Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fruitless Fruitcake

I grew up in a family that celebrated Christmas as the biggest holiday of the year. My life today is entwined in memories of yummy smells this time of year. So, when it snows in Colorado, I get the urge to bake! Last night, I made Grandma Myrtle's fruitless fruitcake. Ok....don't click away just yet! LOL! I one likes fruitcake. But this is FRUITLESS candied fruit in it at all. And oh! I wish you could have smelled my house!!! Yummm!!

Now why do certain smells remind us of certain events in our lives? I don't think I had a childhood Christmas without her fruitcake. She also made date pudding, date swirl cookies and sugar cookies (which I made this week). I remember so much food as a kid....tables and counters laden with pies, cakes, dumplings, cookies, cupcakes and candy. It was the one time you ate til it really, really hurt!

So while things were in the oven, I quickly edited some photos from 1964 and did another digital layout.

I even wrote a little poem to go with it:

When it starts to snow
and the sun sets early
I remember holidays
from my past with glee.
Family gathered
to eat and play
time to share
things to say.
Hard to think
it was so long ago.
These photos keep my
memories aglow!

The fruitcake turned out absolutely perfect! You should give it a's a prized family recipe!

Combine these ingredients into a saucepan on the top of the stove:
1 1/2 c raisins
1 1/2c dates
2 c sugar
5 T shortening
2 c water

Cook this at least 20 minutes, boiling all the time and stirring constantly. It will turn into a rather thick paste. Pour it out into a large mixing bowl and stir in

2 c flour
1 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 c walnuts (chopped real fine)

after that is mixed well, stir in 1 more cup of flour

pour into a greased angel food cake pan. You know, the kind with a hole in the center. Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 350F. When done, let cool and then remove from the pan. Wrap tight in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 24 hours. Now, over the years, I have found that it's best to bake this at Thanksgiving and put in the refrigerator until Christmas. OK...who am I kidding? I've never had one last that long around here!!!

It has the consistency of fruitcake, but no fruit...and it should be quite chewy in the center. Just one of my very favorite things to have on hand to serve guests this time of year.

Note: Digital papers and embellishments from Memory Makers Magazine and Scrappers Guide.
Recipe credit to Myrtle House.

No comments: