Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

I made this delicious, tangy, spicy fruit cake for Christmas this year.

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake
A rich fruity tangy traditional Christmas fruit cake.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. Juice of 1 lemon
  2. Juice of 1 orange
  3. Juice of 1 grapefruit
  4. Peel of half a lemon, diced
  5. Peel of half an orange, diced
  6. Peel of half a grapefruit, diced
  7. 500g mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, figs, apricots)
  8. 200g sultanas
  9. 75ml fruit juice
  10. 75ml red wine
  11. 250g margarine
  12. 200g brown sugar
  13. 100g ground almonds
  14. 2 tsp cinnamon
  15. 2 tsp ginger
  16. 2 tsp allspice
  17. 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  18. 175g plain flour
  19. 1 tsp vanilla
  20. 1 tsp baking powder
  21. 4 large eggs
Icing
  1. 2x 250g packets white fondant
  2. 1 vial of almond essence
Instructions
  1. Mix the fruits, peels, juices, sugar, margarine and spices in a large pot. Bring it to boil and simmer for 10 minutes so all the peel is soft and the fruit is well mixed. Pour the fruit mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool. Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
  2. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, vanilla and eggs, with constant mixing.
  3. Pour the batter into a baking tin lined with a double layer of baking paper. Bake for two hours. Remove from the oven. Poke several holes with a skewer throughout the cake and splash extra wine (about 1 tablespoon) around the holes. Repeat this every few days until a week before the cake will be served.
Icing
  1. Add the almond essence to one packet of fondant and thoroughly knead it. Roll each layer of fondant thin enough so that the sheet covers the whole cake. Decorate with cake decorating coloring and glazes.
Notes
  1. This made a 20cm square cake. The cake does not rise much when cooking, so bake it in a smaller, deeper tin for a taller cake.
Adapted from James Martin, BBC goodfood
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/
Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Snowman (icing)

Snowman detail

United Kingdom, 2009

We spent three weeks in England and Scotland in July 2009. In a tiny car we drove in a loop from London through Bath, Stratford on Avon, Warwick, Liverpool up to Glasgow, then across to Edinburgh and down through Durham, Sheffield, and Cambridge to London again.

Highlights include: visiting Roman ruins in Bath, Chew Magna where Edria’s grandfather came from, a day at Warwick Castle, the Falkirk Wheel, Durham Cathedral, a day at Gulliver’s Kingdom, Matlock Bath, visiting friends in London and Glasgow and Edria’s sister in Sheffield.

In London, we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in the rain, visited Greenwich Observatory, London Science Museum as well as other famous museums and parks.   

UK
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Samos, 2017

We stayed again at Zeus Hotel, a quiet family owned apartment hotel 500m from the Ireon village. We spent a few days relaxing in the pool, eating in the village restaurants and resting. Nearby is the Tower of Sarakinis, built in 1577. Tower of Sarakinis 

Cheater’s Hot Cross Buns

You cannot buy hot cross buns from our local bakery in Turkey (even in the Easter season), but you can buy the dough that they use for baking normal bread. You can also buy amazing dried fruit here. Mixed together with a little sugar and spice, these ingredients make very tasty hot cross buns.

Cheater's Hot Cross Buns
Yields 16
Super easy way to make hot cross buns
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 600g dough
  2. 300g fruit mix (currants, orange peel, dried apricot, dried fig, raisins)
  3. 50g sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
Instructions
  1. Get fresh dough from the bakery. Knead in the mixed fruit, sugar and spices. Form into balls. Cut crosses into the buns. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 C. Glaze with melted butter.
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/

Iranian soup

Iranian soup
An amazing soup
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. Chicken
  2. Carrot
  3. Butter
  4. Parsley
  5. Bitter Orange
  6. Bechamel Sauce
Instructions
  1. Fry the cooked shredded chicken and grated carrot in butter. Add juice of bitter orange (Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange) or alternatively use lemon juice. Add finely chopped parsley and water to make a stock. Mix the Bechamel Sauce packet with 3 cups water and 1 cup milk. Add the stock to the Bechamel Sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer.
Notes
  1. Translated from Turkish. Original proportions unknown.
Adapted from Iranian friends
Adapted from Iranian friends
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/

Slater tatters

A super easy recipe

Slater tatters
Super easy potatoes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. Potatoes
  2. Garlic salt
  3. Butter
Instructions
  1. Clean potatoes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut slits about two-thirds deep across the width of the potato. Baste with garlic salt and butter. Bake in the oven at 200ºC for 20 minutes
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/

Tuna and Corn Fritters

Tuna and Corn Fritters
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Onion
  2. 1 tin of Tuna
  3. 1 tin of sweetcorn
  4. flour
  5. 2 eggs
  6. milk
  7. oil
Instructions
  1. Chop onion. Add tuna and corn in a bowl. Cover with flour and mix. Add eggs and milk to make a batter. Fry in oil.
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/

Happy ∏ day

This year to celebrate ∏ day (3.14.16) I made a mince and cheese pie.

Mince and Cheese Pie
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 onion
  2. 250g mince
  3. 250g mixed vegetables
  4. 5 mushrooms
  5. puff pastry
  6. 200g grated cheese
  7. 1 cube beef stock
  8. 1 Tbsp flour
  9. 1 cup water
  10. Ketchup
Instructions
  1. Fry onion, mince, mushrooms and mixed vegetables. Add flour, stock and water to make a gravy. Line pie dish with pastry. Fill with cooked meat and vegetables. Cover with grated cheese and top with pastry. Cook at 180º C until pastry is golden brown.
Yet another Murray Family website https://openi.biz/
Last year I baked a lemon meringue pie.

South Island cycle journey, 1993

Towards the end of 1993 I had some holidays owed from work so I took the opportunity to have a final solo bike trip before I got married.

I had only been to the South Island a couple of times before – when I was four years old, my grandparents took my sister and I to Nelson. And a work conference in Queenstown, shortly after starting my job in the late 1980s.

Edria was finishing her final exams for her BSc in Physics and Mathematics. She was then going to do a year of teacher training, which gave us the option of staying in Palmerston North or moving to Christchurch. So I embarked on a three week trip to explore as much as I could of the South Island. It was cut short.

The above map is from memory. Some roads may have changed since the time and the stops are close approximations. I took a camera on the trip, but any photos are in storage somewhere.

I left my flat in Palmerston North on a Saturday morning and cycled almost non-stop to Paraparaumu where I was just in time to catch a train to Wellington and then a ferry to Picton where I stayed overnight in a backpackers.

The following morning, I found a church and joined in their service. I was the youngest there by about twenty years. I then biked to Blenheim, had a quick look around the town and continued over the hills to stay the next night at the campground in Seddon.    

Cell phones were fairly new in New Zealand back then and a few months earlier I had bought a second hand one that was small (for the time) and I that used to call Edria each evening. 

It was an amazing Monday to bike down the coast of the Pacific Ocean to Kaikoura. Ocean on the left, mountains on the right. The road hugs the sea a lot and there are spots with seal colonies close to the road and so I stopped to photograph the seals.

I think I got up to 70 Km/h coming down one hill after Ward. Even without the hills, riding for hours was hard work and tiring. At one point I think I fell asleep in the saddle and woke suddenly before I hit the ground.

I made it safely to Kaikoura and stayed the night at a backpackers. The next day the road turned inland to go over more hills and I followed it on to stop at a hotel in Cheviot for the night. 

I then back tracked a few kilometres and turned even further inland to ride to Hanmer Springs. On the way I was swooped upon by nesting magpies. At Hanmer Springs, I enjoyed a well earned soak in the hot pools and spent the night .

The ride from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch was long – 8 hours / 145 Km but doable because it was mostly downhill or flat. I visited Cathedral Square in central Christchurch then spent the night on a friend’s couch.

I had received a phone call from work – they had some urgent computer issues that only I could solve and the needed me back. They paid for me to get the next flight back to Palmerston North and so I surprised Edria with a visit on Friday afternoon before heading home and then into work to fix things.

Work employed another computer administrator soon after that. I quit a when we decided to move to Christchurch.