Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Fruitcakes and the Sun is Not Over the Yardarm

It is a nice, cool, wonderful day in late October, and today I am going to make the annual fruitcakes with my Mom’s old recipe. I always set a target date of 31 October, and try to make them somewhere in that week so they will have time to mellow in the refrigerator.

The recipe is my Mother’s, although she says she barely recognizes the result. I can remember as a little girl in Alaska sitting at the kitchen table and cutting dates with scissors, taking the seeds out and cutting the rest into pieces, and then the prunes. For a long time I was not fond of dates or prunes, LOL! They were STICKY!

Now, dates and prunes come in packets already pitted, and you can even buy date pieces (I don’t) so you don’t have to cut them up. The Cuisinart does a great job, makes all that cutting into small pieces a 10 second task. It takes longer to load and clean the Cuisinart than it takes to chop the dates and prunes.

I watch the stores for the candied cherries and citron, and use a lot. After all, it’s supposed to be a FRUITcake, isn’t it? The first one is ready by Thanksgiving. I make a few larger ones to use during the holidays, and several smaller ones to give as gifts, but only to people who really like fruitcake and won’t use it as a doorstop. They are dense, and heavy as bricks, LOL.

Yesterday, AdventureMan brought home a couple of his friends from the garden club. Wouldn’t you know, I had just poured a bottle of brandy over the raisins and microwaved them to soak overnight, so the raisins in the fruit cake would be plump and tasty. As they all walked in, the house reeked of brandy. I could imagine them wondering if Adventureman’s wife was hitting the bottle that early in the day. Not only was the sun not over the yardarm, but wasn’t even near.

I hope to have them all baked and wrapped and stored by tonight.

UPDATE: Mission accomplished 🙂

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October 27, 2012 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Chocolate, Christmas, Cooking, Cultural, Generational

2 Comments »

  1. My mom always used to make fruitcakes too. I thought it was a great holiday breakfast and never thought about the booze breath until I was older. She used to use bourbon on them. Maybe I should make one for my brother since Mom is no longer around to do it. I don’t think she used prunes or dates but lots of candied cherries and citron and golden raisins and pecans. Almost no cake, just enough to hold the bourbon flavor!

    Comment by momcatwa | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. LOL, I was just pulling them out of the oven, thinking the same thing – just enough cake to hold the fruit together. When I drained the raisins, I saved all the brandy and used it in the cake for the liquid. Has a great flavor 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 27, 2012 | Reply


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