Actually, here in the UK we also used to have a tradition of Twelfth Night Cake, which tradition has now sadly fallen into disuse. I first learned about it when I read The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton, in which the final scenes are set on January 6th and "there was a great deal of left-over twelfth night cake dressed up as trifle". (By the way, that book is an excellent introduction to old English christmas customs altogether.)
English Twelfth Night cake is a dense, spiced fruit cake - you can find a recipe for it here. The inclusion of spices recalled the three kings, who came from the East. Traditionally, a bean was included in the cake, and the finder of the bean became lord of misrule for the evening. This is the recurring bean allusion in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (gosh, this is turning into quite a literary post!)
As I've already eaten quite a lot of christmas cake, I didn't fancy any more like that, so instead I made Nigella's winter plum cake, which is basically an almond cake, with added chopped tinned plums. I've made it before, but never iced it. This time, I added a glace icing using unrefined icing sugar, as a sop to the Twelfth Night / Feast of the Three Kings occasion.
In the photo below, you can see my cake next to our crib, with the three kings added to it to mark epiphany.
I have to go back to work tomorrow, so this really is the end of the holidays.
I knit, I sew, I bake, I crochet. Occasionally I try my hand at other crafts. I juggle paid employment with looking after a family of diverse ages. I try and make something of my garden. My blog is about all these things. Where am I? Trent Valley, UK.
Knitting: Strawberry booties; Pigs in a blanket; Marshmallow bonnet, Kite mittens, Lace ribbon scarf, Wallaby sweater for ds, Felted thistle bag, Slouchy hat for ds, Ice cream shrug, Primrose garden tea cosy, Tardis blanket square, Wee tiny panda, Hydrangea socks, Norwegian stars hat take 2, Mermaid's Song Shawl, Toadstool baby rattle, 4 knitted leaves, Norwegian stars hat, Apple baby hat, Harlequin Scarf, Honey for tea cosy, Secret Garden mittens, Waffle hat, Bluebird of happiness, Mini hats for innocent smoothie bottles x 22
Crochet: Queen Anne's lace crochet scarf, 4 5 ins crochet blanket squares, rose corsage
Sewing: Ladybird coin purse, Toadstool pouch, Patchwork tea party apron
Other: Jewelled mirror
Completed objects 2013
Knitting: Yorkshire landscape tea cosy, Flowered bag, Chilled wine garb, Flying keys for Harry Potter, Super easy mitts, Lady Tryamour socks, London skyline hat, Festival boot toppers, Toadstool bootees, Hawkmoth laceweight sweater, Bluebell hat, Golden baby bootees, Raspberry slouch socks, quiddy bunny, pint-sized pine, mini legwarmers, striped strawberry socks, little owl
Knitting: fly agaric cushion, Blossom shawl, blue baby bootees, cupcake baby hat, squares x2 for community blanket, gingerbread man, Alice's mittens #2, strawberry tea cosy, butterflies and vine hat, 2 Tiffany baby hats, Puerperium baby cardigan, New York koigu scarf, blue summer top, white Ravenclaw rabbit, 2 teeny tiny owl puffs, Alice's mittens a la Tim Burton, little hedgehog, flower baby hat, mini moon, owls socks, hermione's everyday socks, liesl cardigan, pleated purse, super simple mitts, cabled kindle cosy, ravenclaw socks, bees tea cosy, little house washcloth, queen of hearts socks, 3x stashdown washcloths
Crochet: 2 gingerbread xmas decorations, mini top hat, amanita muscaria, votive cover, 10 teeny crochet hearts, rose lavender sachet, coffee cup, robin, pea pod, watermelon slice coin purse, Ravenclaw minisocks, Amigurumi angry bird, green eggs and ham, chocolate cake slice, neapolitan ice cream sandwich, toaster pastry, seastar washcloth, apple keyring tags
Sewing: 3 flower pin cushions, apple tree cushion, woodland crochet hooks case, gingham pj shorts, tiled tree cushion, rainbow quilt, posh pants laundry bag, apples dpns roll
Finished Objects 2011
Sewing: superdry cushion, green apples cushion, sleepy squirrels cushion, sleepy squirrel hottie cover, apple dapple cushion, hearts sampler cushion, hearts cross stitch kit, slice of lime purse, little house coasters x2
Crochet: ickle snowmen, camper van doorstop, apple potholders, watermelon slice coin purses, roses granny squares x2, loveheart bag, Rapunzel plaited scarf, facial cleansing pads, 2x pot pourri sachets, a summery handbag, fruit salad of purses (3), apple tawashis, camera cozy, Gryffindor bookscarf (crochet), Work your way Up crochet bag, amigurumi Mario mushroom
Knitting: pinwheel purse, candy cane baby hat and bootees, owl baby hat, french press cozy, Yoshi washi, leafy green mittens, baby berry hat and bootees, knitted lace basket edging, Trevor the toad, cabled armwarmers, Gryffindor cricket tea-cosy, Violetta jacket, Ravenclaw bookscarf, playful stripes baby set, springtime bunny, lace bookmark, rainbow marley baby hat, blackberry shawl, loveheart washcloth, 2 knitted valentine's hearts, red apple socks, Irish hiking scarf for dh, apple baby hat, woodland mittens, rosebud toddler hat, hearts wash set.
Completed items 2010
Knitting: Blue and white washcloth, Knitted lace lavender bag, Freddie's bunny, The Easiest Mitts in the World, Skier's chullo, Ds's Where's Wally hat, Blackberry tea cosy, Snowflakes xmas stocking, Upside -down flower baby hat, Cream tea time cosy, Snowflake fingerless mitts #2, Cambridge mitts, Rosy baby mittens, Embroidered baby shoes, 4 washcloths, chocolate socks, cheery skulls baby hat, Snowflake fingerless mitts, Choc-cherry baby cardigan, Regatta Stole, Choc cherry ruffle baby hat, Ziggy Zag baby sweater , Battenberg Slice #2, Bella's Twilight Mittens
Sewing: Red gingham table napkins, Bishop's hat tea cosy, Garden pincushion, Country-style woven quilt, Mountain goats apron for dh, Dash make-up bag, Pocket apron
Knitting: Battenberg Slice tea cosy, Apple Strudel cardigan, Owlings mittens
Sewing: Scented heart stuffie, 2 Zakka bunny zipped cases, Bird applique cushion cover. Home Sweet Home mini-quilt, Ruffle Bag, Pirates shorts for ds, Mermaid pyjama pants, Holiday laundry bags, Outer space duvet set, Tourist Trap Skirt, Matt's camoflage apron, Clothkits doorstop, Scraps drawstring bag, Springtime table mats, Frilled apron, White on white cushions, Chicken tea cosy, Hexagons table runner, Dinosaur blanket, Breezy wrap skirt