Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas cake and birdies, or Two posts in One

An Old Christmas Greeting

Sing Hey! Sing Hey!
For Christmas Day
Twine mistletoe and holly;
For friendship grows
In winter snows
And so let's all be jolly.

It's been a rough couple of weeks dealing with some family illnesses. But a few "jolly" times were squeezed in between which made it not so bad.

One being that my friend Sarah invited me over to her house to teach me how to make...

...an honest-to-goodness English Christmas cake...

...with marzipan



...and more marzipan

...and royal icing

pretty, pretty, wrapped up and waiting to be served with Christmas dinner. Thank you, Sarah!


My second mental health day was spent making these bird ornaments. The how-to came from a Martha Stewart Christmas craft issue from a couple of years ago.

You make a clay from one cup of applesauce, a half cup of cinnamon, and a quarter cup of white glue. Now I experiment with these measurements, giving or taking until I get a soft, pliable mixture that can be rolled out with a rolling pin, not unlike making sugar cookies.

Using cardboard templates that my husband made from the pictures in the magazine, I cut out the bird shapes. Put a hole in the top middle with a toothpick so you can thread a string for hanging.

I have one of those plug-in heat-coil food dehydrators that I use to dry the ornaments in. Or you can simply let them air dry. I learned the hard way that it's best to flip them over now and then while they dry. Otherwise they tend to warp. Flipping them helps them to remain flat.

Lastly, go buck-wild with the glitter, beads, and glue.

The End

27 comments:

Amy said...

Miss Jodi,

I'm so sorry you and yours have had illness...we have too. :-(

Your cake is A.MA.ZING!! Wow!

And your little birdies...so pretty! I'm so into birds right now.

Blessings to you,
Amy

monix said...

I hope that everyone is well now.

The cake looks as good as my mother used to make. I make good cakes but have never mastered royal icing and always have to turn the smooth surface into a snow scene to mask the blunders!

Jenn V said...

GORGEOUS cake and ornaments! I love the birds!

Cheryl said...

That looks like the real McCoy to me. My mother always spikes up the icing to make it look like snow and then the children would decorate with all the artificial holly and robins that were kept in the special Christmas Cake box.

One year I was colouring the marzipan holly berries red and had to answer the door to the newspaper boy. He fled so quickly I had no chance to give him his Christmas box. Maybe it was the red stained hands.

Absolutely love your cinnamon apple birds. So beautifully decorated. I managed to sneek a snowman one away from the children, last year, and decorate it myself.

Hope you are all feeling better.

Vicki Munn said...

o yes - i like the birdies. glitter. sparkles. i was asking my mom a couple weeks ago about some ornaments we made, that have since fallen apart, but we made them out of i think just plain gingerbread (like cookies you eat), and iced them to hang on the tree. i might try your martha recipe, though mom was telling me to make salt dough ornaments (and i think she added ground cloves and cinnamon to make them smelly good)...
i feel like making something now! another snow day with the boys today...
i missed you too :)

Chelsey said...

I hope you are all on the mend soon. I love your crafty mental health days -- especially those bird ornaments! How lovely...

Leslie said...

I always love seeing the results of your handiwork.

Hoping health for all is just around the corner!

Jodi said...

Monix, Sarah said the trick to royal icing is to add baking glycerine instead of lemon juice. Lemon juice makes it harden too quickly.

Jodi said...

Cheryl, I made the holly berries, too, so I can imagine the scene lol

Jodi said...

Thank you everyone for the good health wishes. You are all so kind. God bless us everyone.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

I missed you. that cake is gorgeous

Rayanne said...

well, my sweet daughter( Amy) beat me to what i was going to say...we think a like!
Love the pretty cake...love the pretty bird.
and sweet Jodi...thanks for your kind words, i'm so very glad to have you as a bloggy friend.
praying all is "well" with you and yours!
Lots of sweet healing balm from our Lord.

Sara said...

How very special to have a real English Christmas cake!

Christina said...

Lovely cake. I've used a similar cake with marzipan in experimenting with wedding cakes.
Merry Christmas!

Nancy said...

Miss Read would be so proud of you and your Christmas cake. And I'm about to go buck-wild over your birdies.

Don't know how much reading/blogging/commenting I'll be doing in the week or so ahead--Christmas and wedding and all that. So...in case I'm MIA from computer world for a while, I want to make sure to wish you the happiest, merriest of Christmases!

Jodi said...

Christina, very nice to meet you.

Nancy, miss you already. Waaaaaaghhh!

Val said...

That looks a lovely cake...can I nip round for a slice and a cuppa please

Jodi said...

Val, I'd love that. Come any time.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Lovely cake, and even more charming birds! You're having too much fun! Tomorrow I'm doing gingerbread houses with my grandchildren.

Southern Gal said...

You'll have to let us know how that Chrsitmas cake turned out. It looks deliecious. Now I'll have to try and find a recipe or and English woman who is willing to share! Your birds are amazing.

Emily Young said...

What a splendid cake! It looks so very British : )

Graceful said...

Wow, that cake is impressive! And the birds? So very cute. Very Martha of you. I steer clear of her...I am not craft-inclined. But your glitter birds turned out beautifully!

Deborah said...

Jodi..
Christmas Greetings!
Sorry to hear that some in your family arent feeling well...praying our Lords touch upon them.
How nice to be able to learn how to make that magnificent fruitcake and those birdies are gorgeous!
Merry Christmas dear!!

With much love,
Deborah xoxo

Kerrie said...

Jodi! So good to see you back here! I'm sorry you and yours have been feeling under the weather...hope you have a wonderful Christmas! That cake looks amazing and I love your bird ornaments. :)

deb said...

oh... I hate hearing that you've been unwell.

Your creativity inspires me. I love those birds...

My girls are home and the house is busy and noisy and wonderful.

Leslie said...

Happy Christmas to you, dear Jodi, and may the New Year be overflowing with goodness and mercy for you and your family...

Helen said...

We are thinking of you all. Mental health days are great, may there be plenty over the next few weeks :) Merry Christmas! Love from us all.

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