him (for the Christmas assembly) to dress as Father Christmas, climb up the building on the outside and descend into the hall on a rope from the trap door in the ceiling, carrying a sack of toys..

So red-suited, false-bearded and white-wigged, and with a cushion stuffed up the front of his outfit, Bob dutifully shouldered the toys and scaled the building (no Elf and safety in those days), made it  to the belfry, waited for the appropriate lull in the carol singing below and opened the trap door.

He stuck his head through and in his best cheery voice said, 'Ho-ho-ho! Hello children!"

And 120 faces looked up and chorused, 'Hello, Mr. Stopforth.'
jacey: (Default)
Or: You can fool some of the people some of the time... or not

This is a story BB's first (teaching) boss, Bob Stopforth, used to tell against himself. Bob is long gone, but the story is too good to let go and we've shared it with many people over the years..

Bob went through World War 2 as a paratrooper. He survived Arnhem and went into teaching in Liverpool. (Some may say being able to survive Arnhem was a prerequisite.) His first job was in a junior school, an old traditional school building with a small belfry on the roof above the hall. Knowing his war history the head asked him (for the Christmas assembly) to dress as Father Christmas, climb up the building on the outside and descend into the hall on a rope from the trap door in the ceiling, carrying a sack of toys..

So red-suited, false-bearded and white-wigged, and with a cushion stuffed up the front of his outfit, Bob dutifully shouldered the toys and scaled the building (no Elf and safety in those days), made it  to the belfry, waited for the appropriate lull in the carol singing below and opened the trap door.

He stuck his head through and in his best cheery voice said, 'Ho-ho-ho! Hello children!"

And 120 faces looked up and chorused, 'Hello, Mr. Stopforth.'
jacey: (Cromer04)
It's only when someone on my LJ f-list asked me 'What's all this music stuff about then?' that I realised that I've known some of you for only a short time and you weren't in my life when I was gigging professionally.

For twenty years I was part of something very special - an a cappella trio of harmony singers called Artisan. That was me, (Jacey Bedford), together with Hilary Spencer and my best beloved, Brian Bedford, (not to be confused with the Anglo/Canadian actor of the same name).

We started out small in folk clubs in the north of England in 1985 and grew. We travelled the world with our music, doing 31 tours to the USA and Canada between 1994 and our 'retirement' in 2005. We played all over the UK, in Hong Kong, Australia, Germany and Belgium. We played to audiences of 20,000 at some of the major North American Festivals and recorded 14 albums and a DVD, all but the very first still available. We tended to stick to where English is the first language or colloquial English very widely spoken because we were as much about words as about music. Our resident songwriter,  Brian, wrote most of our songs including 'What's the Use of Wings' (his song most covered by other artists) and 'Breathing Space.'

For 15 years we also did a hectic Christmas show called 'Stuff the Turkey' which included seasonal songs, carols and a mini pantomime.

ArtisanLast year we got together again for a reunion tour for three months in the summer, touring the UK and Canada. We recorded a  CD of brand new songs, called 'Random Play' and produced in smart eco-friendly packaging. There's a series of amateur videos on Youtube that Gary Kazin took at Lunenburg Festival in Nova Scotia and there are links here. We take no responsibility for the quality of the filming, (our own commercial concert DVD was done by Reflex Films),  but it gives you a general idea - including 'outtakes'.

Though I don't generally advertise on LJ, I would just like to point out that all our CDs are available to buy from our website and that we do have four Christmas titles as well as our regular CDs. There are paypal buttons and a shopping cart on the website, but if anyone is having any problems (paypal buttons are unaccountably funky for a small number of people) just email me at the contact address on the website and I'll ort it out for you. All quoted prices include postage to anywhere in the world.

If you are still looking for Christmas presents... look no further. We've even got a special offer on. All four Christmas CDs plus an Artisan sampler CD for £45 including postage to anywhere in the world.

No more adverts. If you're interested go to it!
:-)
Thanks for reading.
jacey: (Cromer04)
It's only when someone on my LJ f-list asked me 'What's all this music stuff about then?' that I realised that I've known some of you for only a short time and you weren't in my life when I was gigging professionally.

For twenty years I was part of something very special - an a cappella trio of harmony singers called Artisan. That was me, (Jacey Bedford), together with Hilary Spencer and my best beloved, Brian Bedford, (not to be confused with the Anglo/Canadian actor of the same name).

