Day 164

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Stir-up Sunday and I woke with Christmas cake very much on my mind. I took Katie to the Christmas Fair in the village, which was great fun and much better organised than last year – though sadly the mulled wine had run out by the time we got there! When we got home, Katie, who must have heard me mention it to Nick, eagerly demanded to know when we were going to start making the Christmas cake. My heart sank. For me, recreational baking with the kids is a very different headspace to cooking for the purpose of getting something cooked, while at the same time tidying the kitchen, and attacking the laundry mountain! Fortunately, when I explained this to her, she seemed to understand immediately and modified her ambitions to having a stir of the cake. My wee girl is growing up. I assured her that, in fact, everyone in the family would have a stir of the cake for luck. She immediately asked if that included Sherlock but I’m afraid I drew the line!

In the end, the multi-tasking had a good impact on the cake making. Usually I am too impatient to wait for my creamed butter and sugar to get really fluffy, but tonight it was so damn fluffy I could have called it mock cream and spread it on a sponge (if I didn’t loathe mock cream that is). Then I really did bring the 10 eggs to room temperature and add them one at a time, with a spoonful of flour and a good beat in between.

With Sherlock fresh from the groomers yesterday, my other ambition for the weekend was to get the Christmas photograph taken. Unfortunately the light was flat and grey and miserable all weekend. What’s the bet we’ll get lovely autumn light tomorrow when the kids are at school? I had my heart set on an outdoor shot, but I may have to give in and rig up some lighting to do it indoors.

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