Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Calendar of Xmas Memories 12/14

Prompt for December 14:
Fruitcake, Friend or Foe?-

Did you like fruitcake? Did your family receive fruitcakes? Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?

I know we received fruitcakes when I was growing up. I tried them, enough to know I don't like them. If someone gave me one today, I think it would be cruel to "re-gift" it, since I don't know anyone who likes fruitcake. (Well, I take that back - Mark says his mom made a fruitcake that was actually quite good.)

As for creative uses of fruitcake - I'm going to make creative use of this post and talk about OTHER food gifts.

I grew up in Texas, and live there again, but from November 1984 through December 2005, I lived in Washington state. For a number of years, my brother Brian sent me pecans from Pape Pecan House (no relation - I think!) in Seguin, Texas. One year he sent shelled pecan halves in a green ceramic dish shaped like Texas (which alas, broke in transit back here), but most of the time he send two-to-five-pound bags of shelled pecans suitable for baking. This was a great gift that I really appreciated, as the pecans froze well and I could make Pecan Puffs year-round if I wanted.

The pecans always arrived with recipes, like this one (right) for pecan pie. This one was so close to my mother's recipe that I just made the necessary changes. I've never been to the Pape Pecan House, but I need to go - they have The World's Largest Nutcracker Collection - over 6000 of them as of two years ago.
During some of the years I lived in Washington, we sent apples to my family in Texas. The gifts did double-duty as they also benefited the Children's Home Society of Washington. The packaging isn't so nice now, but I thought about sending the gifts to myself at times as the beautiful boxes they came in were perfect for storing Christmas ornaments. Plus, I understand the apples were better than any even we could get in local grocery stores. To the left is an article about the apple sales from the December 1, 1986 (a year we would have sent them) Spokane Chronicle.

Today we send Rio Red grapefruit (yum!) or oranges from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Mark's two sisters (in New York and Washington states) and his daughter in South Carolina. From them, we've received gifts of home-smoked salmon, home-grown walnuts, apples and pears, and dried fruits, all of which we really appreciate.

The photo at the top of this post is of pecans we've picked up in our neighborhood - lots of pecan trees in this part of the state! They are in a wooden dish that used to belong to Mark's parents.

(Post #14 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Geneabloggers.com. Originally published December 14, 2009;  minor revisions were made this year.)

© Amanda Pape - 2010

1 comment:

  1. This brings back memories of shelling pecans in front of the TV set during the winters when I lived in Texas and of the pecan pies we made.