We started out small in folk clubs in the north of England in 1985 and grew. We travelled the world with our music, doing 31 tours to the USA and Canada between 1994 and our 'retirement' in 2005. We played all over the UK, in Hong Kong, Australia, Germany and Belgium. We played to audiences of 20,000 at some of the major North American Festivals and recorded 14 albums and a DVD, all but the very first still available. We tended to stick to where English is the first language or colloquial English very widely spoken because we were as much about words as about music. Our resident songwriter,  Brian, wrote most of our songs including 'What's the Use of Wings' (his song most covered by other artists) and 'Breathing Space.'

For 15 years we also did a hectic Christmas show called 'Stuff the Turkey' which included seasonal songs, carols and a mini pantomime.

ArtisanLast year we got together again for a reunion tour for three months in the summer, touring the UK and Canada. We recorded a  CD of brand new songs, called 'Random Play' and produced in smart eco-friendly packaging. There's a series of amateur videos on Youtube that Gary Kazin took at Lunenburg Festival in Nova Scotia and there are links here. We take no responsibility for the quality of the filming, (our own commercial concert DVD was done by Reflex Films),  but it gives you a general idea - including 'outtakes'.

Though I don't generally advertise on LJ, I would just like to point out that all our CDs are available to buy from our website and that we do have four Christmas titles as well as our regular CDs. There are paypal buttons and a shopping cart on the website, but if anyone is having any problems (paypal buttons are unaccountably funky for a small number of people) just email me at the contact address on the website and I'll ort it out for you. All quoted prices include postage to anywhere in the world.

If you are still looking for Christmas presents... look no further. We've even got a special offer on. All four Christmas CDs plus an Artisan sampler CD for £45 including postage to anywhere in the world.

No more adverts. If you're interested go to it!
:-)
Thanks for reading.

Cake!

Dec. 4th, 2010 05:12 pm
jacey: (Default)
I have baked cake. Three cakes to be precise... for Christmas. One traditional ten inch square Christmas cake to a recipe that the mother of a woman I once worked with (in 1975) cut out of a woman's magazine in the early 1950s. The original recipe being for Prince Charles' christening cake. Of course, like cooks do, we've all messed about with it a bit. No candied peel shall pass the door to my kitchen, for instance, so that part of the recipe was deleted immediately.

The other two are Guinness cakes, which require the boiling up of dried fruits in a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, a full can of Guinness and mixed spices. (Smells gorgeous and would make a fantastic ice-cream topping in its own right.) Once this is all boiled up, simmered and left to cool you just wallop in eggs and self raising flour and chuck it in the oven.

Simple.

The Guinness cakes are gifts. The standard Christmas cake will be marzipanned and iced for family and visitors.

The Christmas season has begun!

Cake!

Dec. 4th, 2010 05:12 pm
jacey: (Default)
I have baked cake. Three cakes to be precise... for Christmas. One traditional ten inch square Christmas cake to a recipe that the mother of a woman I once worked with (in 1975) cut out of a woman's magazine in the early 1950s. The original recipe being for Prince Charles' christening cake. Of course, like cooks do, we've all messed about with it a bit. No candied peel shall pass the door to my kitchen, for instance, so that part of the recipe was deleted immediately.

The other two are Guinness cakes, which require the boiling up of dried fruits in a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, a full can of Guinness and mixed spices. (Smells gorgeous and would make a fantastic ice-cream topping in its own right.) Once this is all boiled up, simmered and left to cool you just wallop in eggs and self raising flour and chuck it in the oven.

Simple.

The Guinness cakes are gifts. The standard Christmas cake will be marzipanned and iced for family and visitors.

The Christmas season has begun!
jacey: (Default)
You didn't expect to get away with not having to look at puppy's first Christmas, did you?

Diezel age 14 weeks. What a handsome boy he is.


Diezel helps Number One Daughter to build a snowman while BB throws snowballs.



If you listen to Diezel's side of it he actually built the snowman all by himself...


And when he'd had enough of that he helped Number One Son to exercise his ball-throwing arm



jacey: (Default)
You didn't expect to get away with not having to look at puppy's first Christmas, did you?

Diezel age 14 weeks. What a handsome boy he is.


Diezel helps Number One Daughter to build a snowman while BB throws snowballs.



If you listen to Diezel's side of it he actually built the snowman all by himself...


