Wednesday, November 19, 2008
There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
I have just finished reading another wonderful and heartwarming Christmas romantic comedy by Debbie Macomber and as usual it really puts me in the Christmas mood and i highly recommends this book to all fans of Debbie Macomber. Its time to bring out the Christmas tree and start the Christmas decor in my house :> Debbie Macomber had also included 3 fruitcake recipes in the book and i'm so tempted to try it out after reading so much about fruitcake in the book. I'm not really a fan of fruitcake and can't recall when was the last time i had one. However i might try out one of the character in the book, Peggy Luca's No Bake Fruitcake with Marshmallows recipe since it seems quite easy to do....(Extracted from Page 221-222 of "There's Something About Christmas") and if it does not turn out well, i can always go to Marks and Spencer for one ;>
1 cup raisins (dark or golden)
2 cups dates
2 cups mixed candied fruit
4 cups chopped nuts (you can reduce this to 3 cups if desired)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups marshmallows
2 cups very finely crushed graham crackers
Mix raisins, dates, candied fruit and chopped nuts in a large bowl. In a saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave) bring evaporated milk to a boil, add marshmallows and stir until thoroughly combined and marshmallows are melted. Grind the graham crackers in the food processor (one package at a time) until they are very finely ground (like flour). You can also use packaged graham crackers. Stir the graham crackers into the fruit-and-nut mixture. Add the marshmallow mixture. With wet hands, mix all ingredients. Rinse hands, wet them again and press the mixture into a 9 inch X 5 inch loaf pan lined with wax paper. Press it down well and refrigerate for 2 days until set.
Note: If you use 1/2 cup candied fruit, 1/2 cup flaked coconut and 1 cup candied pineapple instead of 2 cups candied fruit, the cake has a tropical taste. If mixture seems too dry, add a little orange juice or strawberry jam. Don't worry if it seems too wet, because as it sets the graham cracker crumbs will absorb the liquid.
Ok, back to the story, "There's Something About Christmas" tells the story of Emma Collins, who has always believed that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who love fruitcake and those who don't. She's firmly in the second category, so it's ironic that her major assignment for the Puyallup, Washington, Examiner is a series of articles about . . . fruitcake. At least it's a step up from writing obituaries and selling ads for the Puyallup Examiner.
It's not only fruitcake that Emma doesn't like, but since the death of her mother two years ago Emma has avoided the Christmas holiday altogether. She avoids her remarried father who had never kept his promises and flitted in and out of her life during her childhood and teens year and was unfaithful to her mother. Emma has an aversion to attractive men whose promises slid so easily off their tongues like her father and she rather watches a movie alone and has buttered popcorn for dinner during Christmas. But this year, some unexpected cheer is headed Emma's way.
Emma's task is to interview the finalists in a fruitcake recipe contest, and that means traveling around the state. Actually . . . flying around the state. Local pilot Oliver Hamilton, who's starting an airfreight business, has agreed to take her wherever she needs to go, in exchange for free advertising. Unfortunately Emma hates small planes -- almost as much as she hates fruitcake.
Despite Emma's fear of flying, Oliver takes her to Yakima, Colville and the San Juan islands to meet three women who all figure that when life gives you lemons (or anything else), make fruitcake.
Emma tastes the thrice-married barmaid's liquor-laden concoction, the tender-hearted widow's chocoholic dream and the struggling young mother's no-bake graham-cracker confection. And in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Emma finds herself falling for Oliver (who's not quite the Scrooge he sometimes seems) and his mutt, Oscar (who's allergic to her perfume, which makes him sneeze repeatedly) and adopting a pet into her life. And she learns to find forgiveness towards her father and trust from the three wise women who know a lot about fruitcake -- and even more about life.