Posts Tagged ‘fruitcake’

Merry Xmas (Christmas) To All

ORIGINAL POST:  November 23, 2016

UPDATED:  November 28, 2017

I guess you can say the holiday season is here — trick-or-treating is behind us and we’ve already enjoyed our Thanksgiving feasts.

Our Turkey 2012

People are decorating their homes, writing out Christmas cards, and making holiday gift lists and checking them twice.

Meanwhile, radio stations are transitioning from their tired playlists to treat us with holiday standards while sprinkling in a few new offerings of Christmas musical cheer.

I added one Christmas CD to my collection, “My Kind of Christmas” by Reba McEntire.

REBA

Yet, I know I’ll resort to listening to The Carpenters’ “Christmas Portrait” (1978) , Michael Buble “Christmas” (2011), Mariah Carey “Merry Christmas” (1994), and Reba McEntire’s “Merry Christmas to You” (1987) and “The Secret of Giving:  A Christmas Collection” (1999) over and over again.

I love Christmas music so much that I could listen to it year around.

Christmas is just so magical.  I’m mesmerized by the twinkling of the lights and I love holidays parties. I can’t get enough of the appetizers and the baked goodies — the cookies, fudge and divinity, and even the fruitcake!

funny_fruitcake

Each year, my Christmas cards are mailed the day before Thanksgiving to begin the trek across the country.

Xmas.jpg

I’m smiling now because I’m sure someone has already commented on Facebook where the link to this blog was first posted because I put Xmas in the title line.

I know that many people get their tinsel all twisted (that’s a Christmas way of saying “get their panties in a wad”) when they see “Merry Xmas”!

christ-in-chrismas

They say that writing Xmas takes Christ out of “Christmas”.  After all, he’s the reason for the season!

The whole Christ, Christmas, and Xmas debate got me to thinking.

People get so up in arms about leaving “Christ” in “Christmas”, yet many of those same people claiming to be Christians and living for the Lord can be so hateful and judgmental.

All of a sudden it hit me.  Maybe these same people should take a moment to put Christ back into Christian”! At that point, I decided to write about it and I really thought I was on to something.

As Indiana’s governor, we had Vice President Mike Pence doing all he could do to be discriminatory to LGBT people in his state until businesses started moving out (or threatening to) and it cost Indiana money.

Pence

He’s one of those people — “Christians”.  Note there that “Christians” is in quotation marks. They are the ones that use religion to hate or discriminate — “Christians”.

Then there are those that love and live for the Lord that also love their fellow man for who they are.  They are the true Christians!

As someone who doesn’t believe in “organized religion”, but prays to God and believes in a higher power, I’m all about loving the Lord and trying to live the best life I can.

However, when you “religious freedom” to hate, I don’t think my Lord would like that very much.

pence-gay-marriage

So, when I started putting this together, I did a quick Google image search to add a fun and colorful graphic to the story.

It was then that I found that my whole thought process of putting “Christ” back in “Christian” to off set “Christ” in “Christmas” wasn’t such an original idea!

Christ in Christian.jpg

Here’s the bottom line for me. I never write Xmas in a Christmas card, nor do I type it online (except in today’s blog to drive home a point!).

It has nothing to do with keeping “Christ” in Christmas.

In the same line of thinking, when you go to talk about “Christ” this Christmas, live up to what he was preaching.  Love your fellow man (or woman) whether they live the same way of life as you.

It’s something that I try to do every day and not just at Xmas.  (Ha, I was just seeing if you were still reading.)  I fail and then I just try harder the next time.

Christmas will always be Christmas to me and not Xmas.

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Happy Christmas! Season’s Greetings! Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Krampusnacht!  Happy Yule!  Happy Chalica!

Whatever you celebrate, have a great December and an even better 2017!

christmascocktails

Anthony

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I Have Something In Common With The Future King

This year, I made two cheesecakes.  The first one was lemon.  While it tasted great, the texture was too chewy (the recipe called for too much pudding mix and not enough cream cheese).  My second cheesecake, sweet potato pecan, was much better.  However, I didn’t like the crust.  I hope my third cheesecake (maybe red velvet) will be perfect.

Now that Christmas is near, I started thinking about baking and fruitcake came to mind.  I think I’m one of the very few people who actually loves fruitcake.

funny_fruitcake

I guess that’s not true, because if no one liked it, why would stores have so many to sell at the holidays?

Obviously, I may have good taste.  Sir Paul McCartney orders a fruitcake from cake designer Fiona Cairns each Christmas and, in early 2011, Cairns was tapped to make the royal wedding cake for Prince William and his future bride, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Royal Wedding Fruit CakeWedding CakeRoyal Couple

I’ve made fruitcake a few times over the years.  This past Wednesday, I decided I would make it this year since I read the article about the royal wedding cake.

However, this time,  instead of just following a recipe from a cookbook or online, I devised my own recipe.

Once I developed my recipe, I decided to make four separate fruitcakes.

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For my recipe, I used the pre-packaged fruitcake mix and then I added a combination of pecan, walnuts, and almonds.

 

At that point, I soaked each fruitcake mix and nut mixtures with one-quarter cup of four different liquors.  I used Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey (most people use American bourbon), Amaretto, Apricot Brandy, and Sint Maarten Guavaberry Rum (a Christmas party gift a few years ago from Cindy, Bruce, and Barbara!)

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After letting the mixture marinate in the liquor for more than an hour, I mixed each individual bowl with flour, sugar, eggs, butter, canola oil, cinnamon applesauce, raisins, and vanilla.

I decorated each cake with colored candied pineapple and candied green cherries before baking them.

 

After the fruitcakes came out of the oven, I let them cool before I wrapped them individually.

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Several people have suggested that I write a cookbook.  Maybe one day I will attempt to do that.  For now, I’ll post my fruitcake recipe.

ANTHONY’S FRUITCAKE

8 ounces fruitcake mix

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, and almond mixture)

1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 eggs

1/2 stick melted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour  (most recipes call for self-rising flour, but I wanted my cakes more compact and not fluffy.)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup liquor

Mix fruitcake mix and nuts together and pour in liquor.  Marinate for at least an hour.  Mix together the remaining ingredients with the marinated fruitcake mix/nut/liquor mixture.

Pour into a greased 9″ pie pan.  Bake at 275° for 75 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the fruitcake).

Let cool before you remove the fruitcake from the pan.  (Running a butter knife along the outside of the pan loosens the cake from the pan to prevent it from breaking apart).

BEST.FRUITCAKE.EVER.

Original Deluxe Petites -- Collin Street Bakery

Okay, these may not be the best fruitcake ever, but they are the best that I’ve ever eaten.

Several years ago, my late, dear friend, D’nell (Mom) from Arizona, sent me a box of DeLux Petites, twelve bite-sized fruitcakes from Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.  While pricey, $22.40 for a dozen, they were simply mouth-watering.  I know it has something to do with being “smothered with our secret sweet glaze”, as they describe them on the website.

I’ll glaze my fruitcakes with honey before eating them to see if that is the “secret sweet glaze” and if that isn’t it, I’ll have to order from Collin Street Bakery the next time.

THE EASIEST FRUITCAKE RECIPE EVER

If my recipe seems to be too much work, you have two other options if you want fruitcake.  Buy it at the store or online.  Or, follow this humorous recipe that I found online.

Very Easy Fruitcake Recipe

Bon appetit!

Anthony