And when he'd had enough of that he helped Number One Son to exercise his ball-throwing arm



jacey: (Default)
Today I made the bacon and onion stuffing for the Christmas dinner and consigned it safely to the freezer. Now all I need to do is remember to get it out on 24th December so I can bake it on 25th.

Fresh breadcrumbs, 2 onions - soft fried, 8 rashers of bacon - also soft fried (more if it's streaky bacon i.e. American bacon), three smallish eggs, a good pinch of mixed herbs - and a jug blender.

What do you mean how many breadcrumbs? As many as you need to soak up the runny stuff and get the texture right resulting from blending everything but the breadcrumbs together. Let the fried onion and bacon cool before you blend it with the eggs. You don't want them to pre-cook.

I'll layer more whole bacon over the top when I do the final baking.
jacey: (Default)
Today I made the bacon and onion stuffing for the Christmas dinner and consigned it safely to the freezer. Now all I need to do is remember to get it out on 24th December so I can bake it on 25th.

Fresh breadcrumbs, 2 onions - soft fried, 8 rashers of bacon - also soft fried (more if it's streaky bacon i.e. American bacon), three smallish eggs, a good pinch of mixed herbs - and a jug blender.

What do you mean how many breadcrumbs? As many as you need to soak up the runny stuff and get the texture right resulting from blending everything but the breadcrumbs together. Let the fried onion and bacon cool before you blend it with the eggs. You don't want them to pre-cook.

I'll layer more whole bacon over the top when I do the final baking.
jacey: (Default)
To the person who sent me the classy cut-out Christmas card with the word SNOW on the front showing through to a black and white snow scene inside. It's lovely, thank you. And you've kindly put 'Jacey, Brian and family' on the inside. Now... if only you'd signed it... or if only the postmark was clear... but thanks anyway.
jacey: (Default)
To the person who sent me the classy cut-out Christmas card with the word SNOW on the front showing through to a black and white snow scene inside. It's lovely, thank you. And you've kindly put 'Jacey, Brian and family' on the inside. Now... if only you'd signed it... or if only the postmark was clear... but thanks anyway.
jacey: (Default)

This is the downside of having a honking great tree at Christmas - someone has to get rid of it.



jacey: (Default)

This is the downside of having a honking great tree at Christmas - someone has to get rid of it.



jacey: (Default)
Family and friends are all gathering for Christmas. Number One Son is home from Rome. Friend S arrived from Hampshire. Number One Daughter and Fiance are coming up Christmas Day afternoon. Getting house ready. Cleaned the kitchen. Looking forward to Doctor Who and Wallace & Grommit on telly.  Iced 4 cakes (some for presents). Put breadmaker on so we have fresh bread for breakfast. Made a last minute panic order to Amazon and paid the eight quid next day delivery charge because the pile of presents under the tree looked much smaller than usual. Hopefully they will arrive 24th. They are promised for delivery before 1.00 p.m.

Still to do:
1) Bring in the greenery from the garden to decorate the manlepieces in the living room and the kitchen.
2) Put up the Christmas Cards
3) Pop out 24th to the bank (before lunchtime) and the local butcher (to get a pork pie) and the fabric shop to buy some fleece for a promised pressie (which has to be made to measure).
4) Remember to remove turkey crown and ham joint from freezer early
5) Make mulled wine
6) Deliver the last few cards by hand
7) Turn up at 6.30 on the village green in Birdsedge for annual carol sing. Christmas starts here.

I'm looking forward to my Christmas. I hope all of you are looking forward to yours and that you have a wonderful time, surrounded by people you like.

Jacey


jacey: (Default)
Family and friends are all gathering for Christmas. Number One Son is home from Rome. Friend S arrived from Hampshire. Number One Daughter and Fiance are coming up Christmas Day afternoon. Getting house ready. Cleaned the kitchen. Looking forward to Doctor Who and Wallace & Grommit on telly.  Iced 4 cakes (some for presents). Put breadmaker on so we have fresh bread for breakfast. Made a last minute panic order to Amazon and paid the eight quid next day delivery charge because the pile of presents under the tree looked much smaller than usual. Hopefully they will arrive 24th. They are promised for delivery before 1.00 p.m.

Still to do:
1) Bring in the greenery from the garden to decorate the manlepieces in the living room and the kitchen.
2) Put up the Christmas Cards
3) Pop out 24th to the bank (before lunchtime) and the local butcher (to get a pork pie) and the fabric shop to buy some fleece for a promised pressie (which has to be made to measure).
4) Remember to remove turkey crown and ham joint from freezer early
5) Make mulled wine
6) Deliver the last few cards by hand
7) Turn up at 6.30 on the village green in Birdsedge for annual carol sing. Christmas starts here.

