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Dear Readers and faithful friends,

After a number of years of wonderful blogging, this blog has effectively become dormant - except for occasional updates regarding my book, MAXDOG. I have left this blog as a legacy to my dog and a place of sanctuary where we can reflect upon his life. Take your time, peruse the pages spanning Max's 18 months in cyberspace. Feel refreshed and uplifted because his story is an amazing one of..."LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX!"
My activities have now moved on to my new blog entitled "LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX". Please join me there where you can read about my family and canine companions. I also invite you to visit MAXDOG's FANPAGE on FACEBOOK. You can follow the specific links by clicking below:

* MAXDOG, the book: click HERE

If you would like to follow me on a deeper, spiritual level, then I invite you to visit my more personal blog:

May God bless you and thank you for following me!


Friday, December 11, 2009


MAXDOG here...

Yes Okay, my personal take is that Christmas time is really a time to chill!!!

I have taken up the task with my own special vigour!

Yes, dear fur-friends, are you practicing your 'chilling'?!?

(and I don't mean the cold kind!)

While I am practicing, Mom is getting on with her special Christmas preparations. I know this season...she's gonna be trapped in her kitchen - baking delicious delectables and spiking my olfactory sensors!

I know she has a special story around our family's Christmas cake routine, so I've included it today. This is meant as an inspiration to all our humans...
Hope you like it!


Christmas on my childhood's farm meant "family" and "togetherness". The baking of our traditional Christmas cake was part of the season's task but it took many days to achieve. We lived a simple life and since money was tight, we were frugal with catering for our needs. My dad had also contributed by constructing a specially designed baking-box for our Christmas cake.

The varying ingredients for our cake were specially ordered from our local supplier. Spices too were specially gathered and selected for the event. We carefully lined Dad's baking 'box' with layers of brown paper and tin foil. When it came to the mixing and baking of the cake, the entire family congregated in the old farm kitchen to participate.

Some of us were responsible for the wood fire and others for the cake tin's lining. Some were charged with the mixing and some to ensure the correct ingredients and quantities were added. It was an enriching family affair, permeated with comforting aromas of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Later in my life I got married and carried the tradition into our new household. At first it was only the two of us. This meant really hard work since the recipe had plently of ingredients and without a large electric mixer, became quite a physical challenge. Nevertheless, the "togetherness" of the event was affirmed as a viable tradition.

It was a time of relationship building and when our children came along, it morphed into a time of communal fun, sharing and relaxing. Aromas in the kitchen - again of cloves, ginger, cinnamon and the like - became associated with happiness and goodwill.

As the years went by and friends were drawn into our household, the "Christmas Cake" occasion remained a highlight. Indeed when our daughters now bring any potential suitors into our household, they are encouraged to "Undergo the Christmas Cake Test!".

This "test" means that they will be responsible for the actual mixing of the cake (no electric mixers allowed!) while everyone else throws in the various ingredients. As onlookers we are entertained by watching their purposeful angst, their biceps bulging and the 'glow' on their faces. Their endeavours are usually punctuated with laughter and our light-hearted teasing. It isn't really a "Test", but rather an acknowledgement of the importance of them in our lives. And again... the aromas of the cake are always associated with goodwill.

I place high value on the "home" in our lives and my own life's mission has been to follow and encourage this cause. The Christmas Cake has become symbolic of this value to me and it echo's the importance of preserving the sanctity of our homes.

Today, I would very much like to share the recipe for our own 'traditional' Christmas cake with you. I will be buying the ingredients today and we will be baking this weekend - infusing our home with our own special tradition.

May I encourage you too to try this Christmas Cake occasion in your own home? Maybe it could also become a symbol of your togetherness and value of your loved ones.

Here is the recipe:



Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well all the time. Add flour gradually. Mix bicarb with a little milk and add this to all the spices, fruit, brandy and well beaten egg whites.

Line cake tin with foil and greased paper.
Bake about 3 hours (160-180C)
Enjoy the time together!!!


Hey thanks Mom...sounds delicious...but I want to play ball now!!!

To all my furry friends and their humans:

Have a happy, family filled weekend!!!



Anya said...

Such a touching story
my mommy loves it Max :-)
Thanks for the recept we will try it and let you know or its yummie....
Kareltje =^.^=

Tanuki Maxx said...

Beautiful tale there Max, thanks for sharing it with us!!
Mommy's so happy about the cake recipe and she's gonna try to make it! yumster!! Cheers to your mommy for putting it up!
Have a great weekend!!

Maxx & Mommy

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a wonderful story and a great tradition!
Your mom's Christmas cake sounds so yummy, Max! Thank you so much for the recipe!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

kks said...

what a fun tradition!
wishing we had some of your warm weather....i can't complain! i wished for snow!!

SGR said...

Woof! Great way to chill. Your mom's recipe sure taste YUMMY ... Thanks for sharing. Just want to wish you and your family Happy Holidays. I just posted my last post for the year. We are going on a long Holiday break. Lots of Golden Holiday Woofs, Sugar.

houndstooth said...

That cake sounds delicious! I wonder if I can get Dad to stir it...


houndstooth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mango said...

What? No livers? What kind of cake is that?


Ina in Alaska said...

What a beautiful family tradition. May you enjoy your special memories of your dear mother this season while baking the Christmas Cake.

We will be baking cookies to share with the neighbors this weekend. Many hugs and joy to you xoxo

The OP Pack said...

