Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prelude to a Holiday Post

The rich aroma of Grandma Partons Christmas Cake is rising all around me as I pen these words in my kitchen! My late mother-in-laws 125-year-old recipe - which came from her mother - appears below this post. Over the next few weeks, expect more of my favorite Christmas recipes, while over the next few days, watch for some great recipes for American Thanksgiving, which is just around the corner.
It may seem early to start thinking about Christmas, but this dark, rum-and brandy-soaked fruit cake requires at least a month’s aging. I guarantee that this will be the best fruit cake you've ever tasted, Dollinks! It’s extremely heavy (about 16 pounds) and (budget alert!) extremely expensive. In fact, this will be the costliest and most labor-intensive recipe I’ve ever given you, so you may want to cash in a bond or take out a second mortgage if you decide to make it. 
If you ultimately feel this cake requires too much money, energy, and time (which, admittedly, it does), an upcoming blog will soon feature a far less expensive Light Fruit Cake, as well as a deliciously moist, non-alcoholic, Cherry-Almond Holiday Cake I make each festive season. Ill also blog some melt-in-your-mouth shortbread and some holiday candies and fudge, all of which are especially easy to prepare. I try to start my holiday baking early, because I enjoy sending faraway friends I cherish and miss small gift assortments of home-baking. I also like trying new recipes, and would be delighted to try your holiday favorites, too! To share a holiday recipe or story that’s meaningful to you, drop me a line at Your e-mail address will remain private and confidential: I do not sell, lend, or otherwise distribute or share readers’ e-mail addresses.
One final note: Our family celebrates Christmas, but I’m mindful and respectful that many others do not. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid-al-Adha, or simply celebrate the everyday miracle of life, hold your family and friends close. Special occasions often call for special celebrations and special foods: Share what you have, no matter how modest or small it may be. Most importantly, share yourself. Your life will be richer and happier for it, particularly if you reach across cultures to do so.
And now I must take these heavy, fragrant cakes from the oven, and do wickedly wonderful things to them, like soaking them in still more booze! I hope you’ll salivate as you read the gorgeous recipe that appears below - and I hope many of you will prepare it! Happy cooking, Dollinks!  xox  Nicole

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