I'm looking forward to my Christmas. I hope all of you are looking forward to yours and that you have a wonderful time, surrounded by people you like.

Jacey


jacey: (Default)
Got most of my cards in the post today (still have to do the ones I need to include letters in).

Dropped a load of TV programmes from the hard disk recorder to DVDs. This was pretty time consuming but I'm hoping to empty the hard drive and reformat it in time for the recording of programmes at Christmas.

Packed up what I expect will be the final few CD and DVD orders from the Artisan website - though there's always someone on a last minute push calling for stuff to be sent first class on 23rd December.

Took Number One Son to the Megabus stop at Woolley Edge services in Wakefield as he's off down to London for the weekend to schmooze with architects and catch up with friends. Managed to shop at the Marks & Spencer food-shop on the M1 and get a few emergency items like a box of chocs and another of Turkish Delight so I can have something handy available if anyone brings unexpected presents. Discovered that they have to ask your age for Turkish Delight because apparently it contains alcohol. No, I'm not under 18, but thanks for asking.
:-)

Called at the local fabric shop in Denby Dale to see if they had anything that would do for the bathroom window once Best Beloved has finished the decorating. They kinda did but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. White muslin would work but all they have is poly cotton or silk. Checked out their fleece. They have the worst set of colours imaginable. Orange, shocking pink, mauve, beige or deep red. The deep red is the best of a bad bunch but it's still not good. Isn't anyone doing subtle colours and/or patterns in fleece these days? They would if they lived in Birdsedge because they'd realise that fleece is not just for kids. Also I've promised to make my friend S. a pair of fleece trousers for Christmas as she has some diabetic leg damage and her legs are always cold. Somehow I don't think she had orange, pink, red or mauve in mind. I'll have to see if she can cope with beige. (The big fabric shop in Wakefield was no better last week.)

Called at the health food shop in the mill complex in Denby Dale and managed to get some of the Orange, Mango and Cinnamon tea that neither Sainsbury not Morrisons had last week. They only had Gayles set honey though. Apparently there was some local bee disease this year and 'set' honey is in short supply. Last week's delivery was the last local set honey until next summer's honey season. (And, of course, I missed it.) They had runny honey (borage).

Managed to annoy a set of muscles in my lower back that are subsequently twingeing. I knew I shouldn't have lifted that bed, but I was being whatever the female equivalent of macho is. Errr... Stupid? I have this old 'war wound'. Having been thrown violently from a young horse I was helping to break when I was 20 I now have this tendency for my lower back to remind me that it has been smacked into the ground once too often.

Have snagged a small piece of Kingspan insulation from Best Beloved's barn renovations and currently have it under my desk where it is insulating my feet from the floor (which is carpet on top of stone flaggs on top of a (very) cold cellar). The temperature of my toes is considerably more towards the comfortable range.

Bathroom is almost finished. Only the last layer of wallpaper to go on now and having bought it last year I'm surprised to find that a) I still like it and b) it's the right colour and marries the grey tiles and the white tiles together nicely. Hopefully BB will slap it on the wall tomorrow.

Put some Aberdeen Angus beef sausages, potatoes and parsnips in the oven to roast and by the smell, they're ready...  See you later...

jacey: (Default)
Got most of my cards in the post today (still have to do the ones I need to include letters in).

Dropped a load of TV programmes from the hard disk recorder to DVDs. This was pretty time consuming but I'm hoping to empty the hard drive and reformat it in time for the recording of programmes at Christmas.

Packed up what I expect will be the final few CD and DVD orders from the Artisan website - though there's always someone on a last minute push calling for stuff to be sent first class on 23rd December.

