Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake

Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake
Dorcas Annette Walker

Some people put up their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and then take it down the day after Christmas. I like to have my Christmas decorations up the first week of December and then enjoy them until January. I’ve found that I get more pleasure out of my Christmas decorations after the rush of Christmas is over. Now I’m not advocating keeping Christmas lights up all year round like I’ve seen some folks do, but since Christmas comes just once a year why not stop to savor the season instead of fast forwarding it? My church has our adult Christmas party the week after Christmas. It has become a highlight of the year. We bring visiting family members, exchange gifts, and have a great time together. No matter what style of fashion you decide to end the old year with my Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake will help you celebrate.

Punch was first an Eastern drink taken from the Hindi word panch (five) for the five ingredients used to make punch as early as the 1600’s. Punch was introduced to the West in the seventeenth century and soon became the drink of England spreading to the American colonies by the eighteenth century where making punch was considered a social accomplishment. The earliest bowls were English and Dutch ranging from seven inches in diameter up to eight gallons. In the mid-eighteenth century Chinese porcelain became fashionable. It wasn’t until the nineteen century when cut glass punch-bowls were produced to use at festive occasions. George Washington established the tradition of serving punch to Congress on July 4th, 1790. The largest punch-bowl is the grand blue and white punch-bowl used by the first Continental Congress. The finest punch-bowl is of Liverpool Delft painted with blue ships and landscapes. The oldest punch-bowl decorated in red and gold resides in New York.

Punch drinking experienced its height from 1650 to 1850. Punch-bowls were used at husking parties, apple bees, elections, house-raisings, land sales, church dedications, baby christenings, and weddings. At funerals committees were appointed to mix and flavor the funeral punch. On Christmas Eve the punch bowl was filled and a silver coin and wedding ring dropped in to bring good luck to whoever received the item in their glass as people visited from house to house. Fashionable people in Boston served punch before dinner. By 1810 the Temperance movement was gaining momentum, which disapproved of punch drinking. Non-alcoholic punches began to circulate and soon punch became affiliated with church socials and ladies teas. Today the punch-bowl is used more as an ornament except for formal occasions.

My Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake is easy to prepare using ingredients that highlight the red and green Christmas colors when put into a glass punch-bowl. You can substitute other colors or fruit and use this basic recipe for holidays like the 4th of July or other celebrations throughout the year. To set off special occasions serve the Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake in punch-bowl glasses. Preparation time for my Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake takes about thirty-five minutes and this recipe serves twenty.

Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake

1 angel food cake
2 (20 oz) cans crushed pineapple drained
2 (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding prepared
2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling
3 (8 oz) containers of cool whip
green sprinkles

Tear angel food cake into bite-size pieces. Combine pudding and crushed pineapple in a large bowl. Four times layer in a glass punch-bowl: cake pieces with green sprinkles, pudding and pineapple mixture, cherry pie filling, and then cool whip. Garnish the top with red & green sprinkles, small decorative candy pieces, or pipe red and green icing gel in circles and weave a knife through. Cover with saran wrap and chill!

Weekly tip: When plastic wrap won’t cling, moisten the edge of a bowl or rim of container with water and it will stick immediately!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com


mimito5 said...

Hi Dorcas :) I am going to use your "Holiday Punch-Bowl Cake" for 4th of July, only decorate with blueberries instead of pineapple. Hope you dod not mind the exchanges. I remember having this easy recipe a long time ago and it is SO good and looks very impressive! Thank you very much.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Hey, what a neat idea! I hope it turns out great for your 4th of July holiday.