Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Cheer…

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything here from recipes to trivia and traditions…I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…Please think about can the packaging be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

Just a reminder…  the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron, gather your ingredients, gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!

Christmas Cake…

Have you made yours yet? There are so many variations to the recipes for Christmas Cake some people like me like a rich fruit cake others like a lighter fruit cake …If you have a favourite tried and tested recipe then please share it here…Ally has made her Christmas cakes and very tasty they look ..she adds ginger ale to her recipe check it out here…

Christmas Cake …Bake and Mature

I love a rich fruit cake and it lasts as long as you want it too some people love the traditional Christmas or now some make a square cake and cut it into slices it is just preference and of course once it is made I always just sprinkle a little brandy, whisky, rum or sherry over the cake every couple of weeks an age-old tradition in our house and I am sure many others.


• 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
• zest and juice 1 orange
• zest and juice 1 lemon
• 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
• 250g pack butter softened
• 200g light soft brown sugar
• 175g plain flour
• 100g ground almond
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• 100g flaked almond
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Let’s Cook!

Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml brandy or other alcohol, 250g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over medium heat.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

That’s the cake and pudding recipes sorted but don’t forget your pickles ...Homemade pickles are so much nicer and cheaper to make …We love pickles and I pickle so much more than I have ever done…

For the next few weeks, I will share my pickle recipes…. let’s get pickled…


Who loves Christmas Kitsch? My Christmas kitsch has travelled the world with me and on the 1st Dec, it will all come out of its wrappings, mugs, teapot, t/towels and towels, plates and dishes…I love my Christmas crockery…

I also love those quirky Christmas toys that as you move past it goes Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas and then plays its tune…Yes, it is Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas in this house and it will never ever be any different…Others can call it what they like…Me…I stick with tradition…

Christmas lights…I love small twinkly Christmas lights….Do you have a few tasteful, pretty displays or do you go the whole hog??? If you do then please share…I love Christmas lights and did you know who made the first Christmas lights? Thomas Eddison of course…He draped the first set of Christmas lights around his Menlo Park Laboratory but wasn’t until nearly 40 years later that Christmas lights became a tradition…

If you love Coldplay you may like their take on Christmas Lights…A tune…

Only a few weeks now to Thanksgiving…I am looking forward to seeing a few new recipes that I haven’t tried before…as a cook, I am always looking for new recipes…


I would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and to ask if you would please share your recipes with us here…x If you are looking for recipes then pop over to Sally’s tomorrow where I will be there with Sally where we will share some of our Thanksgiving recipes.

That’s all for today …I hope you have enjoyed this post see you next Tuesday…x

P.P.S…There will be a Christmas jumper corner…I just need to see yours???? So come on don’t be shy…Share…x

hope you all have a creative week ahead xxAbout Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I

22 thoughts on “Mistletoe and Wine, Christmas Cheer…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup… week ending 24th Nov 2019… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Darlene

    We already had our Thanksgiving in Canada and it is not celebrated here in Spain. (Although I’ve noticed they are getting on the dreaded Black Friday bandwagon). I have never liked Christmas cake, especially if there are raisins in it. But I do make the other, better British Christmas traditional dessert, a trifle! I first had trifle I met my boyfriend’s Britsh parents one Christmas. I was told I could not have the recipe as it was a family recipe. So I married him so I could get it. (at least that is what I tell everyone. I have added my own touches and created our own family recipe. Thanks for Cold Play!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      My nan always made a lovely trifle I love a good trifle..I don’t like the mixed peel in my xmas cake so always leave it out when I make mine..Thnaksgiving is not celbrated here or the Uk so we have only eer had one turkey dinner…The dreaded Black Friday I’m done with all the sales like that I steer well clear…If you want trifle recipe feel free and I will credit back to you, Darlene…Have a great week 🙂 XX

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Angie

    Wow, I’m tempted to make this! But then…storage is an issue living in the RV. So I will just drool over this recipe and hope to make it in the future! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hugh's Views and News

    I’m afraid I’m a bit of a cheat when it comes to making a Christmas cake, Carol. I buy a box that contains all the ingredients already weighed out. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the box, put everything into a large mixing bowl, and stir. The box even includes the marzipan and icing. The only ingredients you have to buy extra are eggs, an orange and lemon and some butter.
    The boxes are already in the shops and, best of all, they are currently on offer at one third off the original price. Mine arrives this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

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