The term ‘tender loving care’ (TLC) is frequently used to explain how some dishes are cooked. It is especially applied to slowly cooked stews and similar dishes in which long marinades or pickling are part of the method. But no recipe I am familiar with needs as much TLC as a traditional English Christmas cake. The process from start to finish can take as long as three months of TLC. Baking is not my thing and I have never made a Christmas cake, but on many occasions I have been present when the long procedure is taking place.