I'm sure I used to get under her feet when she was baking, but I always loved being in the kitchen with her. She taught me to love and respect food and to this day, I do.
I have kept note of every fruitcake I have made - how successful it was- whether it baked perfectly or was underdone or over baked and this is a way of making sure that I have a good result.
The story of my mother's recipe is a charming one. As a young bride, recently moved from Canada to Detroit where my father found work, she lived in rooms in the home of a Scottish lady whose name I can no longer remember. This lady took my mother, only 19 years old and away from her family, under her wing. She taught her the proper way to make tea (always hot the pot) and gave her two fruitcake recipes - one light and one dark. We always preferred the light one and that is the one that was handed down to me.
When I moved to England, I wrote and asked for the recipes and eventually, got a rather grumpy reply that this was the fourth time she had written it out for me. I found every one. Bless her. No computers then.
I used to see making fruit cake as a daunting task, and although we all love it, the whole recipe made five fruitcakes - way too much for us and our friends. Recently, I started making half the recipe. It makes three small loaf tins and all have been eaten by the end of the festive season, leaving us anticipating having the again the next year.
It takes quite a lot of ingredients, but this year, I found all the fruit and nuts in the freezer. They kept very well and Hubby says they are the best fruitcakes ever.
|My Mother's hand-written recipe.|
|The fruit and nuts in a large bowl.|
|The loaf tins lined with parchment paper. I only used three.|
|Adding the batter to the fruit and nuts.|