A little piece of home...

I'm feeling really achy today.  I think my weight and my laziness are starting to get the better of me.  If I sit too long, I ache.  So, rather than sitting around today and just watching the game, I decided to bake!  I cleaned up my kitchen, which took all weekend since I took things out of the cabinets and washed them, and now that it's clean, I find that I want to use it!  Funny how that works.

I'm going to share the recipe and pictures of what I baked, but I'm afraid it's not something you'll likely be able to make.  I'm sorry for that, but one of the major components isn't something you can buy.  Alright, with that warning, and without further adieu...

Brandied Fruit Bread

1 c. Raisins
1 c. Sugar
1 c. Water
1/2 c. Margarine

3 3/4 c. Flour
2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

2 1/2 c. Brandied Fruit
1 c. Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, combine raisins, sugar, water, and margarine (1/2 c. = one stick).  Bring to a boil over medium heat, making sure to stir so it doesn't scorch.  Boil 1 minute. Remove the raisin mixture off the burner and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt.  Combine until the mixture is a light tan color.  Add cooled raisin mixture, brandied fruit, and nuts (if desired) to the flour mixture.  Mix until the the mixture looks wet.

Grease two bread pans and fill with bread batter.  It only makes two loaves, so be sure to split the batter evenly.  I only have one pan, so the first loaf came out larger than the second.  I baked them for 45 minutes and then checked them in 10 minute intervals thereafter until a tooth pick inserted in the center came out clean.

Cool on a wire rack until the pan cools down then remove the bread from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.  This bread freezes very well and so is great to make ahead of time.

I'll probably freeze a loaf and a half of it and bring it out next week on Thanksgiving.  I don't know, it'll depend whether I can keep Matt off of it. ;)  I took a lot more pictures of it, I even edited more than what you see, but if I'd included them this entry would have gone on, and on, and on.  So, I tried to keep it to a minimum.  There was one more I wanted to share with you...

The picture above is the brandied fruit component of the bread.  My dad's been making Brandied Fruit Bread for holidays for as long as I can remember.  Jars exactly like the one above (since I actually got that jar from my folks) sat on our counters and my dad would refill them when they were low, but when the holidays came, daddy would break out the recipe and make this amazing holiday bread.  After winning that jar of brandied fruit from my dad on a bet (ha, finally won one!), I got the recipe and started making it.  Being so far away from home, having this makes me feel closer to my family during the holidays when we're so far apart.

I have two jars, both of which are half -or less- full, so it's time for me to refill them.  The refill on this is actually just 1 c. sugar and 1 can of fruit cocktail (I use Very Cherry fruit cocktail).  Once the jars are refilled, it takes two weeks (at least) before it can be used again.  The fruit ferments in the jar and turns into a really potent alcoholic mixture (hence the "brandied") but the alcohol bakes out leaving just the amazing taste.  My dad eats it straight, on vanilla ice cream, but I'm not that brave.  Just one more thing.  I wouldn't attempt starting it at home, there's aparently a "starter" with some additional ingredients.  I don't know what they are or I'd be happy to share it.  My dad actually doesn't know what they are either, since he got his starter years ago from a family friend.

I hope your coming holidays are amazing! :D

8 comments

  1. Hey!! Looks like that bread came out great!! Now you made me want to bake some, but Dad is talking about adding to the jars first, so I guess we won't have any for a week or so... I have pumkin, banana nut and date nut breads for Thanksgiving so I guess that will be good enough for now...but I really want some of that bread u just made!! Haha Love ya!! Mom

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  2. Well, you're certainly welcome to come have some! ;)

    I'd like some of that pumpkin bread you've got over there. I love it, though I don't have a recipe. I suppose I could get one online! Might be making some of that soon... but definitely not in the next week. Way too much Geology to study for.

    Love you, too!

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  3. Whaaaa???

    I'm going to MOM's house for Thanksgiving! Pumpkin, Banana & date nut bread reminds me of home! I'm so envious! We ALWAYS had that combination for T-Day! Throw in some pecan pie, cranberry relish and some traditional pumpkin pie and I'll be set!
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..Politics Today, Sesame Street Style! =-.

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  4. Holiday's at mom's house are AMAZING!! My mom is a fantastic cook, there's always a big turkey or ham, and sometimes both. I miss them terribly. Sounds like your home and my home are quite alike!

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  5. Thanks for the compliment Kristyn :) We miss you too very much and wish you were here....Shawn...we will have all but the pecan pie, since Mark (my other son in law) and I are the only ones to eat it.

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  6. I have grandma's pumpkin bread recipe, if you want it I will find it and send u a copy. :)

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  7. Sounds like the Starter could have come from "Friendship Cake" ?

    This is the closest recipe to what my mom and peeps used as friendship cake starter.

    FRIENDSHIP CAKE STARTER

    1 (16 oz.) can fruit cocktail
    1 (16 oz.) can peaches
    2 1/2 c. sugar
    1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits
    2 1/2 c. sugar
    1 (8 oz.) jar maraschino cherries
    2 1/2 c. sugar

    Combine fruit cocktail with juice, peaches with juice and 2 1/2 cups sugar in large jar. Stir with wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved, cover. Let stand at room temperature. Stir each day for 10 days. Add pineapple with juice and 2 1/2 cups sugar, mix well.

    Stir each day for 10 days. Add cherries (cut in half) with juice and remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar, mix well. Stir each day for 10 days. Store in refrigerator. May store in refrigerator indefinitely. Yields enough for 7 cakes.

    FRIENDSHIP CAKE:

    1 (2 layer) pkg. white cake mix
    1 1/2 c. Friendship Cake Starter
    2/3 c. oil
    4 eggs
    1 c. chopped pecans

    Combine cake mix, Friendship Cake Starter, oil and eggs in bowl, mix well. Stir in pecans. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cool in pan few minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Can be baked in 2 loaf pans.
    .-= Mayren´s last blog ..Skype Gaming: Setup =-.

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  8. Looks very similar. The brandied fruit doesn't have nearly that much in it, but maybe the starter does! I think I'm going to try to make it at some point. I appreciate it, Mayren!

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