Christmas cake yesterday.
I know that this may seem incredibly well organised. It is not. There are good reasons for making it this early.
The first is that the Whirlwind is organised about these things and it is something we do together.
We got the fruit together last weekend.
"Now don't forget to stir it at least twice everyday!" she told me as she left.
I would not dare to forget. My father remembered to give it the occasional prod as well. It is his "great contribution".
The second reason is that, along with two big cakes - one for the Whirlwind and one for my sister - I make four much smaller cakes. One of these is for us, one goes to another sister who lives in another state and the remaining two are used as "lunch" by two friends who each run stalls at the Quilt and Craft Fair.
They come from interstate and stay in cheap accommodation. Theoretically they could bring a sandwich if they went and bought bread and so on - or they could have those savoury sort of "sandwich" biscuits. In reality they usually arrive and have no time to think about grocery shopping. The food at the venue is expensive and they do not have time to get it anyway. One mini-loaf size of cake cut into four pieces does them nicely as a high-energy lunch time snack - along with the inevitable coffee.
So, cake is made early. I may, if there is time and the Whirlwind prods me, make shortbread and lebkuchen as well. I have little doubt I will be prodded. She still likes cutting out lebkuchen.
Yesterday was the perfect day for it. It was not too warm. My father was out for the day with my sister. We had the kitchen to ourselves and the cakes were in the oven in no time. There was even enough for four mini-mini sized cakes in little paper cases - well, we made sure of that!
The Whirlwind sat at the kitchen table and memorised vocabulary and wrote up an assignment. She kept resetting the timer and looking at the cake. I went and cleaned the bathroom.
Eventually she called me and we tried the cakes with a skewer - not quite done.
By lunchtime we had cake. The house was filled with the aroma of Christmas.
We wrapped the bigger cakes according to the instructions in the recipe and left them to cool.
The Whirlwind went home carrying two of the mini-mini cakes. My father and I had the other two last night. The others are now resting. The big cakes still need to be iced. The smaller ones do not get iced.
Late that afternoon I had an e-mail from the Whirlwind's father. He had been reading an article on line. It was about the way families in very poor circumstances do or do not manage to feed their children. He had shown it to her.
"We may not be super rich but we are lucky because we are rich enough to make cake sometimes."
Yes, we are rich.