Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day/ Singles Awareness Day/ National Cake Bingeing Day or whatever it is you feel like celebrating on this wonderful Friday.
I am celebrating a combination of all of these days- and I thought I would share with you two ways that I am celebrating today:
Firstly-and most importantly- the bats have dropped their hats and antlers and are now decked out with love bows & arrows, and carrying conversation hearts!
As you may notice, I could not print out regular conversation hearts with love-y messages, because that would not be as ironically hilarious as the ones that say ‘bite me’ and ‘eat dirt’.
With so many typing shortcuts you can really get some long messages onto hearts now! I was particularly impressed by ‘tbh ur not gr8’- as this is a lot to say on a small heart!
But the message that will always have a place in my heart is this one:
I feel like there are so many little Christmas things that I didn’t get to share on this blog, partly because it is such a busy time of year, but also because they all seemed a little small and insignificant for posting. So before it is altogether TOO late- I am going to reflect over a few little things from this Christmas.
Firstly- my minimal apartment decor- which was simple and fleeting- as I generally go home for the weeks surrounding Christmas- but none-the-less I feel like I did a good job at creatively adding some festivity to the apartment. My favourite decoration had to be the bats- a leftover decoration from Halloween that I decided to Christmas-ify with some little hats and antlers.
Then I had my little tinsel tree, that I decorate in full girly style with all my bling:
And showed me how to make the most beautiful and festive cards- I ended up with these five most beautiful cards!
She had so many nice stamps and an amazing organization system they were all sorted in binders with a page of them stamped beside so you could see what they would look like- such a smart crafter!
SO GOOD- and I can proudly say that we were very healthy during our 3 day crafting marathon! Especially being so close to Christmas!!
She also got me an amazing book for Christmas:
which I have been pouring over during my free time this holiday!
Also- more about my Christmas at home–> my mom got me some gorgeous estate earrings:
and we put up our crazy- overloaded fake tree!
All the Christmas things!
Hope you all had wonderful Christmases with friends and family- and most importantly stuffed yourself with delicious food!
This weekend I got into the Christmas spirit!- and I started off with some felt ornaments- aren’t homemade decorations just the best!
Around this time every year, if I am attentive enough, I will remember to start the best 30 day process -the process of friendship cake.
Friendship cake is one of my grandma’s recipes. It takes 30 days to make, and it is usually started in late November so that it can be ready for Christmas. Friendship cake starts, as all good cakes start, with alcohol, which is either in the form of brandy (if you are starting the friendship cake) or in the form of starter – given to you by someone who just finished making their own friendship cake.
This is where the ‘friendship’ comes into friendship cake, because at the end of the process you are left with not only lovely cake, but also the ‘starter’ for more friendship cakes that you can give away to your friends so that they can start their own friendship cake- spreading the love of cake.
Making this cake involves 30 days where you ferment fruit with sugar and alcohol on your counter. At the 30 day mark you drain the liquid (giving it away to your closest friends) and add fruit to cake batter, making delicious, boozy, fruit filled cakes, ready to be enjoyed and shared on Christmas.
The best part of friendship cake is that it is the ultimate Christmas present.
-To make 6 lovely and thoughtful presents – I make my cakes into 6 loafs, wrap them beautifully, and put the 1 1/2 cups of starter into a jar with a nice handwritten recipe card with the instructions for friendship cake. Not only are you giving delicious cake, but you are giving them the chance to be part of a chain of ongoing friendship cakes. And they will also know that you spent 30 days on their present! But let’s be honest, only 5 friends will get this for Christmas because I have to save at least one loaf for myself!
1 1/2 cups of ‘starter’ or Apricot Brandy (or if you aren’t particular like me, any fruit brandy in your possession)
6 1/2 cups of sugar
1- 28oz can of sliced peaches in syrup (not drained)
1- 19oz can of chunk pineapple (not drained)
1- 28oz can of fruit cocktail in syrup (not drained)
1- 375ml jar of maraschino cherries (drained and halved)
For each cake: (batch makes 3 cakes/ 6 loafs)
1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 c chopped walnuts
Day 1 – Combine starter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and peaches into a very large bowl. Cover and stir once everday.
Day 10 – Add 2 cups of sugar and pineapple with juices. Cover and stir once everyday.
Day 20 – Add 2 cups of sugar, fruit cocktail and cherries. Cover and stir once everyday.
Day 30 – Drain fruit, divide juice into 1 1/2 cup portions (of friendship cake starter) and give away to very lucky friends. Divide fruit into 3 portions (one for each cake).
For each cake, mix all of the ingredients for the cake together mixing it at a medium speed until well combined, add the fruit and stir in until fully incorporated. I suggest doing each cake separately since it would be a very large amount to do all 3 at once, but you can definitely do all 3 at once if you have a bowl big enough.
For each cake, grease either 1 bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 °F for 65 minutes (if using a bundt pan) or 50 minutes (for two loaves).
Today is the day that I start my friendship cake!
First step – the brandy. So this is either starter that you were given, or the recipe says apricot brandy, but I didn’t have apricot brandy, I had “Old Plum Brandy” which has been sitting on my bar cart for a little too long and I figured that it wouldn’t be too different- so 1 1/2 cups of that!
♫ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ♫- yes Halloween! As both a sewing and Halloween fanatic, I can declare that this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, a time of year where you can dress up however you want, in whatever costume, and you can make it yourself!