skyfall: cardigan season

i grew up with james bond, loving the suavity as i imagined myself to be highly sophisticated despite being a kid in a small town (i remember quoting annie hall in my grade 7 class and being surprised that the other kids weren't impressed). so, i am one of those hold-outs who is not so keen on daniel craig. he's a rat-face thug, in my books. so i have not rushed out to see skyfall yet.

this could change all that.

this dries van noten cardigan worn by "q" is taking the internet by storm! and for good reason, there are some clever details: how the striping intersects with the assymetric zippered front, what looks like a garter-stitch stripe going down the shoulder and sleeve. and it looks like slash pockets on the side seam? i want to make this. i guess i'll have to drag myself out to see the movie, and take more notes.

in other news, our big tree-trimming party is tomorrow, and i am so not ready... between being sick, and workload craziness, it's a fiesta of bad timing. argh.


xmas fruitcake: step 2

today we bake!

all of my fruit was smelling lovely and luscious (and tasting pretty good too - you've got to taste as you go, right?) after a night in sherry. tonight, once i got the kiddo fed & in bed, i stirred up the batter and folded in the fruit. recipe is delia smith's dundee cake with a few twists.

then came a tricky bit: arranging almonds on top in concentric rings (ruddy health food store only had with skins on, so i blanched them while i was cooking dinner). it's not precisely symmetrical, but just fine, i think.

and of course i had to do it twice.

then ready for the oven! for 2 or 2 1/2 hours. ugh. and then cooling for 30 minutes in the pan before unmolding onto a rack. double ugh. did i mention i got going on these after the kiddo was in bed? which is to say, tired now. but if i hadn't had to stay up, i might have been tempted to put off fixing the dishwasher, which would not have been good.

and boy, do they smell wonderful!


xmas fruitcake: step one

haven't had fruitcake at xmas since mum died, it's one of the many things i miss a lot. so this year, i'm making my own. i started a couple of months back making candied peel, and then glace cherries. now, it's time to get baking so it has time to "ripen" before the holiday season.

i looked at a lot of recipes, and had a real time deciding which to choose. so many had different twists, different things to recommend them! i've finally settled on delia smith's dundee cake. with a few twists.

first off, i switched out currants for dried apricots (one of the ingredients i found tempting in some other recipes). i also upped the glace cherries content, since i spent an entire bloody week making them. i decided to steep in sherry rather than whiskey as i like sherry for dessert-y things (why yes, i am a middle-aged lady, nothing wrong with that) and also it's slightly less alcoholic and the kiddo is going to end up eating some of this.

and finally, when you dream, dream big: i'm making a double batch, so we'll have one for our tree-trimming party at the beginning of december, and one for christmas eve carolling.


another busy day!

and not over yet.

so far, i've made lentil soup, coq au vin, and the components of lasagna which i am about to assemble. also went to a volunteer appreciation luncheon, and entertained a sick kiddo.

and i put the finishing touches on this wee cardigan which my husband took to a baby shower in the afternoon! half of the lasagnas and coq au vin are also to be delivered to the new parents, whose son arrived a full month before he was expected! yikes. he is doing fine, his parents are a bit tired though.