I'm not sure how things came together, but in between the chaos of the phones ringing constantly for three days and an endless procession of people in and out and through our house, I managed to decorate the cake and make (with a little help from my Mum) some mince pies.
My Italian Renaissance fruity extravaganza just seemed to happen unplanned! Using things that I found in the kitchen cupboard and some marzipan fruit I bought from a local sweet shop all stuck together and glazed with home-made crab apple jelly. It needed something else – Bay leaves trimmed off the branches we'd cut for decorations and ready to use in the kitchen; Mum had the idea of dipping the leaves in egg-white left over from the pastry making and then in crushed preserving sugar and drying them in a low oven. I found a scrunched up piece of ribbon, after ironing it was just right for the finishing touch!
The big lesson I've learnt this week is that Christmas happens whether you've stressed over comparing Delia's recipe with Nigella's or not. The goose is cooking and I've delegated vegetable preparation to others – so, cheers everyone! Here's to a peaceful and happy Christmas Day.
Hope the cake tastes as good as it looks :-)