The day after ThanksGiving is all about leftovers - sandwiches of turkey and ham with stuffing, cranberries and lots of mayonnaise often fill the bill in the beginning. After that it's potato cakes and turkey salad, followed by turkey soup for the next week or until we cry "uncle". And so the holiday eat-fest begins. Sure, it's a test of our diet plans, but if we've played our cards right, we can juggle calories to accommodate all of those extra seasonal specialties and still be able to squeeze into our holiday sweaters.
My first holiday project is making fruitcakes. This is my second year to make Alton Brown's "Free Range Fruitcake", which I first saw on the New York Times food section. I alerted to it because it used dried fruit, rather than candied. It turned out great last season, so this morning I made it again, figuring it will be just right by Christmas week. I macerated the fruit, candied ginger and citrus zests in a mixture of bourbon and scotch yesterday (don't ask) which I supplemented with a little calvados this morning, and brushed the finished cakes with more calvados after they came out of the oven. They'll stay snug in the walk-in until late December, when the smaller ones will find their way into a few gift boxes and the large loaves will be sliced for BT diners to enjoy.
I wholeheartedly endorse this recipe - I make no changes to it, except use a different variety of dried fruits (what ever I can get my hands on, basically) as long as the total is the same. It is really good.