Holiday Fruitcakes (No not your family)

Fruitcake (Photo credit: Matthew Bietz)

While lying in bed, during one of those many sleepless nights, I allowed my thoughts to roam where they would. This Christmas Eve morning they meandered to Holidays past.  Not to the people I spent them with, nor to the homes that hosted these many events, but rather to fruitcake.  This is not to be confused with some of the company at these celebrations, often dubbed as fruitcakes, a commentary on their state of mind,  rather the thoughts ran to the traditional, much maligned cake.

Remember those fruitcakes you purchased at the drugstore, prettily encased in a Currier and Ives tin. That weighty cake would last until the next ice age. Sometimes you would store it on top of the refrigerator and re-gift it the following holiday season.  This was acceptable and became part of the family Christmas joke.

I have a confession to make —— sometimes I actually sliced and ate those fruitcakes.  They weren’t half bad.

I don’t know whether it is a viral case of nostalgia, or a slipping of the senses, but I miss fruitcake.  Perhaps you do too?  Following is a recipe I copied from a holiday delights site.  I haven’t tried it yet, but how bad can it be?  Can anything be really terrible with this much rum?  Worse comes to worse you can always gift it.  Enjoy.

HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE                                     

Fruitcake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


     1/8 cup chopped dried cherries

     1/8 cup chopped dried mango

     1/4 cup dried cranberries

     1/4 cup dried currants

     2 tablespoons chopped candied citron

     1/4 cup dark rum

     1/2 cup butter

     1/4 cup packed brown sugar

     1 egg

     1/2 cup all-purpose flour

     1/8 teaspoon baking soda

     1/4 teaspoon salt

     1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

     1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

     2 tablespoons milk

     1/4 cup chopped pecans

     1/4 cup dark rum, divided 

  1. Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6×3-inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
  5. Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.

Newtown Ct.

I would be remiss if I did not offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends and loved ones of the young victims, teachers and administrators of Sandy Hook elementary school.

It is a heartbreaking tragedy that brings tears to our eyes and pain deep into the depth of our soul. 

As a Mother and Grandmother I cannot truly fathom the unthinkable pain, therefore I am at a loss for words of consolation.

To all those who experience personal loss and to our nation, may God give us the strength to endure.


Don’t Stop the World, December 21, 2012

According to the Mayan Calendar the long running show (Life as We Know it) comes to a close on

Cancun - Zona Hotelera. Plaza Kukulkan - Jagua...
Cancun – Zona Hotelera. Plaza Kukulkan – Jaguar at stained glass dome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12/21/2012.  The Mayans predicted this sometime during 250 through 900 AD.  That’s a long time ago.  Hard to be accurate so far before an event.  I guess they figured that since they would pull a disappearing act some twelve hundred years ago it would be a real yuk to stir things up way into the future.  Afterall, no ramifications would be felt by the perpetrators, and it has kept them in the news ad nauseam.  Actually, the Mayans didn’t really disappear, but became assimilated about the time the Spanish showed up.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of modern men and women who are in a frenzy over this prediction.  Some people aren’t sleeping, others spending more money on the holiday season then they would normally.  Still others are taking this wake up call to appreciate and recognize the importance of family and friends.  How we shouldn’t take anyone for granted and savor the time to appreciate the life that we have.

What if the world does end on the twenty-first, have I made the most of the years I’ve had so far?   It’s a great excuse to take stock.  I can think of much wasted time in my past.  Staying angry at people over petty incidents.  Worrying about a few extra pounds and not getting up to dance to a favorite song.  Washing the kitchen floor instead of laying out on a beautiful sunshiny day.  I’m not going to do any of that from the 22nd forward.  Nope, I’m turning over a new leaf. 

I don’t really believe we are interpreting the Mayan prediction correctly. The world will be here rotating on it axis long after I’ve made my own exit.  I’m going to continue to plan and shop for the Holiday Season.  Buy a New Year’s Eve outfit.  Schedule a Vacation.  And catch up with friends, even into 2013.

Perhaps, in the future, I will reconsider anything that does not make the most of my life. Watch out world its time to reinvent myself once again. And, oh yeah, I’m not sending in my Property Tax Payment until after December 21st!


Mayan End Age 12-21-2012 heralds a New Age of spiritual enlightenment

Mayan calender
Mayan Calender “Both the Hopis and Mayans recognize that we are approaching the end of a World Age… In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another. The message they give concerns our making a choice of how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquility. The same theme can be found reflected in the prophecies of many other Native American visionaries from Black Elk to Sun Bear.” — Joseph Robert Jochmans

“An Apocalypse (Greek: “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted.” — Wikipedia

“BIG SUR, Calif. — At twilight, not far from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a Mayan shaman spoke of the return of Kukulkan to dozens of listeners sitting on the floor inside a yurt: As Venus, a planet of special significance to the ancient Mayans, passed directly between the Sun and Earth in June, the forces out there were heralding the return of Kukulkan, the snake deity, and the start of a new age of spiritual enlightenment in 2012.

‘The cosmos is talking to us — we need to listen,’ said the shaman, Miguel Angel Vergara. ‘Kukulkan shines in the infinite. Kukulkan is the sacred energy beating in every atom. Kukulkan is the feathered serpent living in your heart forever.’ ”

New York Times (August 19, 2012)