Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Kitchen Is Now Re-opened. Let The Bitchin' Begin! (And The Beginning of Fruitcake Season, As Well)

Well, the campaign is over, no more good girl. It's time to tell it like it really is. But first, a word about fruitcake.

You know, that stuff that only your great-uncle liked, but your grandmother made literally, 20 pounds of every year? Because that was the recipe yield? Well, I want to talk a little bit about it. You see, my grandmother made it, rice pudding, and roast lamb. That was all she could cook. Well, she made soup with the leftover lamb and called it hotpot...

Anyway, I have a son-in-law that really loves fruitcake. He loves the cheap-ass stuff wrapped in clear plastic that is on the shelf with the Little Debby as much as he likes the homemade stuff wrapped in cheesecloth soaked in brandy and aged in a tin for two months. But I want to talk about the latter.

My dad hoarded my gran's brandy-soaked, cheesecloth-wrapped, tin-stored fruitcake. And he kept it in the fridge in the garage; the fridge we stored the beer in and the fridge he fermented the kosher dills and kraut in. So the fruitcake needed a good, tight tin in that fridge. My dad, Bill Kasser, did like his drink. And he had a bedtime snort of about 3 inches, followed by a ever-so-thin slice of that fruitcake, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. He made a 4 pound fruitcake last. 'Til I discovered fruitcake when I was about 16. And that's when he started making it, using Ann Gillan's recipe, which I will share tomorrow. But this is what you will need:

About 4 pounds of your favorite glace'd fruit. I use cherries, pineapple, golden raisins and orange peel. No figs, no currants, no lemon peel, no angelica and no citron. But feel free to use that shit if you want to.

About 2 pounds of nuts. I like pecans since I married a Texan, but walnuts work.

About 4 cups of middlin' brandy. You can use rum, but I think it overpowers the fruit, especially the dark rum.

About 2 pounds of butter.

Your favorite spices - easy on the cinnamon - and include the nutmeg.

And literally, your sterilized kitchen sink. Also, take out all your loaf and tube pans. Wash them, dry them well.

Oh, I forgot the cheesecloth.

No, it's not too early, trust me on this!

See you tomorrow.

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