Christmas Cake cooking today. I make them with monotonous regularity every Christmas, usually in October. I made some this year at home but didn’t want to carry one so I said I’d make one here for TP. Talk about a challenge!

Cooking in someone else kitchen is challenging at the best of time. I tried to find the scales but after going through 2 draws and a cupboard I decide that I would measure using cups instead. Christmas cake is very forgiving so if the quantities are a bit off then it won’t spoil the cake.

I actually went shopping yesterday to buy a bucket or washing up bowl but then decided another day would do. As a result I didn’t have a big enough bowl to mix the whole lot together so I decided to halve the fruit and mix it in 2 batches.  Found something big enough for half the fruit. Bonus!

Next I needed cake tins, TP had shown me where 2 were so that was great. Except when I got them out only one had the correct sized base. Hunted around and in the end decide on a largish rectangular tin. Tins have to be lined so any tin will do really.

Have to issue a correction here I’ve been told as the base was the right size. I just didn’t  put it in properly.

Then I had to mix the sugar, butter, flour and eggs. That was OK as I knew where her largest mixing bowl was and it was big enough. I didn’t want to mix it by hand though, I have a nice big Kenwood myself which has no trouble mixing a full batch but TP has a small hand beater.

Fortunately it’s a toughie, so with care I was able to mix up the ingredients. Rather than move the beater I moved the bowl around.

At some stage through all this process, I heard a bang and discovered that I hadn’t quite secured the light bulb in place properly and it had fallen out. I couldn’t see with the bulbs TP had so I bought some more and put them in.  I replaced it and it hasn’t fallen out again. I put 6 in altogether so hopefully it’s the only one not secure.

The rectangular tin took nearly  all of the mix but not quite. I piled it in anyway, hoping that the lining paper would hold it in. The cake doesn’t rise.

All that searching and fiddling took me well over an hour and half but I finally got the first one in.

The second one took about 15 mins from beginning to end because I had found everything by then!

2 large cakes and then 6 muffin sized ones to use up the mixture. I didn’t think I should overfill the tins again as the first one sort of lapped over the sides. I am sure it will taste good though.

At around 4:30 I realised I had to be at TP’s work by 5:50 to join her and her workmates for a trivia quiz, a fund raiser. I moved pretty fast, hung the washing on the rack, took the cakes out of the oven and got my shoes on and was out.

TFL  (Transport for London) advised walking to Brixton, Victoria line train and then Northern. I did the walk and the Vic train but once I got to Euston it was soooo  crowded I decided to get out of the station and walk. I made it by 5:50, just. Took one of the xmas cakes so I was a very popular mother.

Quiz was fun. There were 5 in the team but really only 2 answered the questions and I wasn’t one of them! I knew the answer to 2 but then so did everyone else.

There was lots of food and drink being consumed while the quiz was going on and afterwards we were invited across to the pub for yet another drink.

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Lots of food and drink!

All TP’s colleagues were very friendly and welcoming. I met her manager who was really nice and she supports TP which of course makes her mum happy.

Called in at the local supermarket and got some full milk for my coffee. They use skim which is fine for tea but much too light for me in coffee.

There are about a dozen small and medium local stores on the road between Brixton and Camberwell, all selling similar things so plenty to choose from. They all sell alcohol too.

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