Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas Cake

I don't normally post my cooking/ baking adventures, but I decided to share a recipe that has been in the family for as long as I can remember.  I think it may have come from my father's brother-in-law, Uncle Bill Burry.  I think it was a recipe that his mother used to make and he gave it to his wife to bake and from there it was distributed throughout.  I recall Aunt Margaret saying that Mr. Burry used to say that if you went out for a day in the woods all that was needed for a lunch was a piece of this cake.  I have to admit it is very filling, considering it has almost four lbs of fruit and nuts.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a tube pan and lightly flour. 


  • 1 1/2 cups strong tea that has been cooled. 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
If you like the taste of rum in fruitcake,  combine the tea and rum to make 1 1/2 cups liquid.

Fruit and Nuts:
  • 1 lb Raisons ( Approximately 450 g)
  • 1/2 lb cherries
  • 1/2 lb dates
  • 1 lb currants
  • 1 cup walnuts
Measure quantities of fruit and place in a bowl.  Chop cherries and dates into pieces and crush walnuts.

Dry Ingredients:

Combine the following dry ingredients.  I usually add them to the fruit since the fruit has to be floured prior to mixing with liquids to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
Other Ingredients
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
Cream margarine and brown sugar.  Add the fruit and liquids alternately until they are completely mixed. (I use a wooden spoon for this). Spoon into the pan and place in oven.  I am not sure if it's an old wives tale or not, but I have been told not to open the oven door until the first 1 1/2 hours.  Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.  This is usually between 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  ( I do this while it is still in the oven.)
The result is a yummy Christmas Cake.  It freezes well and it is a favorite. 

The Root Cellar: Hanging Arrow Decoration

The Root Cellar: Hanging Arrow Decoration: It has been a busy week. I have completed a quilt, started another, made Christmas Cakes, and just the everyday hustle and bustle of life. ...

Hanging Arrow Decoration

It has been a busy week.  I have completed a quilt, started another, made Christmas Cakes, and just the everyday hustle and bustle of life.  I just got a new computer so now ready to blog some of that stuff.  Can not do some though because I have to wait until after Christmas.

This week I made a hanging decoration to go on my arrow sign.  I have to apogize for not having pictures of each step, but they were lost in the transition from an old computer and this one.  Still want to show what I did though.  This is the end result.

I started with an old picture frame.  I got this idea from Sarah at Alderberry Hill who had recently used a photoframe for one of her post.  Then I covered the frame with Holiday Time Christmas ribbon that I purchased at Walmart.  I glued the ribbon to the frame.  Since the decoration has to be double sided, I did this to try to get rid of the original look of the back of the picture frame.   Then I wrapped some red lace around the frame. 

Next I used more Holiday Time ribbon of a different pattern and made a bow.  I love the berry pattern.
 I attached it to the frame so that the bow was visible from the front and back. 

Then I hung my Dollarama bulb between the legs of the bow.  (Is that what they are called? :)

There was still more space left since the frame is farely large (11x14).  So... I added another bulb and some berries and a couple of pine cones that I found on a trail while walking the dog. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Wooden Sign

This week I have been using some scraps of wood to make a Christmas sign.  When I started I had the wood and some paint.  Then I let my creativity take over and this is what I was left with.  I couldn't get the pictures to capture the full beauty of these little things, but you will get the idea.

I started with some scraps of wood that I painted a red color, except for the front side.

Then I Mod-Podged (not sure if that's a word, but it is in my dictionary) some tissue paper with gold snow flakes on it to the front.  I printed large letters from the computer onto card stock paper and painted them black.  These went on top of the tissue paper, again with Mod Podge.  I put this picture in B & W to make the pattern more visible.

Then I did Joyeux. This is an illustration of how I did the word and the letters in Noel.

I added some lace to the block of wood and put some berries and greenery on the top.

Then I added some to the NOEL pieces.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


As a part of my new Christmas display I am adding a snowman to the Candy Cane Can.  I am pleased with how it turned out and it was not difficult to make.

I began with three rectangular pieces of muslin that I had stained a little in strong tea.  For these the length was 2 times the width, so that it would be a square when folded.  I folded each into a square.
Then I stitched the side directly opposite to the fold, leaving two ends open.

Using a needle and thread I stitched one of the ends.  I pulled it together as seen in the picture below. 

Then I stuffed the other end and stitched that one around and pulled it together as well.  I made sure the opening was closed and secured.

Here is one of the completed balls.  I repeated this process three times with each of the different sizes.

When three of them were done, I stacked them up and glued them with the glue gun.  That thing is not getting much of a break these days.  Now to add the accessories to make it look like a snowman.

The Nose.  I made a cone shaped piece from the muslin.  Then I stuffed it and glued the end together.  To give it a flat surface, I glued a button to the end.  Then I painted it.  The paint stiffened it as well.  

I added three fabric coved buttons.  Some ribbon for the scarf, buttons for the eyes, and snaps for the mouth.  Doesn't the nose look like a carrot?

Then I needed a couple of arms.  I made them from muslin and stuffed them and glued them to the body.

I brought the arms forward and attached them to the side as well so that they didn't just hang straight down.  Notice the blushing cheeks-- I used some of my own blush.  

I added a wreath to the head.  I may make a top hat a little later for him.  I added the Candy Cane Can as well.

Then I started to make my Button Wreath and needed more of the ribbon that I used for his scarf, so I took his scarf and made one out of red felt and tied some of the ribbon wire as well.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Button Wreath

 I decided to put the buttons that I had to some use.  These were buttons that had to be covered with fabric, but I used ribbon instead and made a wreath.  Here's the antique look.
These were the supplies that I used-- Ribbon that I cut the wire off of and buttons to be covered.  When I got the buttons covered, I glued them to the wreath shape.                

I continued to do this until the wreath was covered in buttons.

Then I made a bow out of some leftover ribbon and glued it to the wreath.  I also used the wire that I had cut from the ribbon as will be seen in a later picture.  
To the top of the wreath, I glued a berry twig and some more wire that I had curled. 

Here is the finished wreath.  And a quick preview to the next post that I will do-- Mr. Snowman...  Just made that one too, but it will have to wait another day before it becomes a post.  

Sunday, 13 November 2011

My Mother's Stitches

For the past year or so, Mom has been working on a country quilt- it has taken a lot of time due to the hand stitching she has done with some of the blocks and it is her first quilt.  I am displaying some of the blocks here.  She still has to put the batting and back on it, but the top is together.  A great job, Mom.