Smells like the Holidays

Believe it or not, Sierra actually burned the first candied lemons and had to do them AGAIN the next morning. What a hero she is.

I never even knew that candying fruit was something you could do at home...


Just having my first day “at home” (which included going to a parade that was canceled due to the unrelenting downpour and local errands), after a couple weeks of nonstop holiday activity. And our holiday guests haven’t started arriving yet!

Last week, Sierra and I made homemade fruitcake; a process that takes the better part of a day and lots of upper body strength. The recipe was previously posted here.

Sierra was adverse to using the candied fruit from the grocery store that I’ve used in the past, so she candied her own orange peel and lemon peel (to replace the citron), candied her own cherries (organic frozen), and we used dried organic pineapple from Whole Foods. Needless to say, the fruitcake this year is STELLAR.

The whole process of making fruitcake making always takes longer than I remember, because there are things involved that I don’t normally do – like grating three entire nutmegs and sifting five cups of flour. All the ingredients get dumped into a large roasting pan (my largest one I use for the turkey was barely large enough), and then once it’s in the oven, it gets pulled out every 10-15 minutes to get stirred – this goes on for several hours. The pan is HOT and HEAVY (and SMELLS HEAVENLY) and we had four kidlets running and screaming through the house. Every time the timer went off we had to check the location of each child and then lift the pan up to the counter to stir (with lots of grunting).

To stir, you need a very very strong trowel-like tool. You stir it so that it cooks evenly, I guess. And you cook the whole mess until the egg stops stringing – which didn’t make sense to me until I stirred the fruitcake for myself – then it was obvious.

In our snatches of time between stirring, we made a few stocking gifts: fabric luggage tags! I can’t wait to make more. I used the pattern from and I was directed there via a tweet from Living Crafts Magazine. If you tweet and enjoy Waldorf-style crafts, I suggest following them. They send several cute ideas a day. (The magazine is wonderful also.)

My first fabric luggage tag ever went to our friend Devana, attached to some fruitcake.

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