The Winter in our small corner of the world is a little late in coming this year.
Outside all is settling down for the Winter & quietly going to sleep. The branches are mostly all bare apart from our beautiful yew & holly trees which line our garden.
Even though there is a nip in the air the cold weather has not settled in yet & we have had some lovely days full of wonderful clear skies.
Inside the cottage Christmas is in the air, our minds are full of idea's of what to make & bake for the special day.
Lemon Drizzle Cake.
This recipe I have had since our first holiday to Yorkshire as a family. We had three children then & stayed in a beautiful stone cottage in the Yorkshire Moors.
The lady who owned the farm where the cottage was, baked this cake for our arrival & she kindly gave me the recipe. It has become a family favourite & has been baked many times.
Cream together 5 oz margarine, 6 oz sugar & the grated rind of a lemon.
Then beat in 8 oz self raising flour, 2 eggs & 2 fl oz milk.
Bake in a round cake tin at 160 for 45 mins.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the hot cake, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar on top.
Remove from tin when cold.
Lemon Drizzle Cake ready for tea served on Andy's Grandparent's plate that they received on their wedding day.
Sadly I have finished Larkrise to Candleford.
I found myself transported to a gentler & slower time reading this book but now I would like to find out what happened to Flora in adulthood.
Now I am reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.
My husband bought me a set of c1880 Elizabeth Gaskell books for my birthday this year.
The BBC production is one of my favourite drama's to watch. Cranford covers every emotion & is so amusing, added to this is that it is filmed at the wonderful National Trust village of Lacock.
All the wonderful period costumes are so simple & beautiful & the sets stunning.
We decided to take a trip out to the Lincolnshire coast & collect some shells.
There was a crisp chill to the air & we needed to wrap up warm.
We were the only one's there, it was a beautiful time to take in all the beauty of the coast.
The girls with their Peter Rabbit & Jemima Puddle Duck bags.
These bags go everywhere with them to collect from hedgerows & days out.
We found some beautiful shells to make some Christmas crafts with.
Such clear & simple beauty.
We made some little Christmas mice with pine cones & shells.
All with a little bit of sparkle for Christmas.
The twins love to make gifts & take such joy in giving them.
This year I thought I would bake a different recipe for our Christmas cake & decided upon Delia Smith's Classic Christmas cake.
I have used many recipes over the years & found this one easy & simple to follow.
You can find the recipe at Delia on line.
All the dried fruit & cherry brandy socking overnight.
Ready to go in to the oven.
Christmas cakes are baked for a long time at a very low temperature.
I had to find things to do in the kitchen during that time so I could keep watching the oven as we cook with solid fuel & the temperature goes up & down. I find the best way to keep a steady low temperature is to get it banked up with coal & then shut the damper.
All baked & now stored away ready to be iced a few days before Christmas.
Some little knitted bonbon sweets I have made using scraps of wool & ribbon for Kitty & Mary for Christmas.
I do enjoy making gifts, we try to stay away from the crowded shops as much as possible.
Thank you my dear readers for all your kind words, every one is read & appreciated.