Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas, Fruitcake, and Healing...

Those who know me well already know this, I haven't been able to celebrate "Christmas in my heart" for the past few years.  I did celebrate, but the deep joy was missing.  Maybe it was my health, or maybe it was too much loss, I'm not really sure.  I would make plans and not follow through.  Promises to bake all the traditional dishes, even to the point of buying nuts, spices, fruits, etc. only to toss or donate after the holidays were over with.  Plans to visit friends and go to concerts all cancelled at the last minute.  Using my messy house as an excuse not to invite folks in.  So, when I had my husband buy all the ingredients for his mother's fruitcake recipe, I think I saw a little eye roll and heard a bit of a sigh. 

Well, tonight the fruitcake is in the oven!  I never truly appreciated the work involved.  The batter is heavy, so heavy that my big spoon broke right in two!  That did not deter me.  I stirred the 7 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of butter, the sour cream, the brandy, the fruit, the nuts.  It reminded me of kneading bread!  My arms are so tired, but I got it all in the oven just in time to sit and watch the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree light up!  I had been listening to all the beautiful music while I worked.

I never really cared for fruitcake (sorry Grandma), but my mother-in-law's recipe was unique.  I'm hoping my first attempt will do her justice.  It's been a lot of years since my family had Grandma Jahner fruitcake.  I plan to make a few more treasured recipes during the next three weeks.  And yes, I will be starting a "diet" after the holidays.  For now, I'm going to celebrate all that is good and fun and delightful! 

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me."
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens


Donna said...

You know, I think when bad stuff happens to us, our instinct is to withdraw from That's going to stop bad things from happening...but it doesn't.
I have come to know that if we Believe as a child does, with All our hearts, with All the Joy that follows that Belief, our paths on this road called Life goes SO much smoother. Yes, it's hard to do sometimes...I'm in almost constant pain from a bad back and neck (car accident yrs ago) but if I don't look at life from a childs point of "view", I'd just...sit down.
If I have to drag myself into that darn kitchen, I do...Don't feel like smiling? I just do...Don't feel like going out? Who really gets left out? Me, so I Smile, Laugh and say "Oh Well, It'll probably be fun", and Go.
I'd be SO happy to never leave the house again!Hahaaa...but it's just not right. I know how you feel about it all but when I look around me and see the faces of those that Love me...I just can't face the hurt looks on their faces if I'm always saying no...
I'm SO proud of you for getting IN that kitchen! I have cookies to bake when I get home from work today...Do I WANT TO???Hahaaaa...NOOOOOO!!! But I Will!
When I "give"...I "get" in ways that are FAR more wonderful than I could ever dream of...
I will always remember that Santa IS us...and it keeps me going All year long...
Loving you today Nita!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Hello Nita Jo,
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comfort food with me. While you might not have won the TDAC cook book you have won a print of the Little Chef Girl. Congrats to you. Please email me with your address so that I can send it to you.
Best to you

Nita Jo said...

Thanks so much Donna! I can always count on you to look at the bright side of life! You are definitely Santa, and I'm always working on being a better Santa. I do love Christmas! I really, really do!

Vanessa, I'm so excited about winning your print! I've already emailed you my address. Your art always brings a smile to my face. Thank you, thank you!