Thursday, 8 November 2012


"I have been subjected to a nervous strain unparallelled since the early days of the Martyrs. I have lost pounds in weight and have permanently injured my entire system. I have gone through an ordeal, the recollection of which will make me wake up screaming in the night for months to come"

PG Wodehouse - Very Good Jeeves (Jeeves and the Song of Songs)

My dearly beloved nearly made our Christmas Cake!

 I could indeed end the story there. I am sure you would get the drift, but have decided to elaborate as much as my addled composure will allow.

First he collected the alcohol, not to put in the cake, but to add to the chef, adding to the Christmassy atmosphere you understand. 

We had soaked the fruit the night before, so far so good.  Then it came to the 'creaming of the sugar and butter' this was achieved by the, shall we call him by this time 'The Semi Naked Chef'.  Baking is such an extraordinarily strenuous business don't you find, pursing of lips and several expletives later, he had achieved the soft dropping consistency. I say 'he' the mixture was still like wet cement  - but dearest was in dire need of oxygen

Then -  I could call this his finest hour, he oh so carefully weighed out the flour.

Spices were called for - we have an extensive herb and spice cupboard, a culinary repertoire which would delight a Tudor court (only some of which are within their sell by date, but there it is)

An adorable little miniature Kilner jar catapulted itself into the waiting mixing bowl, an explosion of flour hit every surface within a very large radius. Who knew such a small amount of flour could travel so far.

My husband took on the air of someone who has been very hard done by all the days of his life, and questioned the sanity of the person who would collect such a vast array of  jars and squeeze them all onto three small shelves (Guess who!)

At this moment he decided they would all benefit from a harsh declutter!!! 

I sensitively suggested he would benefit from a nice lie down in a cool room and carried on regardless. The cake, now baked, appears to be unharmed by its travails 

YES We are still speaking and NO he is not 'helping' with the Christmas lunch.


  1. Wise woman! Make sure that he knows his limits.

  2. Susan, I have that same toaster. We are surely twin souls in toast if not in the patience we bear toward our husbands. If you send me a slice of the cake I will be happy to confirm that it is fine.

  3. The good thing was Mise was that I was 'helping' by drinking some of the wine, it softened the blow a lot I can tell you.

  4. I would just let him get on with it, then you always have someone to blame!

  5. Haha, the mister is a trooper!!! But Susan he was only trying to help! Actually all that flour flying in my kitchen would give me a heart attack. We'll just buy a cake, thank you very much :)

  6. Next time any of you are making a cake let me know and I'll come and stand behind you with a camera. See how you like it ! And I have to say that the women who used to make cakes the hard way before food mixers and the like were invented must have had muscles in their spit and McAlpine stamped on their foreheads. Fluffing up butter and sugar is like digging into clay (not that I do a lot of that either). Perhaps I should have got the butter out of the freezer a bit earlier...

    1. Alan, that was a poorly veiled attempt at persuading women to pose semi naked while beating the contents of a bowl with a wooden spoon. Shame on you, sir!

  7. Susan, you have the patience of a saint and a spice cupboard to match. Is the making of the Christmas Cake the seasonal equivalent of the BBQ in your house? My beloved keeps well out of the kitchen unless his speciality Spag Bol is called upon (which it rarely is!).


  8. Hello Susan:
    Well, we really cannot see a cause for complaint. First, plenty of alcohol had been purchased. Good start.The chef was semi naked....what is not to like about that....apart from the remaining semi?The chef was quite happy to be alone in the kitchen and required no assistance. Perfect......drinking of purchased alcohol can take place in the comfort of the candle scented drawing room far away from the chamber of horrors that is the kitchen.Finally, lots more cooking days before Christmas, so the whole process can be repeated and enjoyed many times over.

    Has the semi-naked chef visited Budapest? Only asking.....

  9. What a funny story! Husband is always in the kitchen baking...cookies most of the time. He now has it down to a science and pre-measures all the ingredients way before the time he starts to mix things. He's gotten quite good at it. Now if I could only get him to clean up after. He reminds me of my m-i-l and my grandmother. Both were wonderful cooks but extremely messy! Clean-up was not in their DNA.

    I'm glad the Christmas cake turned out good. As for the spices, why is it that we have so many of them and that they end up expired before we use them? HAH

  10. Tee-hee! Some parts of the story are very familiar to me here - the overstuffed spice shelf and the enthusiasm with which the jars like to divebomb into the baking bowl below! Mine normally seem to do it when there is something gloopy or wet there - the spice jar equivalent of jumping into a bog! I think I will have to get my husband to make the Christmas cake this year - then stand back ready to take photos!

  11. Blame it on the exploding flour. I think he is a very brave man.
    Love this story.

  12. Really it was all the fault of the Kilner jar....

    I'm sure it is going to taste great and what a funny story to have with it!


  13. As I have been in your kitchen AND met your husband, I can visualise the scene ! Where was Prince during all of this ?

  14. Hehehe -- there's help, and then there's HELP!

  15. Oops! ;)

    I remember when spices didn't carry a sell by date and one always had ancient jars on the pantry shelf. Now I try to use nothing that's more than 4 years old!