Monday, November 24, 2014

A Sparrow's Faith

 A Sparrow's Faith

 I'm just a little Sparrow
I have no pedigree
I'm rarely ever noticed
But the Lord is watching me

He gave me a coat of feathers
'Tis very plain I know
Without a speck of color
For it wasn't made for show

It keeps me warm in winter,
Protects me from the rain
Were it trimmed in gold or silver,
Perhaps would make me vain

I have no barn or storehouse
I neither sow nor reap
God gives my daily portion,
With never a seed to keep

There are many other Sparrows
All over the world they're found
And my Father always knows
When one falls to the ground

I'm only one little Sparrow
A bird of low degree
I know my Father's love
Dost thou know His love for thee?

By Yolanda Cohen
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matthew 10:29 ~

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Our Favourite Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

  ...And here is the promised recipe for a lovely moist Christmas fruitcake... 

Christmas Fruitcake

500g dates, shredded

4 ½ packets (250g each) dried fruitcake mix OR

500g seedless raisins and 375g golden sultanas and 250g mixed candied citrus peel

200ml brandy

450g butter, at room temperature

475g brown sugar

9 large free-range eggs

600g cake flour

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml salt

2ml ground cloves

2ml ground cinnamon

2ml ground mace

5ml cocoa

50ml ginger syrup

125g ginger preserve, finely shredded (make your own!)

125g walnuts, chopped

Grated rind of 1 lemon

250g glace cherries, halved and sprinkled lightly with flour

60ml brandy

The night before place the dates, cake mixture or raisins, sultanas and candied citrus peel in a container and pour over the 200ml of brandy.  Close tightly.

Butter a 25cm cake tin, line it with three layers buttered brown paper and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter and brown sugar and add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.  Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with the butter mixture.  Stir in the fruit mixture and add the ginger syrup, preserved ginger, walnuts and lemon rind.  Mix well.

Spoon a layer of the batter into the tin, followed by a layer of cherries.  Repeat until everything has been used, ending with a layer of batter. 

Cover the tin with a round paper plate or use a piece of cardboard cut to size.

Bake for 4 hours, remove the plate and bake for another hour or until done.  Remove from the oven and pour 60ml brandy evenly over the hot cake.  Leave in the tin to cool.

Wrap tightly in aluminium foil and place in a container with a tight-fitting lid, 

Pour a few tots of brandy over the cake every seventh day, closing it tightly each time.

Makes one large cake or two smaller cakes...

For decorating ideas and other festive bakes and cakes, see this post from Christmas 2013!

~ Have a truly beautiful day, sweet readers ~

Friday, November 21, 2014

Festive Baking Delights Have Begun...

Oh, the delightful smells of festive baking have begun in our home once again, starting with our traditional Christmas fruit cake which is always baked around this time of year in order for it to be well 'ripened' by Christmas...

How exciting to beat together the eggs and brown sugar and gently stir in the wonderful spices: cloves, cinnamon and mace and the fruit mix to create a beautiful Christmas cake, which will mature until a few days before Christmas when we will decorate it especially for the special occasion whilst singing along to cheerful carols of the season... 

Have you made your Christmas fruit cake yet?  Are you planning to decorate it in any particular way this year?  {Do see my post from last year for some beautiful ideas here...}

And if you haven’t made yours yet or you are seeking out a new recipe to try, do stay tuned for ours which I will be sharing with you all tomorrow! 

~ Sweet blessings on your day dear readers ~

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

"Her voice was ever low,
Gentle and soft - an excellent thing in woman."

~ King Lear in Skakespear

~ A soft answer turneth away wrath:  but grievous words stir up anger. ~