Took Number One Son to the Megabus stop at Woolley Edge services in Wakefield as he's off down to London for the weekend to schmooze with architects and catch up with friends. Managed to shop at the Marks & Spencer food-shop on the M1 and get a few emergency items like a box of chocs and another of Turkish Delight so I can have something handy available if anyone brings unexpected presents. Discovered that they have to ask your age for Turkish Delight because apparently it contains alcohol. No, I'm not under 18, but thanks for asking.
:-)

Called at the local fabric shop in Denby Dale to see if they had anything that would do for the bathroom window once Best Beloved has finished the decorating. They kinda did but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. White muslin would work but all they have is poly cotton or silk. Checked out their fleece. They have the worst set of colours imaginable. Orange, shocking pink, mauve, beige or deep red. The deep red is the best of a bad bunch but it's still not good. Isn't anyone doing subtle colours and/or patterns in fleece these days? They would if they lived in Birdsedge because they'd realise that fleece is not just for kids. Also I've promised to make my friend S. a pair of fleece trousers for Christmas as she has some diabetic leg damage and her legs are always cold. Somehow I don't think she had orange, pink, red or mauve in mind. I'll have to see if she can cope with beige. (The big fabric shop in Wakefield was no better last week.)

Called at the health food shop in the mill complex in Denby Dale and managed to get some of the Orange, Mango and Cinnamon tea that neither Sainsbury not Morrisons had last week. They only had Gayles set honey though. Apparently there was some local bee disease this year and 'set' honey is in short supply. Last week's delivery was the last local set honey until next summer's honey season. (And, of course, I missed it.) They had runny honey (borage).

Managed to annoy a set of muscles in my lower back that are subsequently twingeing. I knew I shouldn't have lifted that bed, but I was being whatever the female equivalent of macho is. Errr... Stupid? I have this old 'war wound'. Having been thrown violently from a young horse I was helping to break when I was 20 I now have this tendency for my lower back to remind me that it has been smacked into the ground once too often.

Have snagged a small piece of Kingspan insulation from Best Beloved's barn renovations and currently have it under my desk where it is insulating my feet from the floor (which is carpet on top of stone flaggs on top of a (very) cold cellar). The temperature of my toes is considerably more towards the comfortable range.

Bathroom is almost finished. Only the last layer of wallpaper to go on now and having bought it last year I'm surprised to find that a) I still like it and b) it's the right colour and marries the grey tiles and the white tiles together nicely. Hopefully BB will slap it on the wall tomorrow.

Put some Aberdeen Angus beef sausages, potatoes and parsnips in the oven to roast and by the smell, they're ready...  See you later...

jacey: (Default)
Number One Son: is back home (from Rome) for the holidays, but off down to London until 23rd.

Christmas cakes: (2) made but not yet iced

Food shopping: (mostly) done except for a few last minute things

Banking: sorted

Gift shopping: Errr.... I'm supposed to be gift shopping????

Cleaning: Living Room (tick)  Kitchen (was tick but it's mucky again, damn)

Bathroom: Decorating underway courtesy of Best Beloved. New BB-made bath pane l(tick); new BB-made boxing in of pipework (tick); woodwork painted (tick); ceiling painted (tick); walls - lining paper (tick)
jacey: (Default)
Number One Son: is back home (from Rome) for the holidays, but off down to London until 23rd.

Christmas cakes: (2) made but not yet iced

Food shopping: (mostly) done except for a few last minute things

Banking: sorted

Gift shopping: Errr.... I'm supposed to be gift shopping????

Cleaning: Living Room (tick)  Kitchen (was tick but it's mucky again, damn)

Bathroom: Decorating underway courtesy of Best Beloved. New BB-made bath pane l(tick); new BB-made boxing in of pipework (tick); woodwork painted (tick); ceiling painted (tick); walls - lining paper (tick)
jacey: (mad)
People are posting their favourite Christmas songs and this has to be  - if not my least favourite - at least the most embarrassing song sung in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't misunderstand, it's a good song (in the right place) and we used to sing it with lovely 3 part harmonies.

So... )


Bur it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my performing career.





jacey: (mad)
People are posting their favourite Christmas songs and this has to be  - if not my least favourite - at least the most embarrassing song sung in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't misunderstand, it's a good song (in the right place) and we used to sing it with lovely 3 part harmonies.

So... )


Bur it was probably the most embarrassing moment of my performing career.





jacey: (Default)
Have made two enormous Christmas Cakes yesterday and brandied them today - way late but now they're wrapped in foil and waiting to be marzipanned and iced. I make good Christmas Cake. Also have the Guinness and Whiskey fruit cake maturing nicely in foil - made a couple of weeks ago. That one doesn't get marzipanned and iced.

Of course all Christmas cake should be eaten with mature cheddar cheeese.

Christmas Cake
Jacey Bedford

Can be made well in advance. I can't claim to be the originator of this recipe, though  altered it a bit because I dislike candied peel... but it was handed down to me by Evelyn (surname forgotten), in Barnsley Library ion 1975. Her mum cut it out of a magazine in the 1950s and adapted it. It was originally the recipe for Prince Charles' christening cake! Wherever it came from, it has done good service as a recipe for special occasions.