We are chillin here this morning - chilly outside but oh so toasty warm inside. Your Christmas cake sounds so delicious - thanks for sharing the recipe.

Happy Friday, the OP Pack

KB said...

'Chilling out' is exactly what we need around here - but close to the fireplace!!

I love your story - it's what Christmas is really about, family time together and traditions.

Don't tell Max, but R is trying to peek at the Tammy photo from behind me :)

You've been through so much lately but seem to be finding your way through it. I'm so glad that Max is healthy and happy. What a wonderful dog he is!

pam said...

Yes Max Dog we are chillin. But it's because of the cold here in Michigan. Brrrrr...

That cake sound really good. Perhaps you could send three pieces to me.

Bobo (but none fer Meja or mommy)

Samantha said...

Great post, full of warmth and family traditions - most of what Christmas means to us too. Love the story of your Christmas cake - how you helped make it as a girl - very touching. And the fact that you shared it with us is very generous - I can see what a job it must be to mix without electricity!!! Yummy and yummalicious smells from your kitchen this weekend! We are baking cookies with granddaughters this weekend! Look forward to that! Way to chill, Max!
HUgs xo

Kryna said...

I love that first picture of Max! He looks so sweet...I think I want a puppy. :)

Nika + PARKER said...

Thanks for sharing!!! Oh and the photos of Max...he's a cutie!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Tank woo fur sharing the special khristmas khake story and recipe!

Mom says she'll eat my pieces since the raisins would not be good fur me!

Happy Weekend to our pals is SA!


Paco,Milo, Maya and mommy Simona said...

what a wonderful story....
thanks for sharing...
your family is soooooooooooooooooooo sweet!!!!
And with lots of special traditions!!!
Great way to chill!!!!!
We loved your mommy's recipe!!!
Sure taste soooooooooo yummyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!
Hope our mommy would like to prepare it for us soon!!!!
We loved your pics Dear MAx!!!!
You look soooooooooooooooo comfy and happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you warm our hearts each time we read your posts!!!
Thanks a lot dear friends!!!!
WE LOVE YOU A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sweet kisses and licks

YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

Mom said great story and the recipe sounds delicious. Thanks fur sharing.
Max, we like you chill posts. You are right, Christmas time is a time to chill.
Happy Chillin'!

Sam & June

Sierra Rose said...

Thank you! That was a wonderful post, and we can smell those aromas from here!
Traditions are such amazing family connections...and your cake baking sounds like so much joy.

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose and mom

Benny and Lily said...

Yummy recipe. Wait right there Max. Mom should be dropping something BOL
We love your close up picture
Benny & Lily

Lorenza said...

Hi, Max and Mom!
Thanks for sharing the beautiful story of your cake!
And the recipe too!
Now... go and play ball!
Kisses and hugs

Mack said...

Hi Max!

Greetings from Texas, U.S.A.!!
We just love the pic of you with your Santa hat on!

Happy Chillin'!

Piappies World said...

Hi there Maxdog,

Thank for sharing this great post and the recipe as well.

By the way, you look so handsome with the Santa hat in our previous post.

We hope you are having a great weekend.

-Scrappy, Bullet & the Piappies

Piappies World said...

Hi there Maxdog,

Thank for sharing this great post and the recipe as well.

By the way, you look so handsome with the Santa hat in our previous post.

We hope you are having a great weekend.

-Scrappy, Bullet & the Piappies

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

Hey Max Dude, that cake sounds divine! I hope you get a taste! :-)


caboval said...

What a lovely tradition! Do you get a bite Max?? Hugs Joey and Kealani

JD and Max said...

Hi Max - we've been loving all your Christmas posts, we're sorry to say it (as we hope to never wear one ourselves - he he!) but you sure do look adorable in a Santa hat!

Oh - and we wanted to say that we loved the giraffe that you sent Murray, what a wonderful gift, sending such happy cuddles!

We think the Christmas cake tradition you have is wonderful, we loved reading about it!

Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

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Farley said...

Max, you are adorable when your chillin' especially your jowls drooping to the side :)

Kasha The Dainty Great Dane said...

Hi Maxdog,

Love your "chillin" pictures...it's amazing you can still be chillin in SA when it's so nice and warm there....as you know I am really chillin here because of the winter weather. I have a picture similar to one of your chillin' pics...I'll have mom post it for you to see later today.

The Christmas Cake sounds like a wonderful tradition and very yummy.

Have a good day.

AARF Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

Thor said...

What lovely story Max! Thanks for sharing. And the recipe too! Yummy!
Great poses!

Clive said...

Hi Max

We really enjoyed that post and reading about your Mom's Christmas cake recipe.

We have our Christmas cake and puddings made now for the past few weeks - very important tradition for us too - Murray's Mom wants the NSLM and his sister to remember the smells and experience of Christmas baking just as she remembers baking with her Mom many years ago.

love and woofs

TwoSpecialWires said...

Your Christmas cake sounds delicious, and Max, your floppy (relaxed) jowls look like they could stand some chewing sometime in the next few days. Or at least some ball munching exercise. We hope you are a good taste tester - at least for itty bitty tastes. If not, we could fill in or maybe even teach you....

Jake and Fergi xxoo

ocmist said...

The story is wonderful and thanks so much for sharing a very special part of your family's lives with us all! The recipe sounds interesting, but Mom wants to know what kind of "peel"... orange, lemon, lime? and what is a Sultana? The rest of it sounds so good...

Oh, by the way, we got some spamming too and Mom just goes back in and removes their comment. Blogger lets you do that.