Hot and Cross and Cake

Christmas cakes are a sore subject in my house.

I once made my own by steeping dried fruit in booze beginning in February and squishing it monthly with my feet until November  to make it good and moist and potent.  I grew  my own marzipan for it, and actually signed up for  an evening  class called “Decorating Your Christmas Cake”. That might be the most embarrassing fact I have ever admitted about myself on this blog.

This ‘class’ turned out to be a care in the community event for Bonne Marche enthusiasts and hormonal homemakers who had been banned from the  Women’s Institute. It was run along military lines by a woman called Moira who was wearing a plaid car blanket shaped into an ankle length frock, and black glasses with such enormous frames I thought they were a dressing up joke. But to give Moira her due she could make reindeers with little testicles and robins with teeny eyelashes and anything at all out of icing that would make a Christmas Cake memorable.

She tut tutted when she saw my very best effort which she described, cruelly I thought, as a ” Oh! A Snowman-slash -Alien”. My children piddled themselves laughing when I showed it to them and my husband forgot what it was decorated with because he was pissed after half a slice.

Anyway, that rebuff is why I have since  bought  Christmas Cakes. This year I paid Tesco £12 for one. It came out of the cupboard yesterday and looked very nice on the plate. I took a knife to cut a slice but couldn’t. The icing was like cement. I handed the knife to my big strong husband who broke a sweat trying to get into the thing. A la wedding we tried to do it together, four hands one knife,  but  still no joy. Finally, using a knife, his Leatherman and an electric screwdriver he got a bit of the icing off by climbing onto the worktop and attacking it from above. We put a little it in our mouths and it was like trying to eat a bit of paving slab.

Today in Tesco the Customer Services Assistant told me that I couldn’t have a refund because there was some icing missing off the cake, which she took as evidence that it had been eaten. I had a mini fanny attack (arm waving and speed talking) and she realised she needed to get rid of me – quick. I was offered credit vouchers because I had no receipt.”Who keeps grocery receipts?” I shouted and she pointed at the queue behind me, all holding them.

I growled that the cake was faulty and that I wanted my money, the same money I had paid for the concrete cake, returned. She asked when I had bought the Christmas cake. 22nd December was the correct answer but to prove how pissed off I was  I told her “Easter.”  She typed ‘Easter’ into her computer thingy and handed me £3, the cake cum doorstop’s current selling price. I was £9  down.

Pointed sarcasm is wasted when you can buy Hot Cross Buns in January.

6 comments to Hot and Cross and Cake

  • Very funny account. You can’t half paint a picture.

  • Jan

    Hilarious. I have a vivid picture in my head now of you and your husband attacking that icing.

  • Industrial strength icing seems to be an industry standard. Being the sole Xmas cake fancier in our household (Tunis Cake and Stollen are the two seasonal cakies that unite Pickles Tower in approval) I purchased a decorated Christmas cake form Messrs Marks and Spencer. Decorated with the outline of a Christmas Tree, decorated with small silver balls.

    Note. The silver balls are not made of silver. Nor yet do they seem to be made of sugar. No, they are those tiny little ball bearings that you find when you dismantle the front forks of your pushbike (all males dismantle bicycle front forks at least once in their lives – it is a genetic imperative) and they bl**dy hurt when you bite on them. If my teeth hadn’t already been strengthened by the exercise gainied gnawing through the plaster of paris outer layer to reach the golden marzipan beneath, I’d probably be down at dentists now looking for another crown or two.

  • Julie Pereira

    my dentist says he thanks god for muesli, nuts and Christmas cake as that gives him so much work replacing damaged gnashers. I can’t believe Tesco would only offer you £3 – what a insult! May be next Christmas try making mince pies or stollen and rediscover your “inner Delia”.

  • Debbie

    I’m crying with laughter and my boss (the other one) is very interested to know what’s so funny!

    Having just read Julie’s comment about the stollen – don’t buy them from Poundland. We had two in the office and could’ve been classed as deadly weapons they were so hard.

  • Anna May

    Mmmmn I’m wondering whether Christms cake should be dunked in hot tea for best eating ?
    Anna May x