For 60 years, the recipe for Lucille Harvey's white fruitcake has run in The Tampa Tribune the week after Thanksgiving.
Tradition is important. Mess with it and chaos ensues. To prevent such havoc, I am including the recipe below. (See my Stew column on the front of today's Flavor section for the full story.)
Random recipes shared
I received a handwritten letter the other day from a reader who didn't sign his or her name to the note. There was no return address on the envelope.
Inside, though, were two recipes I was happy to share.
One was for making turkey soup using the carcass of the holiday bird. The other was for homemade rice pudding, one of my favorite desserts.
Both recipes came from the December 1976 issue of "Women's Circle Home Cooking; The National Women's Cooking Club."
"I so often hear, 'What in the world am I going to do with all these [turkey] bones?'" the note reads. "Perhaps the soup recipe will give some help. God bless us all with happy holidays."
The anonymous writer's recipes run below.
More wedding cookies
The request for Mexican wedding cookies by Helen Zimmerman of Avon Park continues to draw responses.
Barb Bromley of Avon Park sent her version. It runs below. Barb says she's a snowbird from New Carlisle, Ind., just west of South Bend.
Phyllis Roman of Tampa also sent a similar version she found in the "New Doubleday Cookbook."
"These cookies are addictive," Phyllis writes. "My daughter calls them 'The Heroin Cookies.'"
Wants picadillo, frosting
Joanne Feliciano-Noshick of Tampa wants to know if any readers have a great picadillo recipe.
"Also, I would like to get a recipe for the white frosting used in Spanish bakeries," Joanne writes. "Valencia Bakeries in New York City frosts their cakes with this icing."
DeeAnn Kirby wants to make the recipe for shrimp (or chicken) with Czarina sauce served by Circles restaurants in Tampa.
Roxanne Papia of Tampa is searching for the Shrimp Suprema recipe from the former Café Pepe's on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.
Ellen Scudiero of Holiday wants the recipe for fried almond shrimp served with orange sauce that was served at the Leverock's in New Port Richey
Bob Moore wrote recently asking for the recipe to make a steak sandwich like the one served at the former Mac and Ivey's on Henderson Boulevard in the '60s.
Connie Rott wants the fried beef tips recipe served with yellow rice at J.D.'s in Ybor City.
Mrs. Harvey's White Fruitcake
4 cups shelled pecans
1 pound candied cherries
1 pound candied pineapple
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 pound butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 to 2 ounces vanilla extract
1/2 to 2 ounces lemon extract
Chop nuts and fruit into medium-size pieces; dredge with 1/4 cup of flour. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Sift together remaining flour and baking powder; fold into butter-egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and lemon extracts. Blend in fruit and nuts.
Grease a 10-inch tube pan.
Line with parchment, wax paper or foil; grease again. Pour batter into prepared pan or pans. Place in cold oven and bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours in tube pan or 2 hours in 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans at 250 degrees. Check cakes 1 hour before done and again in 30 minutes. When done, remove from oven; cool in pans on cake rack.
Makes 5 pounds of fruitcake.
Note: In 4 1/2-by-2 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch (baby) loaf pans, bake cake about 1 hour. For 1-pound cakes in 2-pound coffee cans, bake about 2 hours. In 5-ounce custard cups, bake about 1 hour. And in ungreased foil bonbon cups, bake about 30 minutes.
Old Fashioned Turkey Soup
Makes 6 servings
1 turkey carcass, broken in pieces
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups celery, sliced
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups onions, sliced
1 cup white turnip, diced
2 cups potatoes, diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
In a large stockpot, combine turkey carcass, water, salt, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 ½ hours. Remove carcass.
Pull off any meat remaining on bones. Discard bones. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in celery, carrots, onion and turnip. Simmer covered until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt.
1 ¾ cups rice
1 ½ quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
7/8 cup sugar
1 quart milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Boil rice in water until all is absorbed, stirring with a fork. Add sugar, milk and beaten eggs and start to boil again until thick. Remove from heat, add vanilla and serve.
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Cream butter and sugar for 6 minutes. Add water, vanilla, then flour and pecans. Mix well and chill in refrigerator.
Form into small, walnut-size balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar.