Robin and I take this opportunity to wish all of our readers of the blog

Happy Holidays

and

Seasons Greetings

And with that in mind, I thought it appropriate to add these articles to this page. Cheers and have a great season!

I received this information from Rudy’s – a cook’s paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho.

December 25: Merry Christmas!

Some interesting, not to mention downright gaudy meals that royal-types past have eaten on Christmas Day:

1213 King John of England ordered 3,000 capons, 1,000 salted eels, 400 hogs, 100 pounds of almonds and 24 casks of wine for his Christmas feasts.

1252 Henry III hosts 1,000 knights and nobles at York. 600 oxen are consumed.

1415 England’s Henry V orders food distributed to the citizens of Rouen who are trapped by his siege. Henry himself dines on roast porpoise.

1512 The Duke of Northumberland was served 5 swans for Christmas dinner.

1580 The Christmas feasts of Sir William Petrie includes 17 oxen, 14 steers, 29 calves, 5 hogs, 13 bucks, 54 lambs, 129 sheep and one ton of cheese.

1714 England’s King George I has his first Christmas pudding, made with 5 pounds of suet and 1 pound of plums.

1852 A 446 pound baron of beef was served to Queen Victoria and the royal family.

1805…and then we have American explorer Zebulon Pike. Pike celebrated Christmas by allowing “two pounds extra of meat, two pounds extra of flour, one gill of whiskey, and some tobacco, to each man, in order to distinguish Christmas Day.”

Here’s to hoping your Christmas meal is exactly what you want it to be.

December 26: Kwanzaa begins (December 26th- January 1)

December 27: National Fruitcake Day. (Either beloved or despised… still a reason to celebrate!)

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Recipe of the Week:

Coffee Fruit Cake

Gourmet Magazine, October 2005

3 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb dried currants (3 1/3 cups)
1 lb raisins (3 cups)
1 cup lukewarm strong coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs
1 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)

Special equipment: 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) loaf pans

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F. Brush loaf pans lightly with oil, then line bottom and sides with foil, pressing corners to help adhere.

Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg into a large bowl.

Toss currants and raisins with 2 tablespoons flour mixture in a bowl. Stir together coffee and baking soda in a small bowl until dissolved.

Beat together with butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and coffee mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until just smooth. Fold in dried fruit mixture.

Divide batter between loaf pans and smooth tops by gently rapping bottom of each pan against counter.

Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of each cake comes out clean, 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours (cakes may sink slightly in center). Cool pans on racks 10 minutes, then loosen foil from sides of pans with knife and turn out cakes onto racks. Peel off foil and cool cakes completely, about 3 hours.

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Ode to Fruitcake

Fruitcake, fruitcake, oh where have you been all my life?
Handmade maiden friend of a famed critic’s wife.
Golden and cunning with nuts barely tropical,
Aged in the juice of southern Caribbean,
Tender assortment of fruits once dried, now revived.
I know at last why I am glad to be alive!

So do enjoy these article and the holidays! Cheers!