CHRISTMAS AND TRADITIONS INCLUDING JAMAICA’S LIQUORED FRUIT CAKE

What is it about Christmas and traditions? If you should talk to anyone who actually celebrate this beautiful time of the year, one would state that it’s time to gather with family members and loved ones. A time to exchange and give presents, decorate and put up that special tree.  A time to be merry, eat and drink and spread good cheers. And of course, a time to actually remember and celebrate the birth of Christ.

For me, this time of the year puts me in a nostalgic mood. It’s a time when I reflect and remember when life was simple but seemed rather rich. There was great laughter, fun, amazing foods and the belting out of Christmas songs with my siblings. A time to attend church and sing noels and watch Christmas plays.

My mom, Beryl was huge on Christmas. It was her special and most wonderful time of the year. I guess I have a little of her within. Two to three months before the Christmas season arrived, mom would actually begin the preparations. As soon as a wisp of autumn air agitated the drapes within my  mom would utter “It’s Christmas breeze!” That meant it was time to white wash the walls and picket fence on the outskirts.

Christmas was a family affair. Therefore, my dear uncle Brownie who was a professional painter was deeply involved in the sprucing up of our interior and exterior of our home. Although he was busy and extremely booked he carved out a little time to come over and do a spectacular paint job on our home. We never had to pay him. That was his gift to us. All he required was a little spirit rum. Yes uncle Brownie was big on is rum. Give him a slice of fruit cake laced with rum and the job would be done.

Talking about fruit/rum cakes, back then, my siblings and I used to make dozens of the liquored cakes. It took us hours to cream up the butter and sugar. Once in a while the old cake mixer was overworked and started to smoked, so we had to go manual. To us it wasn’t work. It was a joyful occasion. We all took turns to churn the good old butter and sugar. You see, our immediate family was quite large. Moreover, there were extended family made up of uncles, aunts, cousins, close friends, and neighbors.

Now a days, as an adult, this is what I do. Because some of my dear folks are no longer with us and moreover most of us are scattered all over this globe, I try to carry on the traditions as it comes to baking that fruit liquored cake. Although it’s easy to cream and churn the butter and sugar, it not the same, there were more loving hands.

I try my utter best to recapture those flavorful cakes. Present day Christmas season, I ship quite a few fruit cakes to loved ones both near and far. This is what I do:

Stewed and liquored (rum/red wines/brandy) fruits ready for input in cake batter
Stewed and liquored (rum/red wines/brandy) fruits ready for input in cake batter
Creamed butter/sugar along with eggs and molasses
Creamed butter/sugar along with eggs and molasses (Excuse the rimmed spill)
Liquored fruit cakes ready for oven
Liquored fruit cakes ready for oven
In the oven they go along with a water bath to keep them moist
In the oven they go along with a water bath to keep them moist

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Finished fruits cakes ready to be devoured by loved ones
Finished fruits cakes ready to be devoured by loved ones

Guys, this is just a snippet of what my loved ones and I do during Christmas. I know you have tremendous to share about this special time of the year. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!

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