'Stir it cak'
Talking of getting old, one highlight of having your own family, as oppose to just being part of one, is that you get to start your own Christmas traditions rather than just join in everyone else's. For me, this means getting to put the tree up earlier than Christmas Eve. It also means making my own cake, rather than just one at my Mum's. That's because of all the traditions, by far the most important is our annual baking session, and not just because we have sweet teeth.
Far more important are the Christmas wishes you make while stirring the mixes. It's always the same Christmas pudding recipe but we switched to a different cake one about ten years ago - from Leith's cook book if you need one. Various friends have joined in the wishing over the years, sometimes even telephonically. We're semi-religious about our wishes, which meant I had to time my cake baking last year for a weekend when Bam-ma was visiting. I recall having to substitute quite a few ingredients - who knew glace cherries were morello cherries in American? - but it came out okay in the end. And I think my wish came true.
I have high hopes for 2010 because this year I've managed two wishing, sorry, baking sessions: one at Bam-ma's and one at home (we needed a cake too plus DJ needed a chance to wish). Louis was in 'cak' heaven. Despite being seriously overtired this morning, 'stir it cak' kept him entertained for easily an hour. First he had to help me measure the raisins, currants and sultanas. And re-measure them to make up for all the ones that ended up on the floor. It all got very 'sticky'. Then he had to 'stir it' and keep 'stir it'. Until it was time to 'weeeeeeesh'. I think his must have come true, because five minutes later I caught him with his finger in the bowl. 'Nice!'