One nightmare holiday so long ago it makes my brain hurt thinking about it – when rotary dial phones were still alive and pay phones were the equal of calling someone on the fly, we thought making homemade fruit cakes would be a great idea for holiday gifts. Right after Thanksgiving we bought all the ingredients. That we had to have an adult buy the booze for us since we were not yet 21 years old didn’t even make us flinch. And yes, these were the ancient days when 18 was still a child according to the law. I think this might be the only time the in-laws went out and bought liquor for us on purpose.
We chopped and soaked and baked loaf after loaf of fruitcake and drowned them in cheap brandy and rum, wrapping them in towels and sealing them in plastic bags. Every few days from Thanksgiving to right before Christmas we would pour more Brandy and Rum over them wrapping them back up in their liquor soaked towels to cure some more. I bet our place stank like a pub by then, but we were immune and no doubt a bit snockered on the fumes.
Finally, the holiday arrived and we gifted everyone we knew with a loaf of homemade fruitcake loaf. Oddly, some of those people no longer send us holiday cards – we’ve lost touch. I never braved constructing a fruitcake again. That is, until now. Thumbing through some Ina Garten TiVo episodes of Barefoot Contessa, I almost deleted this episode, but thankfully stayed tuned. I’m glad I did because everyone at her fabulous party seemed to be devouring these little goodies. Perhaps soused little fruit cookies were the ticket so I studied the recipe and modified it to be gluten free and slightly more drunken. Continue reading