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Christmas Blog Party: Lynne Shelby

For a while, Lynne and I were always mentioned in the same sentence..but it was all for a good reason, we both found our way to Accent via their women's fiction writing competition run in association with Woman Magazine. Lynne, very deservedly, won that competition and I placed second. I met Lynne for the first time about a month ago and we did say it felt as if we knew each other already! Really pleased to be welcoming her here today.....

One of the things I like best about Christmas is that it is one of the increasingly few occasions in our busy 21st Century lives when many families and friends have time to actually sit down around a dining table and eat together, lingering over a delicious meal that doesn’t have to compete with the ever-present demands of emails or homework! Christmas Day in our house sees three generations eating the traditional turkey lunch (including sprouts!), followed by Christmas pudding, mince pies, Stilton and port. Several hours later, we’re still sitting around the candle-lit table, ready for coffee and a slice of traditional Christmas cake, baked my myself according to my grandmother’s recipe. Not that my grandmother, who baked every day, needed a recipe book or to weigh ingredients; she knew how much flour or sugar she was using just by looking at it! I still have the china mixing bowl that her cakes were mixed in many, many years ago, and the first weekend in December when I make our traditional family Christmas cake always feels like the start of the festive season.

Recipe for Christmas Cake

300g plain flour

250g butter (or margarine)

250g soft brown sugar

750g mixed dried fruit

60g mixed peel

125g glacé cherries, chopped

1 level teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon vanilla essence