Well, the 2010 christmas cake has lift off...
The fruit is marinading, the butter is softening as I type, the spices are lined up ready to go and the brandy is, well, staying in the cupboard. The reason for that is the cake is a trial run for a wedding cake I will be baking next year and alcohol free is an option. Nut free definitely, alcohol free possibly. So we'll see how this one tastes.
I have also got a lot of mincemeat to make, which means a trip to the lovely farm shop up the road. I'm using a recipe from the River Cottage Preserves book, which uses Russet apples. I know there are lots of Russet trees on the farm so I'm hoping to get a bag of East Anglia's finest. The trick is to stick to getting the apples and to avoid coming home with a sack of spuds, ton of onions, pile of pumpkins, crate of cabbages.... you get the picture. It's far too good a shop.
I think it is something to do with the colder months - the instinct to stock up takes over. Until the freezer lid closes first time, every time, I must resist!