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    SOUTHERN HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE

    Posted by Scott Gonzalez / Cynthia Rush on 9/30/2012
    SOUTHERN HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE
    Posted by Scott Gonzalez / Cynthia Rush
         I never got to meet Aunt Lela. I heard she was the best fruitcake maker way back when. She had her own particular way and her own particular order of how a fruitcake should be made. It was passed on from Aunt Lela to the Thames family and, when we bought the Thames Nut House, we followed the recipe they had written down.
         On my first day as owner of the Nut House, Robert, the plant manager, showed me around. He informed me that we had to fulfill an order for 57,000 fruitcakes and our deadline was two weeks away. We were ill prepared. But, with the help of our new trusted employees, we were able to get all the fruitcakes done on time. I also learned a lot about making fruitcake.
         I knew my father hated fruitcake. He compared it to a brick doorstop. We loaded our white fruitcake with freshly made candied cherries, pineapples and pecans. No citron or raisins of any kind. I was surprised at how delicious it was. I gave my Dad a piece and now fruitcake is what he wants me to bring him for Christmas.
         We ought to call ours Aunt Lela's pecan cake because we put so many fresh pecans in it. Her recipe was so good it was recognized as the best in the 1989 World's Fair in New Orleans. You can make it even better by pouring bourbon over the top.
         For the holidays, Aunt Lela's fruitcake stands alone. Get yours soon from the Nuthouse or Three Georges Candy Store at 26 Dauphin Street in Mobile (251.433.6725). Like us on Facebook to receive special coupons.
         Scott

    REAL SOUTHERN CHEESE STRAWS

    Posted by Scott Gonzalez/ Cynthia Rush on 9/3/2012
    REAL SOUTHERN CHEESE STRAWS
    by Scott Gonzalez. Editor Cynthia Rush.
         Now that it's approaching fall, it's time to pull out all the old, traditional recipes. One of our favorite recipes is for our popular original, homemade southern cheese straws. A party is not a party in the south without a plate of crispy cheese straws. We bake our cheese straws fresh every day during the holiday season. They'll last for sixty days and they freeze great. If you stick them in the oven at 250 degrees for a few minutes right before you serve them, it makes them even better.
         We had already bought Three Georges in 1992. After spending five years learning the business and keeping alive the traditions of Three Georges, we had an opportunity to keep alive another great Mobile tradition -- H.M. Thames Nut House.
         This was like David taking over Goliath. We went from a staff of eleven employees to a staff of 100 overnight. That's when I got grey hair, but, what an opportunity to preserve two great Mobile culinary traditions. We went from Three Georges in a 3,000 sq. ft. building to 40,000 sq. ft. and four stores at the Nut House, plus a mail order business and a bakery. The Nut House specializes in southern pecans, candied pecans and all sorts of bakery items that include pecans, such as southern pecan pie and white chocolate butter pecan pound cake.
         When I first walked into the Nut House, there were all these ladies lined up working with commercial cookie presses. A room full of hairnets and cookie presses and they were going to town. I was thinking, this cannot be. So we bought Emma, the big hopper with sixteen start tips and a computerized conveyor to fill up a sheet pan. Emma replaced fifteen ladies and she uses the exact same great old Gulf Coast cheese straw recipe. Go Emma go!
         Our cheese straws are made with real aged cheddar cheese and just enough cayenne pepper to heighten the flavor. I am always disappointed when I get cheese straws from other companies. They look like skimpy little sticks and taste like flour. Ours are less refined and we stick to the original flavor of the south.
         Before your next party, or for an exceptional hostess gift, or just because they're good, try our real southern cheese straws. Get them for someone you love. Real southern cheese straws from the Nut House and Three Georges. And don't forget to Like Three Georges on Facebook to get special discounts.
         Scott