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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

General Jollity for Fruit Paste

As the cards and semi-wrapped gifts begin to arrive, one feels rather special even before the holiday actually transpires.  There's shear joy when I go to check my post office box this time of year as invariably there's a key inserted into my envelope size mail box that fits the lock of a much larger box size variety.  There's wonder in my eyes as I retrieve the contents of the postal box and rush home to unveil what some friend or family member has lovingy sent my way.  Recently a rather large box arrived with a host of items in its interiors, but tucked within the layers of books and knick knacks were several Calumet Baking Powder sponsored pamphlets/booklets circa 1920's.  One of the booklets The Children's Party Book by Marion Jane Parker, illustrated by Frances Tipton Hunter, accompanied by recipes from Helen Harrington Downing finds its way to my kitchen this weekend with a quaint little recipe for Holiday Fruit Paste. Delightfully cheery the book is dedicated to busy mothers and to better and happier homes~very reminiscent of the era (1923) in which is was printed by Rogers & Company. (I gather quickly that Calumet baking powder is recommended in most all of the recipes and clearly saw these pamphlets as entertaining/educational endeavors to market their product).  Ideally this dish could stand as a starter but also make a perfect end note after a rather large holiday meal.  Essentially chop 1/2 pound portions of dates, figs, raisins, sliced citron, add a tablespoon of current jelly, press into a baking pan, cut into squares and roll the squares in powdered sugar.  I include dried cherries and cranberries in my mixture rather than raisins as a matter of personal preference, but know that one can not leave out the citron as it makes a tremendous difference in the mixture.  No doubt this is one easy peasy recipe to conjure up for the holidays, but Marion Jane Parker says it best:
I dont' know which is best all~
The turkey~or the tree~
The presents or the stockings
Or the general jollity!
The singing~or the Christmas bells,
The pudding~or the weather~
But then~I've just a notion
That it's all of 'em together.
*Marion Jane Parker
Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life