Saturday November 10th 2007, 2:25 pm

I decided to get ahead this year and make a Christmas cake. This is good going for me as I don’t make this cake every year. The first thing to do of course is putting the dried fruit to soak in brandy. The next job is the ceremonious lining of the baking tin. I really love this part of the job, there aren’t many traditions that I embrace, but in this instance measuring and cutting the greaseproof paper, snipping along the bottom edges so they make 90 degree turns and pushing the bottom circle into place to neaten the whole thing off, is very satisfying. The very best part has to be wrapping the outside of the tin with brown parcel paper and tying it in place with string.
As I hadn’t made a cake last year and have moved house in the interim I had to find the right cake tin. Using the same tin is also an important part of the tradition so I had to rummage around in 2 cupboards and the shed to find the loose bottomed tin, totally backened from years of use and looking like something you wouldn’t dream of buying at a car boot sale because other peoples accumulated yuk is vile but when it is your own it is fine.
Whilst searching for THE tin I came across lots of other tins that I have collected over the years. Gathering them together has been rather shocking, like having to own up to alcoholism after being confronted with your stash of empties. Why is it that so often you don’t have the right tin for the job. That’s it, I’m not going to buy another baking tin ever (one day at a time).