Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Christmas Preparations -- Dundees and Oranges

Early in November, we always make the Dundee cakes
That is what mother's English friend and neighbor, Mrs. Boland did
And it's Mrs. Boland's recipe for Dundee cake.

They need time to "mellow" she always said
And she put them in the freezer
(Although I'm sure in the old days the cold buttery would have been the perfect storage place
for these simple little fruitcakes)

Today I made mine!

Somehow I got two baby bundts as well as the four mini pans I usually make!

The cakes in 2011

And in 2012

Alas, I didn't make them last year -- we were in Italy!
(I guess I should have made some pane tone!)

As Mrs. Boland did, so do we,

We celebrate St. Nicholas Day at Linderhof
December 6
(which makes my birthday, December 5, St. Nicholas Eve!
I think that's why St. Nicholas Day is so special to me!)

And on St. Nicholas Day
We take a Dundee Cake from the freezer

And serve it for afternoon tea.
If we have company for St. Nicholas Day tea, so much the better!

And Christmas preparation traditions continue . . . 

Today we bought 10 pounds of oranges

Which between now and Thanksgiving,
we'll stud with cloves
and let marinate in a spice mixture

Ready for Christmas decorating
And after, ready to scent the clothes in our drawers.

I make them every year and I love how in November and early December,
the house smells of orange and cloves and cinnamon!

A scent that you can't really get from a candle!

The Dundee Cakes are out of the oven and cooling.
I shall wrap them in foil and stick them in the freezer
Where they shall age until St. Nicholas Day.
When we'll eat our first one.
The rest will be our December tea fare.


megan said...

Martha, what is the spice that you put them in and for how long?

ellen b. said...

Oh my, I guess I should make a Dundee cake and take it out on December 6th since this is a day to celebrate St. Nicholas Day and our wedding anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Megan -- if you follow my blog, I'll share the whole pomander process. But the spices are orris root, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger -- normal "fall" spices! Mixed together and the balls are rolled in it.

Bernideen said...


Lottie said...

I'm for anything you cook ahead! These cakes look delicious!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
megan said...

Martha, I have been reading your blog for years, sorry I forgot to check the follow. That is remedied now.

Anonymous said...

Great Megan! You'll see the pomanders come together during November!

Bernideen said...

I feel like I van smell this - wonderful too!

Lottie said...

Martha, we looked at several recipes for Dundee cakes on the internet and settled on one. My husband made them and we love them!
Thank you for sharing this tradition with us!