Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather

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WEB Ruminatioins fruitcake

Three kinds of fruitcake were once the centerpiece of our holiday dessert table. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle December 22, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail

There is a persistent rumor that there’s only one fruitcake in the world. It just keeps getting rewrapped and passed along.

Generally speaking, people either love fruitcake or they hate it. And after a lifetime of trying to talk people around on the subject of fruitcake, my research suggests that there are more people in the hate it than love it camp.

Blame it on the Claxtons. They’ve been making fruitcake since 1910. Selling Claxton fruitcakes used to be a popular fund-raiser for bands and churches around Christmas time, and they’re still available at Walmart and other outlets.

A Claxton fruitcake is the size and consistency of a doorstop, and devoid of flavor.

I suspect that people buy Claxton… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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In Glover: Santa comes to town, in a fire truck

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Alex Young of Glover attempts to toss a miniature wreath on one of the tines of a ten-point buck painted by Lorie Seadale.  Photos by David Dudley

Alex Young of Glover attempts to toss a miniature wreath on one of the tines of a ten-point buck painted by Lorie Seadale. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle December 17, 2014

by David Dudley

GLOVER — The fire station here was packed with children and their parents Saturday night waiting for Santa to arrive. Though Mr. Claus was late — apparently due to problems with his sled — there were still lots of things to do at the tenth annual Ride a Fire Truck with Santa, held by the Glover Volunteer Fire Department.

But nobody had to remind the children not to pout or cry. They were in the mood to make merry.

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Ruminations: Start a new tradition with Christmas cookies

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Some of our Christmas cookies from a previous year.  Clockwise from the bottom center, are:  Cuccidati, or Italian fig cookies; pizzelle; almond cookies (recipe not provided here); merenguitos; and more pizzelle.  Photo courtesy of Natalie Hormilla

Some of our Christmas cookies from a previous year. Clockwise from the bottom center, are: Cuccidati, or Italian fig cookies; pizzelle; almond cookies (recipe not provided here); merenguitos; and more pizzelle. Photo courtesy of Natalie Hormilla

copyright the Chronicle December 11, 2013

by Natalie Hormilla

Some years ago, when we got tired of too many Christmas gifts with too little meaning, we started to give away Christmas cookies.

The whole process is beautiful.  We bake together, listen to Christmas tunes, talk about the people we’ll give them to, sip amaretto, and just hang out as a family.

The best part is giving them.  The cookies we make for Christmas make their appearance just once a year.  They have a way of inspiring talk about those past family members who carried the recipes into the present.

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In Newport: Merchants get creative to compete with Internet

At All About Home in Derby, Cindy Moylan stocks high-end merchandise and matches online prices.  The strategy brings in business, but leaves her with a limited profit margin and makes it hard to add staff for the store, she said.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

At All About Home in Derby, Cindy Moylan stocks high-end merchandise and matches online prices. The strategy brings in business, but leaves her with a limited profit margin and makes it hard to add staff for the store, she said. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 4, 2013

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — A random sampling of local merchants suggests they are experimenting with new ways to compete in what has become a global marketplace.
The beginning of the 2013 Christmas shopping season looked pretty good, they said, but they are all looking over their shoulders at their real competition — the Internet.

Like most of the other storeowners, Cindy Moylan of All About Home in Derby, said she faces stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon.  Her solution is to match their discounted prices on an everyday basis.

“People are conscious about how they spend their money,” she said.

Ms. Moylan said her customers often come into the store looking for the kitchenware and appliances she stocks, and they’re armed with lists of the lowest prices available on the Internet.  Because she bases her prices on the lowest allowed by manufacturers, those informed shoppers know they’ve found a good deal, she said.

Although one might like to think people will be willing to part with a little extra money in order to support a local business, Ms. Moylan said most people just go with the lowest price.

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