December 27th National Fruitcake Day

Boy, doesn’t that look yummy! It is chocked full of everything you can imagine and dripping with sugar… and if done right, dripping with whiskey as well! Fruitcake is something handed down from family to family, in some cases the same fruitcake year after year. I knew a man who kept the same old fruitcake alive for nearly ten years handing it down to family members after adding a little more whiskey to it. He would always end up with it again the next year. Eventually the bread part of it began to mold and he had to throw it away. I don’t really know anyone who likes fruitcake, I mean… it’s not bad but one slice is enough for an entire year. It is commonly given as a gift to someone you have no idea what else to give. That way, they can give it to someone who has no idea what someone else would like either!

How to celebrate – Give a fruitcake to someone this year. Try a slice of fruitcake this year. Make a celebration out of burying your fruitcake in the back yard.

October 20th National Brandied Fruit Day

If you like brandy and you like fruit, today is your day. It’s one of those rare times when you can eat healthy and get drunk at the same time. The nice thing about brandy is that it really doesn’t effect the fruit’s taste all that much. Okay so maybe it does but if you have enough of it nothing really matters.

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You can use any type of fruit, well maybe not bananas, but any berry. A banana would soak up too much brandy. If you want to brandy your fruit, here’s a recipe. But isn’t fruit cake actually brandied fruit? Or maybe whiskied fruit. (There is no such word as wiskied)

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No one has claimed Brandied Fruit Day, probably because they were to drunk to remember they created it. Peaches and pears, raspberries and blueberries and yes if your really want to use bananas you can but they might be a little mushy.

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It’s a great way to pass  the holidays coming up. And if any one ever asks if you’ve been drinking you can say no without lying. And when you add the brandy, it will last for next to forever! What’s the holidays without a little holiday cheer!

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How to celebrate – Brandy some fruit for you and your family. (No minors please) Remember brandy will burn so if you want some flaming dish, you got it! Make sure yo use a decent brandy, if you don’t like the brandy by itself you probably won’t like the brandied fruit either.

December 27th National Fruitcake Day

There are so many wonderful traditions involved with Christmas. The Christmas Tree, Decorations, Presents… the Fruitcake. Okay, well maybe not the fruitcake but it can be really good if you soak it for a few years in brandy! Some choose to use wine! I’ve even had a piece with white lightning that took me a couple of years to recover from.

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The fruitcake has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. I believe a few of the originals still exist! Back then, they used pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins blended into a barley mix. I’m not sure how popular it was but it lasted longer than the Empire did!

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It carried over into the the Middle Ages (perhaps as shields at times for the Knights), but they added fruit, honey and various spices. The fruit had been preserved so that it could be used months after the season had ended.

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As sugar became more available in Europe from the American colonies, the fruit cake became more popular during the 16th century. The recipes began to stabilize and by 1913 the fruit cake became a mail order item. It was a good gift because it could be sent in July and received in December and still be considered fresh! In 1935 the phrase “Nutty as a fruitcake” came into use as companies loaded up the fruitcake with cheap nuts. It wasn’t really any better but it was nutty! Apparently even then people who liked fruitcake were considered a little odd.

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And now we have even turned them into cookies. Wow, I wonder if they last a really, really long time too!?! Well, fruitcake can be good… maybe not a lot of it in one sitting. I know one family who passed around a fruitcake for nearly 10 years, each recipient adding a little more whiskey to it each year until they finally ate it (they ran out of family members to pass it on to). No one remembers how that night ended but they do remember finishing the cake to the very last drop!

How to celebrate – Make your own fruitcake, maybe using the recipe provided. Most fruitcakes are not served with alcohol… find out why? Start your own tradition of handing down the fruitcake to the next generation.

October 20th Brandied Fruit Day

Brandy has existed since sometime in the 12th century. Fruit has been around since… well, forever. It’s only natural that the two should get together. Of course, you need to add a little sugar but then you really can add that to practically anything.

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It’s generally used as a topping for pies or ice cream. (Again adding even more sugar to the recipe) The pie, or ice cream, compliment the flavor of the brandied fruit. You can use any type of fruit since brandy is actually made from distilled fermented fruit. Blackberries, raspberries, cherries are among the favorites but you can use peaches or apples or oranges, though I would not suggest prunes but if you want to, why not!

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Though not as traditional as the whiskey soaked fruitcake brandied fruit can be used either in your recipe for fruit cake or to make a cake out of it yourself. After all, the idea is to get the booze into your diet! I remember a story of a man who served a fruit cake every year which no one ever ate. He would break it out the next year adding more whiskey to it to “freshen” it up. Well, after a number of years guests, probably feeling sorry for him, ate the fruitcake. Everyone went home totally snockered!

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Brandied fruit is also used to decorate cookies and add a certain zest to traditional Christmas treats. Here we see red and green cherries as well as pineapple. If you crush them in a glass of milk you will have finally found a way to corrupt a wholesome drink.

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It truly is a treat though, of course you have to like brandy.  Here’s a recipe for you to get started with.

How to celebrate – Try some brandied fruit for yourself. Make up your own dessert using brandied fruit. Try making some brandied vegetables!