Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Makes a Friendship... here's a starter!

No not waxing philosophical (we sweet housewives gave up all that waxy build up years ago, right?)

But I recalled that as a kid my aunts shared the 'gift' of what I thought were Brandied Peaches but also thought were a 'starter' for something. I believe there was a poem attached to the glass jar and I remember she was supposed to 'feed' it. I got the idea the gooey golden clove-pierced cling peach mixture was alive, a concept my dad added to with his jokes about having to sleep with one eye open while it was bubbling away in our kitchen.

Now I wonder if it was a mix of Brandied Peaches and Friendship Cake. There was never any cake. I kinda think at one point the uncles just ate the danged peaches. Laughter and questionable behavior ensued. But then, that describes most family gatherings so...

With that in mind a vintage recipe for Brandied Fruit and Friendship Cake.
May I suggest my own poem, use whichever applies:

Lest our acquaintance be forgot,
We’ll tend to it with care,
And like the fruit of friendship
We’ll still have some to share


Should old acquaintance be for naught
And friendship prove untrue
Then ditch the fruits and drink the hootch
And toast "to hell with you!"

Friendship Cake with Brandied Fruit Starter

Brandied Fruit Starter:
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (16-ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
1 (17-ounce) can apricot halves, drained
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup brandy
  1. Brandied Fruit Starter should last indefinitely if handled properly. Use clean equipment and keep it covered.
  2. Pierce peach halves with at least one clove each.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a clean, nonmetal bowl; stir gently. Put in a glass jar, cover and let stand at room temperature 3 weeks, stirring fruit twice a week.
  4. To replenish starter, add 1 cup sugar and one of the fruits, pineapple chunks, peaches, apricot halves or maraschino cherries every 1 to 3 weeks, alternating fruits each time; stir gently. Always save at least one cup to add to. Cover and let stand at room temperature 3 days before using again.
Makes 6 cups.
Friendship Cake Mix:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Brandied Fruit Starter
1 (32-ounce) can sliced peaches with juice
  1. Combine in a gallon glass jar and stir all together; stir several times the first day, thereafter stir once each day. Keep covered and at room temperature.
On Tenth Day Add:
1 (32-ounce) can chunk pineapple with juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  1. Stir once a day for 10 days.
On Twentieth Day Add:
1 (32-ounce) can fruit cocktail with juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with juice, diced
  1. Stir once a day for 10 days.
On Thirtieth day:
  1. Drain liquid from fruit. Divide the juice into 1 1/2 cups each. Place in jars with tight lids and give to a friend with a copy of recipe as soon as possible. Divide fruit into thirds. Makes 3 cakes.
  2. Cakes can be frozen after they are baked. Juice or fruit cannot be frozen.
Friendship Cake Mix Recipe:
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 (4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/3 of fruit
  1. Combine all ingredients together, mixing well.
  2. Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan at 350°F (175°C) for 50 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 12 to 15 servings (prepared cake).

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