Archive for December, 2008

Fruit Cake tales

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I baked three 8-inch Gramma’s Plain Light Fruitcakes on Saturday. My family can attest to the fact that this is a GREAT recipe. The sad truth is that we didn’t eat just one cake. Nor did we eat two. We ate all three!

I also baked a 10-inch tube pan’s worth of Easy Dark Fruitcake, which I cut into 8 wedges as soon as it was cooled. Then I wrapped each wedge in plastic wrap, and labeled it with a coworker’s name. This has proven to be sufficient armor against us fruit cake gobblers. I’ll whisk them off to school this morning to completely remove the temptation.

The truth is we don’t like traditional fruit cake at all. I cannot stand candied fruit. To me it shouts, ‘Artificial colors and flavors! Icky sweet!’ What we do enjoy, however, is dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, and dried cranberries. Ah, yes. Maybe we enjoy them a tad too much.

I was hoping school would be canceled today, rather than merely delayed one hour because of the incredibly cold and windy weather. What was I going to do with this extra day off, you ask? I was going to bake another three Plain Light Fruitcakes, of course. I’m just a little short, for some reason.

Easy Dark Fruitcake

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Rebecca’s Easy Dark Fruitcake (from The Gift-Giver’s Cookbook by Green and Choate)

Preheat oven to:     325 degrees

Pan size:        1 10-inch tube pan, greased and floured

Baking time:        2 hours or a bit more

1 30-ounce can of fruit cocktail, drained

4 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (optional)

5 eggs

3 cups sugar

4 ½ cups sifted flour

2 cups chopped walnuts

2 cups black raisins

3 ounces cognac, brandy, or amaretto

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees or 2 to 2 ¼ hours, or until edges pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack and finish cooling.

This is what is in the oven right now; sure hope it turns out nicely.

Earlier today I baked Gramma’s Plain Light Fruitcake, which we know turned out well, because we ate one of the cakes already. Sigh! At this rate it will be difficult to get many baked.

Two Terrific Awards

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Today Storyteller of Small Reflections
shared this friendship award with her readers.

And lovely are the blossoms

That are tended with great care,

By those who work unselfishly

To make the place more fair.

And, like the garden blossoms,

Friendship’s flower grows more sweet

When watched and tended carefully

By those we know and meet.

And, if the seed of friendship

Is planted deep and true

And watched with understanding,

Friendship’s flower will bloom for you.


You are welcome to take this award also if:

  • You consider yourself to be my real-life or bloggy-life friend. If you’re taking the time to read my humble blog, you qualify!
  • You will kindly link back to me when you post this award on your blog

My bloggy friend Storyteller has another blog, Happily Retired Gal. On that blog she introduced me to her other readers with these kind words:

Joyce of Mom’s Musings lives a very busy life. Another working mom (and grandmother too), her attitude is always upbeat & cheerful, and her posts are thoughtful & uplifting.  She leaves wonderfully supportive, encouraging comments on the blogs of others and always responds with friendly emails to those who comment on her blog. Her joy in the Lord shines consistently.

In keeping with her kind words, Storyteller gifted me with The Lemonade Award
(as in ‘If life hands you lemons, make lemonade!’).

If you would like this award for yourself, please comment on this post. I’ll do another post in which I talk about your blog, and present you with this lovely commendation.

Here are the (real) rules for passing on this award to others:

  • Put the award logo on your blog or post.
  • Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
  • Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  • Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Thank you, dear Storyteller, for these kind awards.


Thankful Thursday – Timely Fruit

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Hosted by Iris of Grace Alone

This picture, taken a couple of weeks ago by my daughter Laura while we were walking on our road, got me thinking. Look at all those good apples, just gone to waste under a neighbor’s tree.

Here is a series of four tanka poems that came to mind as I thought about that fallen fruit:

Sweet fruit on the ground.

Time of harvest neglected.

Autumn’s bounty lost.

The tree was planted; fruit grew,

Yet no one ate of it: Why?


Were they too busy

To notice present blessings?

Were they too lazy

To harvest this sweet bounty?

This gift was given, not received.


Each day is a gift.

I will live it, treasure it.

Each moment matters.

Whatever the challenges,

I will thank God, and live it.


Life has its seasons:

Spring, summer, autumn, winter.

Each with its own work.

If I live each day wisely,

Good fruit will come, be enjoyed.


This reminds me also of an old nursery rhyme about using time wisely that some of our children learned when they were little:

Sixty seconds in a minute:

How much good can I do in it?

Sixty minutes in an hour:

All the good that’s in my pow’r.

Twenty-four hours in a day:

Time to work and sleep and play.

The Fabulous Award

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Linda, of Remote Treechanger, is a new blogging friend who is from Victoria, Australia. I think we met through the Thankful Thursday
meme. Is that true, Linda? Anyhow, being the very friendly person that she is, she gifted me with The Fabulous Award! Thank you, Linda!

Here are
The ‘Fabulous’ Award

1. You have to pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs.
2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions.
3. Make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

My 5 ‘fabulous addictions’:

1. Writing on my blog
2. Enjoying a good cup of coffee
3. Going for relaxing walks
4. Menu Planning and reading cookbooks
5. Reading. I must always have a book that I am reading, or I feel lost.

I am passing it on to the following bloggy friends:

  1. Stacey of 4everMom
  2. Sarah of Coffee at the Cabin
  3. Laura of Life According to Laura
  4. Storyteller of Small Reflections
  5. Susan B of A Life of Grace

Please visit these blogs if you haven’t already; perhaps you will make some new friends.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Hosted by Peggy

For Today…December 8, 2008

Outside my Window…Curtains are drawn, since, once again I’m posting late, at the end of a busy day. We had cold rain during the day, and there is a dusting of snow on the very tops of the foothills. Supposedly we’ll receive our first real snows in about a week.

