· Creole Christmas Cake ·
In late November my friend in Winchester, England, told me about Stir Up Sunday.
“It’s sort of a Christian festival or at least it’s connected with Christmas,” he told me.
“It’s always the last Sunday before the start of Advent and the basic idea is that the whole family get together to help bake a Christmas cake or pudding. Each person has to help stir the mix and then at Christmas they all eat what they made.”
“Nice,” I commented. “Will Emmie and Darius be stirring with you and Roz?”
“No, it will be just me, Roz is with her parents helping with Christmas shopping!”
“Both cakes will have marzipan added then icing. They need to be ‘fed’ every so often with brandy to keep them moist. Yippee!”
“So, a brandy sponge cake?” I inquired.
“It’s actually called a Creole Christmas Cake and contains sultanas, raisins, mixed nuts, prunes, cherry, and much else including brandy, port and cherry brandy. One slice is enough to put you over the alcohol limit.”
Two Weeks Ago
I messaged into my phone: “You never reported on the tastiness of your drunken cake . . . hiccup!”
“Ha. The drunken Christmas cake!” replied Sean. “Sounds like a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
“Traditionally the cake is eaten on the afternoon or evening of Christmas Day although by then everyone is completely stuffed by lunch so only a little is eaten, usually with a good old English cup of tea or possibly a glass of sherry.”
Sean’s message got me thinking. I wasn’t going to write a mystery, but we had exchanged more than enough information for a short-short story. In other words, a blog!
Today: Creative Writing
My head was throbbing! My eyelids refused to stay open. My hands and feet were cold and wet.
“Where am I?” I asked out loud into the semi-darkness, my eyes peering through slits, aware of the light from a distant lamp post on a solitary street in a foreign land.
I recalled the pleasing feast with my English friends. After my last bite of the shared Christmas meal, I had proclaimed to Roz, Sean, and the children: “Thank you so much for inviting me! The meal was delicious! I’m stuffed.”
But now, on the street, sitting in the gutter, I was wet, cold, and smelled of vomit. And, I was missing a shoe.
I wondered if the dessert, the Creole Christmas Cake, had disagreed with my stomach. Had I overeaten?
Again, my head pounded. My mouth was as dry as cotton despite the wintry air and light snow. My lips felt chapped and I couldn’t swallow.
Gradually, I recalled being asked by my good friend Sean, “Would you like another slice of Christmas cake? I made it myself without supervision.”
I said, “Yes, thank you, this is worth celebrating.”
I had reasoned that the day was special, holy, one worth honoring, and it was my one-year anniversary of sobriety.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!