Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Traditions – Fruitcake Christmas Cake?

Another tasty holiday tradition is making fruitcake. (Would everyone please stop sniggering about fruitcake! You haven’t had mine; it is not that hard-as-a-rock, candied fruit, fruitcake; it is oh so much better!)  I have considered changing the name to Christmas Cake or Holiday Cake because of the negativity of “fruitcake” but it seems like caving in. So I waffle between the names while trying to have a “your loss” attitude.

Years ago, I would dry my own fruit to use (apricots, plums, raisins), but I no longer do that.  I usually mix the dried fruit and nuts during the Thanksgiving holiday. That allows the brandy to soak into the fruit and nuts for several days; I add more brandy as the fruit soaks it up. This year I was running late so brandy soaking was just 72 hours and then I baked the little gems the other day. Instead of make large loaves, I make cupcake size and mini-cupcake size. And if I’m tired of baking, I also make mini-loaves. They all can be wrapped in Saran wrap, then wrapped again in foil, and frozen. I love thawing a little one in the middle of summer and think of Christmas.

Here’s some pictures of the process.

Dried fruit (apricots, dates, figs, currants, golden raisins, plums) and nuts (walnuts, pecans) soaking in brandy and molasses.

After soaking, add batter.

Mixed batter and fruit/nut combo in cupcake pan, before baking.

Final results (before wrapping) -- yum!!

These are soooooo gooooooood!!   But I need to come up with a name that won’t deter people from trying them.  Any ideas?  I’ll send whoever submits the best name a little bit of heaven (also known as my fruitcake)!  Let’s hear some suggestions.

Traditions – Christmas Breakfast

Ever since I can remember, we have always gone to my aunt and uncle’s house on Christmas morning for brunch. That tradition still continues some 60 years later, except now it is at my mom’s house (step-mom, aunt – see Here’s My Family Tree to figure that one out).

Everyone pitches in for brunch, but the main course is what is affectionately called land goop. (I have always called it land gorp, but have been shown the error of my ways, but I still think gorp sounds more appetizing than goop). My brother Gary is the main chef. Land goop is a kind of omelet, but very heavy-duty. It contains eggs, potato chunks, sausage, and cheese. People fight over land goop; Gary has learned to always make extra to prevent fisticuffs.

Gary cooking land goop/gorp

YUM -- the star of the breakfast show!

Gary’s eldest son, Nick, has been the king french toast maker for several years now. Nick has this down to a science and I think everyone agrees that Nick’s french toast is the best in the world.

Nick making world's best french toast

This year there were 17 for breakfast.

Before the chaos begins.

Let's eat, drink, and be merry!!

Traditions – Countdown to Christmas

Many years ago I made a type of advent calendar for Christmas. Because I was quilting, I used a Christmas tree and placed snowflakes from the sky onto the tree for each day before Christmas. When the tree was full of snowflakes, it was Christmas day!

In the past, I never had trouble with the cats being interested in the dangling snowflakes. But those two cats have gone over the Rainbow Bridge and new kitties have joined the family. It seems as if at least one of them (MeiMei, wouldn’t you know) wants to speed up the process. She thinks if the snowflakes get on the tree faster, it will be Christmas sooner.  Darn kitty is messing with my traditions!

Advent tree with only a few snowflakes left until Christmas

MeiMei helping with snowflakes.