Country Cook News – November 15, 2012

Hi Everyone!

When I was growing up, fruitcake was enjoyed mostly by grown ups around the holidays. It seemed to be an adult treat; a desire for the fruit-filled doorstop escaped me entirely. My mom, her friends and my aunts looked forward to gathering in the kitchen to make fruitcake, much like we kids longed for frosted sugar cookies and Russian Tea Cakes. I remember fruitcakes being baked in late November, wrapped in brandy soaked cheesecloth, and then tucked away in obscure places around the house to “season.” Years passed before I realized I could make fruitcake without citron, raisins or something as questionable looking as candied fruit mix. I started experimenting and came up with Grandma B.’s Fruitcake. Fruitcake has become an integral part of the holidays for me, partially because it’s full of my own made-to-order ingredients while filling my house and my heart with the sweet and fruity, spicy fragrance of the holidays.

Magnolia Days | Good Food, Wine, Gardening & Life in the South is a comfortable, gracious site, just like one would expect coming out of the south. Site creator, Renee Dobbs, says.  “I’m always on the search for the next great recipe to make, delicious wine to taste, new restaurant to try, beautiful flowers to plant, and nice places to visit. I also exercise and try to eat healthy.” Renee’s recipes range from simple for beginning cooks to more complicated choices for those who already know their way around the kitchen and much in between. Renee does a nice job of covering Cabernet Souvignon to Zinfandel, gardening that focuses on fall, winter, spring and summer flowers and of course recipes like Cranberry Pudding with Vanilla Sauce that add extra dimension and “flavor” to the Magnolia Days site.
~~Rinse egg bowls or measuring cups with cold water after use for easier cleanup. Hot water cooks egg residue onto surface.

~~ Store brown sugar with a slice of fresh apple to keep it from hardening.

CB’s Classic Cranberry Sauce: 1 pound fresh cranberries, washed, stemmed and sorted, 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional), 1 1/2 cups orange marmalade, 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. Combine cranberries and sugar in a large roasting pan; cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Stir twice during baking time. Remove from oven; stir in cinnamon, marmalade and chopped nuts. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps in refrigerator up to 8 weeks. Yield: 6 to 8 cups
A free Thanksgiving e-book. Comfy in the Kitchen on Thanksgiving. I’ve got my taste buds set for the Low-fat Pumpkin Trifle on page 58.
Slash your stroke risk. Fruit with white flesh, like apples, reduces your stroke risk by up to 52%, Dutch studies found. Woman’s World Magazine, October 22, 2012, Number 43.

Ann asked: I love fruitcake. What are your favorite recipes?

My answer: I have posted my favorite fruitcake recipe on my blog this week. Your question is timely because if we want our fruitcake to languish in rum or brandy soaked cheesecloth for a month or so before slicing it, we need to check the liquor levels, buy the ingredients and start baking. Another recipe for Applesauce Fruitcake with Honey you might enjoy is on my blog and in my apple cookbook Sweet Apple Temptations.  This recipe for fruitcake is especially moist because it’s made with applesauce and honey. I believe this recipe is close to the way fruitcake was originally made by our great grandmothers.Thank you, Ann, for your question and your interest in Ask Cynthia a Question. Happy Holidays!

Until next time…

Cynthia Briggs
Author of books, stories and recipes that come from the heart.

Bumper Crop: Beginning w/ Apples
Now available at the Kindle Bookstore
Pork Chops & Applesauce
Sweet Apple Temptations


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