8oz butter or soft margarine
10oz dark brown sugar
5 eggs, (medium size)
8oz plain flour
4oz ground almonds
2lb dried fruit (I use a mix of sultanas, currants raisins)
4oz glacé cherries
4 tablespoons of brandy - at least. I use more! (Pour on after cooking)

Use  a loose-bottomed square tin. There's enough mix here to make a fairly shallow 10" cake, a chunkier 9" one or two shallow 8" cakes, (but reduce the cooking time for these or they'll be too dry).

1) Cream the butter (or margarine) and brown sugar.
2) Add the eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly. (To prevent the mix from curdling add a spoonful of flour from the measured quantity with each egg.)
3) Fold in the rest of the flour and the ground almonds.
4) Add the fruit and glacé cherries and mix well.
5) Place the mixture in a  prepared, lined, loose-bottomed cake tin (or tins). Shape a slight hollow in the centre so you get a level finish when the cake rises. (Note it doesn't rise much.)
6) (Fight the kids to see who gets to lick out the bowl! Decide to share it equally.)

7) Bake at 275ºF - Approx. 140ºC/ Gas Mark 1 - for about three to four hours depending on the size of tin you use and how "fast" your oven is.
8) When cool, pierce the cake all over with a skewer and dribble the brandy into the holes to let it soak in. (Use cheap brandy, the cake isn't fussy... and you'll be able to be more liberal with it. I always use lots more than the recipe says.) Leave the paper round the cake until after this process, otherwise some of the brandy dribbles over the edge.
9) Remove the paper, add marzipan and icing as and if required. Yum!

All the usual caveats re nut allergies. It DOES contain nuts (in case you couldn't work that out for yourself).



jacey: (Default)
Have made two enormous Christmas Cakes yesterday and brandied them today - way late but now they're wrapped in foil and waiting to be marzipanned and iced. I make good Christmas Cake. Also have the Guinness and Whiskey fruit cake maturing nicely in foil - made a couple of weeks ago. That one doesn't get marzipanned and iced.

Of course all Christmas cake should be eaten with mature cheddar cheeese.

Christmas Cake
Jacey Bedford

Can be made well in advance. I can't claim to be the originator of this recipe, though  altered it a bit because I dislike candied peel... but it was handed down to me by Evelyn (surname forgotten), in Barnsley Library ion 1975. Her mum cut it out of a magazine in the 1950s and adapted it. It was originally the recipe for Prince Charles' christening cake! Wherever it came from, it has done good service as a recipe for special occasions.

8oz butter or soft margarine
10oz dark brown sugar
5 eggs, (medium size)
8oz plain flour
4oz ground almonds
2lb dried fruit (I use a mix of sultanas, currants raisins)
4oz glacé cherries
4 tablespoons of brandy - at least. I use more! (Pour on after cooking)

Use  a loose-bottomed square tin. There's enough mix here to make a fairly shallow 10" cake, a chunkier 9" one or two shallow 8" cakes, (but reduce the cooking time for these or they'll be too dry).

1) Cream the butter (or margarine) and brown sugar.
2) Add the eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly. (To prevent the mix from curdling add a spoonful of flour from the measured quantity with each egg.)
3) Fold in the rest of the flour and the ground almonds.
4) Add the fruit and glacé cherries and mix well.
5) Place the mixture in a  prepared, lined, loose-bottomed cake tin (or tins). Shape a slight hollow in the centre so you get a level finish when the cake rises. (Note it doesn't rise much.)
6) (Fight the kids to see who gets to lick out the bowl! Decide to share it equally.)

7) Bake at 275ºF - Approx. 140ºC/ Gas Mark 1 - for about three to four hours depending on the size of tin you use and how "fast" your oven is.
8) When cool, pierce the cake all over with a skewer and dribble the brandy into the holes to let it soak in. (Use cheap brandy, the cake isn't fussy... and you'll be able to be more liberal with it. I always use lots more than the recipe says.) Leave the paper round the cake until after this process, otherwise some of the brandy dribbles over the edge.
9) Remove the paper, add marzipan and icing as and if required. Yum!

All the usual caveats re nut allergies. It DOES contain nuts (in case you couldn't work that out for yourself).



June 2017

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