Fruitcake, whether you love or hate it, there's no denying it is a Christmas tradition.
Earliest recipes for fruitcake were found in ancient Rome, calling for pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins, mixed into a barley mash. In the Middle Ages, honey, spices and preserved fruits were added to the mix. In 18th Century Europe, fruitcake was restricted to being eaten only at weddings or major holidays such as Christmas. Also at this time, nuts were included, using nuts from the harvest that were seen as a symbol of good luck. The cakes were saved and eaten just prior to the next harvest.
Some fruitcakes have been eaten 25 years after baking. Now, that's a long shelf life. For the past ten years, the Great Fruit Cake Toss has been held in January in Manitou Springs, Colo., using "recycled" fruitcakes. The record toss was 420 feet. And, finally, if you are planning to fly this holiday, especially to Canada, don't take a fruitcake along. The Canadian Air Transport Authority, in 2003, banned fruitcakes on airplanes, because they are "notoriously difficult to identify on X-ray scanners inspecting air travelers' luggage."
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
There will be a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. This event is open to the public. You do not have to be a senior or Senior Center member to attend. The menu consists of orange juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, plain or blueberry pancakes, and beverage for a $3.50 donation. The Center and dining room are festively decorated and Christmas music will add to the holiday atmosphere. No reservations are required.
Age Alert Wellness Classes are held at 11:15 a.m. Thursdays at the Center. For information call (928) 474-4876.
A diabetes seminar is scheduled for Dec. 14 and 15 at the Center. Call the above number for times and to make a reservation.
The Grandparents Support Group will meet at 12:45 p.m. Dec. 14.
There will be a Christmas party in the dining room beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, with music, lunch and a gift exchange. Following the party the Senior Center Board will meet at 1 p.m. This meeting is open to the public.
The Alzheimer's Support Group will meet at 1 p.m. Dec. 21 in the dining room.
Aggie Peters was named Volunteer of the Month for December.
The Center will be closed Dec. 23 through 26 for the Christmas holiday.
Eva Prychodnik recently was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for 18 years as a volunteer at the Senior Thrift Store, 512 W. Main St. She has filled numerous positions during her years of service and now is day manager and cashier on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Thrift Store is having a clearance sale on clothing. Blue tagged men and women's garments are .25 cents each; yellow tags are 75 percent off the marked price and green tags are 50 percent off the marked price. Children's clothing is not included in the sale. There is still a good selection of Christmas lights, decorations, garlands and other holiday merchandise. Be sure to visit the Christmas Shop located behind the store in the rear receiving area.
The Senior Thrift Store will be closed Christmas Eve and Day, and will reopen Wednesday, Dec. 27.
Payson Regional Senior Circle
"Dessert with the Director" will be at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Circle Building, 215 N. Beeline Hwy. A guest speaker will present health-related and educational classes and complimentary dessert will be served. This month's topic is "Walking for Exercise: A Physical Therapist's Perspective." Call (928) 472-9290 to register.
The Circle's annual Craft, Plant and Bake Sale will be Friday, Dec. 8, in the West Lobby at Payson Regional Medical Center. The Senior Circle will be closed from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2, 2007.
Think about it
It's not in the giving or in the receiving,
The spirit of Christmas is in the believing.