Posted: 07/11/2016 at 15:53
I have a pudding which has been retrieved from the freezer a few weeks ago, and is copiously "fed" with brandy each week (Tip: get an eye-dropper for squeezing the brandy into holes made with a skewer or very thin knife: much easier).
I have all the dried fruit soaking in brandy ready for the cake to be made tomorrow. It's classic Delia's recipe which never fails. And it will, in due course, be anointed with extra brandy as per the pud.
I will make my own mincemeat: a fatless recipe with all the dried fruits and spices gently heated through in cider, then left to cool and kept in the fridge until required. It also freezes well, and the flavours are much better than shop-bought - and a lot less sweet, since I add only a little soft brown sugar.
The smell of Christmas baking is a treat in itself: cinnamon and spices say it all! Advent Sunday is early this year (27th November) which will be a good excuse to get the Lebkuchen and Stollen out as the Advent candle is lit. I think the run-up to Christmas is almost better than the actual thing.
btw re special diets (veggie/gluten-free etc) I don't have to cater for any of those but an article I read recently said that it was perfectly acceptable to expect those with special dietary requirements to bring their own to the table rather than expecting to be catered for. Not sure how it would work, though - it could be more trouble than it's worth!