November 24, 2003

It’s Starting To Feel a Lot Like Christmas

mom's fruitcake

Amy, gungho Speedy Gonzales that she is, decided to try out the fruitcake that my mom taught us on Sunday. It started out rather bumpily. My heart sank when she showed me the equipment she intended to use: two undersized cake tins, a handheld beater with a somewhat wobbly bowl and � sin of sins� no spatula!

The lumpy dark brown sugar won’t melt, although Amy defensively pointed out that it said “Great for baking!” on the box. After creaming the butter for too long and watching the lumps dance unscathed around the beater, we fished around the creamed butter, hunted them down and smashed them with a spoon.

The egg whites were not rising to the full volume. And to make matters worse, we had to use the rubber paddle from the rice cooker to fold the meringue mixture to the creamed butter.

The oven temperature plunged halfway through baking, and Amy was still so optimistic that I felt I had to prepare her for the worst.

“I hope they rise,” I said, squishing my brows together, as I peered into the oven.

“Don’t say that! Of course they will rise,” was Amy’s reply.

And I’m thinking, why should it? What little air bubbles we incorporate into the egg whites we burst when we mucked around with a rubber paddle. A paddle!

But amazingly, she was right. Everything turned out well. Too well.

I could hardly believe my ears when the guest kept asking for more and more fruitcake. Some had like six slices, I think, I wasn’t counting.

We spiked it with two different types of whisky, grappa, and brandy. Were we trying to establish which one went best with the fruitcake? I don’t know. The conclusion was that they all went very well. And that fruitcake was much more delicious when indiscriminately doused with alchie.

So when your cake looks like it’s headed for the bin, smile, press on and everything’ll be alright. Of course copious amounts of alcohol will help.

Posted by Karen at November 24, 2003 06:03 PM in food & drinks

Cooking stories are always fun :)
Mmm, fruitcake and brandy… I’m coming to visit!

Posted by: Adriano at November 25, 2003 08:30 PM

“A lot” is two words.

Woodge, Persnickety Grammar Jerk

Posted by: Woodge at November 25, 2003 10:14 PM

Ha ha, I knew that, but I couldn’t decide which one to cap, A or Lot?

And I didn’t want to cap A and Lot.

But I think I’ll change it. I thought I could get away with it. Damn!

Oh, thanks for linking my site by the way, Grammer Nazi.

Posted by: Karen at November 25, 2003 10:52 PM

You’re welcome. I find it is one of life’s pleasures to point out the faults in others. Puts me in a Christmassy mood, too! Shoving two words together is not a good way to save on tedious capitalization chores. Tsk! Tsk! Either capitalize everything or maybe leave out the articles and “of.” According to whim. (Go nuts!)

Ya know… I had a Christmas card once (drawn by Edward Gorey) which featured people bringing their holiday fruitcake to a hole in an icy pond. The caption read simply, “Fruitcake.”

Anyway, to me Christmas means cookies! And preferably ginger cookies. Yumptiously good.


Posted by: Woodge at November 26, 2003 01:24 AM

Me, paranoid, neurotic, wannabe writer that I am, now thinks that was your subtle of telling me that fruitcake is one word. And have hurried to change that in the entry.

You’d be interested to know that I’m not the only one who thinks that capitalisation is a waste of resources. Some Swedish administrator got it into his head that using only lowercase for all county documents would save the country 10% on paper costs.

Too bad complaints about legibility caused his decision to be overturned.

Posted by: Karen at November 26, 2003 06:35 PM

Actually, I must confess to missing the fact that you made fruitcake into two words. I feel so ashamed. ~ And I saw that story via the link on your site. Man alive, some Swedes are inte klok (nuts) — I should know… I married one. Anyway, just wanna say that I’m diggin’ your site but it’s makin’ me all hungry! Esurient even.

Posted by: Woodge at November 26, 2003 09:20 PM

The Swedish guy’s recommendation was not to cut capitals, but to use a smaller point size. Poor misunderstood soul.

Posted by: Karen at November 29, 2003 12:41 AM
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