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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sooooo Ready for the Christmas Season!

A Christmas Tree in Every Room!

When I was growing up, each year we had at least two Bar-B-Ques, one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. The Bar-B-Que at Thanksgiving was on Saturday and was for all the employees and business associates of Mama and Daddy. The one at Christmas was on Christmas Eve and was for family and friends. We had about a hundred people at each. We would spend all week getting the house ready and two days getting all the food ready. Mama would take some of the guys from the shop (Central) and put them to work at the house. One year, Al Miller (a young black guy that worked at Central) told Mama, “You’ve owned slaves before, Haven’t you?” It was always a busy and exciting time.

At one of the Christmas Bar-B-Ques, someone came out of the bathroom and I heard, “Oh my goodness, she even has a Christmas tree in the bathroom!” Mama had a Christmas tree in every room. The kitchen... living room... bathrooms... bedrooms... everywhere... We kids even had our own trees in our rooms. The trees ranged in size from 2 feet to 6 feet. Mama had a tree with seashell ornaments. One had dove ornaments. One had all homemade ornaments. One had all Victorian ornaments. One had all red and white ornaments. One had all Santa ornaments. She had a tree made of holly decorated with ornaments. She even decorated some of the houseplants!

Mama loved it. Holidays were another reason for parties, gifts and food with family and friends! Christmas was especially magical. Mama went all out. I remember one year Mama came home with Christmas sweatshirts. Mine read, ‘I Believe in Santa Claus.' Mama’s read, ‘I Want It All.' Charlie’s read, ‘Bah Humbug!’ Mama’s one requirement for Christmas morning presents was that you believe in Santa. Mama and I even had our picture taken with Santa.

One year when Charlie was about 6 years old, he came in and told Mama that there was no Santa Claus. She questioned him and then called everyone in the room. She said, “Listen up! Charlie has come in with the idea that there is no Santa Claus! That is not true! There is a Santa and anyone who does not believe in him...well, Santa won’t bring them presents. Is that clear? And I mean it! Clear?” Well, later Mama pulled us (except Charlie) aside and said that it didn’t matter who Santa Claus was or where the presents came from. It was the love and giving of the Christ-mas season. But the presents did come and as long as we said we believed we’d get presents. It didn’t matter if we were married or 50 years old, Santa would always come for us. What a concept! And she meant it. Jim and I got married (now my ex-husband) and she told him the same thing. That first Christmas, Santa brought Jim a recliner! The next year Jim told Mama at Christmas time, “I believe!”

Ice Box Fruit Cake

My Mama made this every Christmas! I can remember sneaking in the frig and cutting a sliver off. It is so rich all you need is a thin slice... so this 'cake' goes a long way!

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, cherries, condensed milk and vanilla wafers. Dough will be very thick, you will need to use your hands.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and place dough inside. Refrigerate overnight or until the cake is set and all the milk is absorbed.

Colonial Hot Buttered Rum
This recipe is hundreds of years old... dating back before Colonial Times!

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 pinch salt
2 quarts hot water
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 cups rum

1 cup whipped cream
ground nutmeg to taste

Combine brown sugar, butter, salt and water in a 5 quarts slow cooker. Add cinnamon and cloves. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in rum.

Ladle from slow cooker into mugs and top with whipped cream... dust with nutmeg.

Eggnog Cake
You've got to have some eggnog handy for this one at this time of year!
Some of the famous Rimini Eggnog would make it even better! Illegal but better! LOL

1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
1 cup eggnog
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups 10X sugar
2 tbsp eggnog

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix. Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Combine sugar and eggnog. You may need to add more eggnog to get it to the consistency you want. Spoon over cake.

Judy's Red Velvet Cake

There is no getting away from making this cake that Mama made famous in these parts. This is the most flavorful, moist and delicious cake I've ever made. I will say that to make this like Mama, you HAVE to follow the directions word for word... FOLD do not beat with a mixer at the end. It makes the cake dense and hard.

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cocoa
3 tablespoons red food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well. Mix cocoa and food coloring in a cup. Add to eggs and sugar. Add vanilla. Sift flour and salt. Add, alternating with buttermilk. Add soda and vinegar. Let foam and FOLD into mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


1/2 cup butter, room temp
8-ounces cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip together until creamy. Spread on cake. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.


  1. I've had that Icebox Fruit Cake! I think I even had it with those Orange Slice Candies. Awesome recipe from the past! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lynn, I'm sure you have a pretty good idea of how much I LOVE this post! It's so heartwarming that it brings tears to my eyes... Sending you a huge (((hug)))! My Christmas Season will be even merrier with you back online! <3

  3. Curious about the ice box fruit cake. The directions list walnuts & raisins but they aren't in the ingredient list. Help?? I think this might be the recipe my Granny has been searching for!

  4. Anonymous... I tried to answer your question a while back and it has taken me this long to get my website fixed... Sorry about the wait!
    This was my Mom's recipe and some things loose something in the translation. She substituted peacans for the walnuts and cherries for the raisins, but I guess she didn't change the directions. I didn't catch it, so thank you for pointing that out!
    You can however create any combination of fruit and or nuts that you want! ENJOY! :-)