Dad and I have reached the mid-point of At Home In Mitford. We’re making good progress considering that we pause often to make “connections.” Dad grimaced upon hearing how Russell Jacks, hospitalized with pneumonia, struggled to eat a bowl of soup. He indentified with Russell’s efforts because he was attempting to convince his own inflamed throat to accept a few ounces of soup.
My turn to make a connection came two paragraphs later when Father Tim observed, “The heat in the small room was stifling.” I laughed, looking pointedly at Dad, because his two favorite room temperatures are warm, or very warm 🙂
A chapter earlier we had stopped to discuss Father Tim’s party menu for the church choir — “curried shrimp, honey-glazed ham, hot biscuits, cranberry salad, fried chicken, roasted potatoes with rosemary, and brandied fruit.” No connections for curried shrimp were forthcoming, but we each voiced fond memories of Grandmother’s cranberry salad, and brandied fruit.
A demonstration of fresh cranberry and orange grinding is required before I can successfully make the salad. (I’m unsure that a food processer can duplicate the results of a meat grinder.) A variety of brandied fruit recipes abound on the Internet, with several including brandy as an ingredient, but none are exactly like Grandmother’s recipe.
Hannah mixed up her first batch of canned fruit and sugar this evening; it will be beautifully fermented by January’s end. Dad’s throat should be able to handle a slice of freshly baked pound cake with a generous dollop of brandied fruit by then. For now, he has had to give up on soup, and is sticking to Slim-Fast.
1 (8 3/4 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
5 maraschino cherries
2 slices canned pineapple, cut in pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
Combine all fruit (makes one cup). Add sugar and let stand 10 minutes; then stir. Place fruit mixture in a wide-mouthed, gallon jar and cover loosely with foil. Do not refrigerate. Let set for two weeks, stirring at least twice each week. Repeat process every two weeks, adding 1 cup sugar and 1 cup fruit.
Seven days after adding more fruit and sugar, 1 cup of the fruit may be shared with a friend as a starter. Wait two weeks before adding 1 cup fruit and sugar to the starter.