I am thinking…how easy it is to fritter away time when one is tired. (sigh)

From the learning rooms…Allowing a child time to puzzle through a problem is a good thing. The more engaged he is in the problem, the more likely he is to develop a real understanding of whatever it is he is studying, as opposed to the ‘this is the way you do it’ method.

I am thankful for…daughter Sarah being safe at home, though I hear she has the bad sore throat that’s been going around.

From the kitchen…We were busy tonight, going to daughter Lydia’s first basketball game, so just whipped up some quick pepperoni bagel pizzas when we arrived home.

I am wearing…I tried to do this post this morning, so I could say I was wearing thermal pajamas, but I’m wearing the usual school-day attire: black skirt, white blouse, and the sweater today is red. Ho ho hum!

I am reading…The Quilter’s Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini, which was recommended to me by my blogging friend Tamy. I’m really enjoying this historical fiction/mystery!

I am hoping…to take stock of every little thing that’s in my pantry, and clean my kitchen cupboards, inside and out.

I am creating…Well, I am calming down from the loud, exciting evening as I type this post. A calmer spirit?

I am hearing…daughter Debra laugh as she reads her book.

Around the house…it’s getting very quiet. Only a few of us are still up. I just want to get this posted!

One of my favorite things…is actually taking the time to watch the children participate in their games. So often I think I’m too busy, but afterwards I’m glad I went. These days will pass so quickly.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We have a meal at church this Wednesday again, for Family Night. This time I bring the garlic bread and the white pasta sauce. For the men there will be elder training.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This photo of a family ‘game time’ was taken over Thanksgiving break.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Sunday Cooking

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

We’ve been enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon.

After church this morning, an old friend came over to share the noon meal with us. His contribution to the meal was better than what we served him, though. He brought delicious Indian samosas, filled with a spicy potato filling, accompanied by a sweet sauce. Yum! Thank you, Paul!

I don’t usually do a lot of cooking or baking on Sunday, since I really appreciate having a day of rest, too. For this reason we often feast on left-overs on Sunday, serve a sandwich meal, or play catch-as-catch-can, which means, ‘Please fix yourself something to eat!’ (as opposed to me preparing a big meal for the family). This works well now that all the children are big un’s.

For a light supper before returning to church this evening, I prepared a simple, hearty, not-too-sweet dessert, Plantation Cake, which I’ve mentioned before on the old blog-olla. This time, though, I have some pictures for you. Also, this time I served it with a homemade lemon sauce and spreadable cream cheese, both of which are recommended in my old Betty Crocker Cook Book.

Photostory Friday

Friday, December 5th, 2008

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Ya know, there’s a lot to be said for bonding with a child.

When you hold a child, give him or her kisses, talk to them, and give them food and drink when they need it, you just care about them more, somehow. The more you interact with the kidlet, the funnier and more endearing you find them.

For the past three years our daughter and son-in-law lived clear ‘cross country from us. I got to see lots of pictures of our grandson and granddaughter, but didn’t know them the way I do now, when they’re right here with us.

So that’s what I have for Photostory Friday: some cute photos of these cutie pies with whom I have been bonding.

Diederick loves to play outside, and go on walks with his mommy and me.

Here’s baby sister Carly, all bundled up for a walk, too.

Here’s Carly once again, lounging in the sunshine.

Here I am, holding Deeder. He is probably asking to see images of cows or dogs on Google Images.

Last picture: Our cat GiGi enjoys Carly’s play mat.

To participate in Photostory Friday, click on the button at the beginning of this post for all the info. you need!

A Vintage Fruitcake with 13 Ingredients – Thursday 13

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

GRAMMA’S PLAIN LIGHT FRUITCAKE (This recipe is from The Gift-Giver’s Cookbook by Jane Green and Judith Choate, 1971)

Preheat oven to:        300 degrees

Utensils needed:        3 8-inch loaf pans, foil-lined

Baking time:            2 to 2 ½ hours

1 cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

2/3 cup white corn syrup

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 ½ pounds currants

1 pound pitted dates

1 pound dark seedless raisins

2 cups chopped walnuts

4 ½ cups sifted flour

2 Tablespoons freshly ground cinnamon

4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Cream the butter and sugar until light-yellow and fluffy. Add the syrup and egg yolks and beat well. Add the soda to the sour milk, stir well and pour into the creamed mixture. Stir in all fruits and nuts.

Sift one half of the flour, together with the cinnamon, into the creamed mixture. Mix with your hands and continue adding flour until you have achieved a soft batter.

Stiffly beat the egg whites and fold into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 300 degrees for approximately 2 hours, or until edges pull away from sides of pan.

Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. If stored over one month, moisten from time to time with brandy.

Post YOUR Thursday Thirteen and get the code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is not only encouraged, it is part of being a Thursday Thirteener! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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Simple Devotion

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Hosted by Peggy Hostetler of ~The Simple Woman~

For Today…December 3, 2008

Dear Lord,

I bring you my shortcomings…I bring my sins to You Lord, because I cannot make myself perfect, nor can I ‘make up’ for anything evil that I have done. You alone, my dear Heavenly Father, are able to cleanse me and make me a vessel fit for Your use, through your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I bring you my worship and praise…that with You there is forgiveness of sins that you may be reverenced. Psalm 130:3-8

I bring you my prayer… Please enable me to look to Christ, in hope, receiving Your abundant grace. Today, may I live thankfully and joyfully, victorious over the sin that yet remains in me.

You spoke to me…‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’-I Peter 5:6,7.

I thank You so much, Lord, for Your Word, for through it you cause me to grow spiritually (I Peter 2:2).