I just spent a lovely morning in Cork stuffing myself with Christmas cake all in aid of a good cause. The Irish Examiner held a Christmas cake baking competition and the results were out standing. We had over 300 people enter and today was the day the people short listed brough their cakes into the office for us all to taste. Darina Allen, Joe McNemee and myself tasted and deliberated and finally picked a winner. It was called "the penny pinching cake' and interestingly contained no butter. All the cakes as well as the sizable amount of money raised went to Vincent de Paul
The decorations below particularly took my eye.
THE IRISH EXAMINER
Each year Christmas seems to steal up on me faster and faster. The nights have been getting longer and the dark winter mornings colder. I am very lucky to live on the edge of Phoenix Park. It is a pleasure to see the seasons passing with the changing leaves, the deer rutting and the first sparkle of frost on a winters morning. The joggers start pulling their hats a little lower over their ears and the dog walkers are rubbing there hands more furiously as they emit little clouds of frosty breath.
Christmas is a welcome blast of colour and warmth in the long dark months that make up an Irish winter. It is very nicely nestled between the golden days of Autumn very slow, languid awakening of Spring.
Before anything else my number one Christmas essential; before the cake or even the turkey, is a roaring fire. The orange flames licking the back of my cold and tired legs, the warm glow and dancing shadows that are thrown around the room, sum up the essence of Christmas.
This year feels more colourful than most with our beautifully designed gift boxes and reams of tinsel.
THE CAKE CAFÉ