Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the start of the New Year of the church.
I celebrated by steaming the Christmas Puddings that I made yesterday (Delia Smith says to make them up, then leave them overnight before steaming). There have been a few substitutions and adaptations along the way. The suet that I had planned to use smelled distinctly "off", so, as there are only a few ounces required, I grated in some unsalted butter instead. Also, I hadn't bought and barley wine, so just used more rum and more stout.
Then, before church, I weighted out all the dried fruit for the Christmas Cake, and then hit another snag. "Add three tablespoons of brandy and leave overnight." The brandy was definitely lacking in oomph. We sniffed our way through the various alternatives and settled on some of his single malt whisky.
Overnight. If you go to bed at about 11pm, and get up at about 8am, that's just nine hours. Which is why I reckoned it would be ok to continue with the Christmas Cake business at half part five - about nine hours after starting to soak the fruit.
My mini-magimix made short work of creaming the butter and sugar, and had a valiant attempt at whisking in four eggs, but by now the bowl was getting a bit full. Decanting the gloop into a bigger mixing bowl and finishing off the job by hand solved that problem, and the cake has now been in the oven for half an hour.
I reckon it should be done by bedtime.
I also managed to finish the second of the two advent calendar kits I've been sewing over the year, for the two offspring. It was a close call, but they were able to take them away when they went home this evening.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture - now, if they read this, and if they email me pictures, I'll be able to show you what they look like!