Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our small and loyal Pastel Group, who have met on Tuesday afternoons to draw for around 9 years, finished up with a special pre-Christmas lunch last Tuesday.

Shirley lives at glorious beach side Kilcunda, and the rest of us drove over to the nearby Hotel Restaurant, for a delicious celebration.

We always buy each other some quaint present we have bought for under $10 and have a special presentation, which provides lot of laughs.

Calendar, wine, Chinese mug, essential oil room fresheners, a red rose in a pot, ...... and friendship! You can't beat the friendship great women bring to your life.

Pat gave me some extra treasures because I host our group at my studio. One was a small sketch pad, to get me back to work. Next was some antique style postcards, for inspiration. Last was a cat pencil sharpener, which meows loudly when you put the pencil in its rear. Makes a nice sharp pencil, as well as gives lots of giggles.

I have promised to get my head back in order and into some drawing in the New Year.


Today, I have made my annual Christmas Cake. It's an easy recipe that produces a beautiful cake, and Shirley from our group gave it to me. It's cooking now and smells scrumptious!

Shirley’s Christmas Cake

Overnight put 375grms of raisins and sultanas
250 gms currants
125g mixed peel

125g glace cherries halved
6 each of dried apricots, nectarines peaches cut into dice
125g blanched chopped almonds all in bowl, then soak all these in 4 tbsp each of brandy and rum.

Cake mixture
250g butter
250g brown sugar
fine grated rind one lemon
2 tblsp golden syrup or marmalade
21/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
5 eggs
Use mixer to beat butter till soft, then add lemon rind and brown sugar beat til fluffy. Add golden syrup or marmalade. Sift flour, baking powder and spice. Add 2 tbsps flour to fruit mixture and toss through then Add eggs 1 at a time to cake mixture; add flour (a little) if mix curdles.

Mix in rest of flour to cake mix, mix all together. Place mix into lined 24c round tin or square cake tin with 2 sheets baking paper inside, 1 brown paper. Blanched almonds and cherries to finish. Bake in slow oven for 2 to 3 hrs. If cake browns too quickly, cover with paper. Sprinkle with brandy when cooling, wrap and store when cold.

Marzipan and ice

"Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women. "

... Nicole Hollander

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