We can cherish and keep family traditions alive by doing what we used to do as kids. (Just because you're older doesn't mean you have to grow up! I still hang three special ornaments on our tree that my mother gave me way back in 1964. Each one brings back special memories of Momma, Daddy, and the JOY we shared as we prepared for Christmas.) If you are given the chance help your mother or grandmother bake cookies, wrap presents and put them under the Christmas tree, bake that special cake that she only makes once a year, do whatever it takes to make memories that will last. These are some of the most precious moments you can share with your loved ones. Do not forget or let them vanish.
During the holidays, our family has developed several traditions over the years. For almost thirty years now, my husband has purchased some type of Christmas music box for me (each with a different tune---and believe me, that isn't easy as the numbers of music boxes have grown). On Christmas Eve, we play some of the music boxes (usually in the order they were purchased), then my husband reads the Christmas story from Luke 2 in the Bible, and then we play more music boxes to complete the ritual. Most of the time, the only lights are from the Christmas tree and candles, which adds to the atmosphere as the Christmas story is read.
Several "food traditions" have developed as I've tried new recipes and added them to the list of "must haves" over the Holidays. One of these is a recipe for homemade rum cake. Before I found this recipe, I tried several that either flopped (baked high and pretty, then fell flatter than a pancake), or turned out more like a sponge. However, this is one that I think you will enJOY making and sharing with friends and family. The syrup coating cools to make the outside almost crunchy, while the inside is deliciously light and has just the right amount of rum flavor without the taste of alcohol (which cooks out during the baking and boiling processes). I hope you will give it a try and leave me a comment below about how it turns out for you.
Before we get started with the recipe, let me say that I was just a bit too busy last week when I made this to photograph all the steps. So, if you have any questions about any of the directions, don't hesitate to email me (or if you're local, call me!). You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you will consider making this one of your "traditions"---no matter what time of year you choose to do so. Don't forget to print the recipe or copy and paste it to a file and save it in your recipe collection.
1 cup chopped pecans
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons + ½ cup Crisco oil, divided
1 - 3.4-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup dark rum
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
½ cup dark rum
What holiday traditions do you observe during the year? If you haven't established any, consider doing so as we begin the New Year.
May 2013 be one filled with JOYful BLESSINGS for us all!