... but I thought I'd change the blog banner for a while to be more seasonal. And yes, it's a good example of the mixture of sacred and secular in Cyprus thinking. Huge nativity scenes are prominent amongst the municipal decorations... and right next to the manger is Santa Claus.
I bought ingredients for traditional Christmas cake last Friday. The kind that's dark, and rich, and has more dried fruit than cake. I use the classic recipe by Delia Smith which means that all the fruit has to be soaked overnight in brandy before baking the cake. And I kept on forgetting to do that. Finally I remembered last night, so this afternoon I mixed the cake.
I put it in the oven at 140C... something which our old oven wouldn't do. The cake is supposed to cook at that low temperature for four and a half hours. The oven at our old house was very good at cooking things at 180C, or even a little hotter, but that was its limit. I would wait till the gas was running low, and even then Christmas cake was usually done in about an hour and a half.
This one is electric, and goes down as low as 100C so it'll be interested to see whether it really does stay in for over four hours before it starts overcooking, and whether the taste is better. Of course, I should have made it three weeks ago, but there's nothing I can do about that!
It's been in for an hour and a half as I type, and is beginning to smell rather good...