Did you know the name for this month came from the Latin meaning “ten”? Apparently, Romulus, back in 750 BC had a different way to count months. In our day and age, we tend to overload December with events; Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day not to mention my father-in-laws 100th birthday and Nani’s birthday (wisdom cautions me not to mention which birthday it is).
Hard to believe this year is coming to a close. Here at Harvest Financial Lidia has the office decked out in holiday cheer. We will be closed Dec. 25 and 26 and, of course, January 1. I wouldn’t be surprised if members of the team took a little extra lunch time for shopping, so plan accordingly.
It appears we may have a great December in the economy and the stock market. We are ahead over 18% (as of 11/28) in the S&P 500 and there are mixed reports in other areas. For example; Black Friday was not great though it seems like special pricing started just after Halloween. Cyber Monday is way up and Holiday travel over the Thanksgiving weekend was the largest ever. Gas prices seem to be down a bit while Gold is up 6.8% year to date, crossing the 2000 mark again since May
Politically, we see choppy waters for the next several months. There are a few remaining republican candidates slugging it out in the poles and the Democrats aren’t quite sure what to do. Cautionary discussion around the Thanksgiving table was varied as to how the election year will resolve itself. None of this makes for a confident investor.
As the year closes and you look back to learn and forward to hope, take a moment to count that which is precious. That is where your time and money should be invested. Make sound choices as you consider goals for the new year. We all laugh at the jump in gym usage in January only to fall off in February and March; set goals you can sustain. If you have financial questions, write them down and share them with us and we will help where we can and refer where we can’t. We are busy considering new ways to share our thoughts and advise with you in ’24. For now, we are sharing great recipes!
We are well into the winter holidays, and we are already raiding our Citrus trees. Lemons, Limes, and Oranges are ripening and falling from the trees. In our markets we see the same analogy coming to fruition in the S&P 500. We saw some of the trees ripe with the top 7 of the S&P 500 seeing an 80% increase year to date while the other 493 companies remained flat for the year.
In the Kaminsky household we cherish our citrus fruits so much that we preserve them for the rest of the year. Juicing and freezing half the fruit, preserving a quarter, and leaving the last quarter for winter-time desserts, of which we have included one here and another on our website. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!
Citrus Cardamom Cake
1 cup Extra-Virgin Olive oil, something fruity and local
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon ground Cardamom
1.5 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
Grated Zest of 2 oranges, 1 lemon, 1 grapefruit
2 Tablespoons Citrus Juice, Any type of citrus works, though I recommend sweeter choices, like meyer lemon, or orange juice.
1 ¼ Cup Whole Milk, Use a high Fat milk, Straus if you are local.
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare Baking Pan – 9 inch round cake pan, brush the bottom and sides with olive oil. Then place a piece of cut parchment paper in the bottom, dust the bottom of the pan with a small bit of the flour.
- Mix Together your dry ingredients – through a sifter, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Wet Ingredients – In a large bowl, combine the 1.5 cuss of granulated sugar, cardamom, and eggs. Beat these until thick and fluffy. Beat vigorously, about 5 minutes. Then, slowly drizzle the olive oil in while you continue to whisk until incorporated. Once incorporated, begin to slowly whisk half the zest, all of the chosen juice, and all of the milk, until smooth and incorporated.
- Add dry mix, into wet mix, fold in slowly with a spatula until a uniform batter forms.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and baked for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer is poked into the center and comes out clean.
- Cool the cake, remove from the pan and dust with powdered sugar, and remaining half of your zests.