The Ladies' Tea Guild

Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas preparations.

Italian cuccidate.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
I'm gearing up for my annual holiday baking marathon.  I usually make one or two types of traditional Italian cookies, fruit cakes, and gingerbread to both serve and give away as gifts to family and friends, along with homemade jam.  I also like to make at least one historic recipe as well.  I've tried Mrs. Beeton's Seed Cake and Currant Cake with good results, but this year I think I'll try her Christmas Cake.  Here is the recipe:

Mrs. Beeton's Christmas Cake

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)