Have you ever made a fruitcake?
My boy made cookies

Cooking/baking catch up, updated

Addendum at end.

You may know that I've been ill; I've been very sedentary for a month, with pretty much just Thanksgiving day and a couple of shopping days to take me out of my bedroom or off the couch. I've done very little real cooking, though we've had a few nice slow cooker meals. I prepared the fruit for the fruit bread, but then didn't bake it.  When I do have energy, it's all consumed bringing the kitchen back to a measure of sanity after being mostly used by teenagers who mean well, but only so well.

Last night I got my refrigerator well-organized for the first time since the middle of November. With a family this large and a refrigerator that small, and no more stand-up freezer to boot, the weekly cleanout is super important, and organization is crucial. So it felt good to straighten everything out, inspiring me to have a nice Sunday cooking afternoon.

I'm making chicken broth, even though the kids froze both my chickens. I cook one each week, as you may know, but I buy them two at a time, cooking one within a few days and freezing the other. I figure to slowly heat the frozen chicken in a large pot of water, then bring it up to boiling temperature as soon as possible, so it will be safely ready to work with.

I'm putting a piece of chuck roast in the slow cooker with some potatoes and fresh green beans. And onions, of course!


Then I hope to make cookies. It's cookie season, hurrah. We always have magic cookie bars, lemon squares, and sugar cookies at this time of year, but if I'm feeling all right over the next week or so, I'll also make some Italian-American treats, as well.

As to the fruit and nuts, I have to see if it all got very fermented; it may be all right to bake with, but if it isn't, I'll have to take my lumps for not finishing what I started, I guess. I'm still coughing pretty often, especially when tired or cold or moving around much. So I can only feel so bad about having put that off.

I think the picture of the fruit mixture is on the other computer. So we forge on.

Regarding fruit cake:

In place of the fruit suggested in the recipe, I used

9 oz dried plums
9 oz dried apricots
6 oz dates
12 oz cherry craisins

I might have used dried pears instead of apricots or prunes, but I didn't see those at the nearby store and was already too ill for a real shopping trip.



The fruit and nuts were soaked in bourbon and amaretto for ages while I was sick, but then I ended up adding 3 tbs of Irish Mist to the batter, and that's what I'm going to brush the cake with, because it suits the flavors well and is also much less expensive! Altogether this cake cost over 25 dollars to make, but I am certain it could be done for less than 20. Which is still a lot for a cake, but that's sort of the point, isn't it? It's meant to be an expensive once-a-year endeavor. Means something that way.



I didn't get any cookies made, and was so exhausted by 7 pm, which is when Mom's Movie Night begins, but it was good to get some things done.