My husband and I used to make fruitcake, and mincemeat pie, the ultimate Holiday delicacies. I used to make 4-5 different kinds of cookies and gingerbread houses and I miss it! I don’t miss it enough to start again but I am feeling a bit nostalgic that these Holiday treats no longer come out of my kitchen.
The fruitcake was really all my husband. He would start before Halloween and candy his own fruits. Then right after Halloween he would make the cakes in small loaf pans. They were lovingly wrapped in cheesecloth and weekly some alcohol concoction was poured over them. There was alcohol in the batter as well.
We saved an eighth of a loaf for us in the refrigerator from every year. When we decided we would almost have to get a cosigned loan from the bank to continue making the fruitcakes we ate all the years we had left. I can attest 1996 was an outstanding year!
The mincemeat we made from wild game meat courtesy of our hunting neighbor. In my opinion a mincemeat pie is an acquired taste, either you love it or not. We had some fans. I made sweet bread, like pumpkin bread with the mincemeat and it was not as strong as the pie. Like the fruitcake the recipe was changed every year and some years were better than others.
The gingerbread houses and villages were fun. We would leave them up for weeks. I have a small round marble table in the kitchen nook that was perfect to display the villages complete with ponds and trees and animals. It was always an engineering feat to keep the houses standing.
Our entertaining is minimal so there just doesn’t seem to be a need for 4-5 different kinds of cookies. I know I still enjoy cookies when my neighbors give us a plate, but baking has just left my house.
Of course there still will be turkey for Christmas and latkes for Chanukah but the dessert tray will be limited.
What about you? Do you still roll out the sweets from your kitchen during the Holidays? Are you nostalgic for some fruitcake, gingerbread house or mincemeat pie?