We are having an extremely quiet day. Just Sam and me until tomorrow. We shared our presents and have played with the goodies in our stockings - CDs. ;o)
In my home, it wouldn't be Christmas without fruitcake. Yep! I typed f r u i t c a k e. But, puleeze don't give me a store bought fruitcake with citron and candied orange peel. I don't even want the candied fruit that grocery stores stock for so-called fruitcakes. Yuck.
Mama tried for years to find a fruitcake like her mother made. She even purchased fruitcakes from Collin Street Bakery - reputed to have the best fruitcakes ever. After trying two or three years in a row, purchasing different fruitcakes from them, she gave up. The only person who would eat them - any of them - was Ron, my first husband. Shoot! He'd even eat the $1 fruitcakes I purchased (for him only) at Wal-Mart. That just proved he'd eat anything! Oh, except celery...until later when he discovered he liked it smeared with peanut butter...???!!!
One day Mama stumbled across her mother's fruitcake recipe in a stash of papers. Excitedly she gave it to me. "See what you can do with this." My grandmother used fruits she canned or fermented or whatever she did along with fresh fruit. Since I don't remember her fruitcake, I have no idea what it tasted like and just couldn't get close to what Mama remembered. So, I took my grandmother's recipe and made it mine.
It turned out soooo good! I researched how to patent a recipe. Well. You can not patent the list of ingredients. The only thing you can patent is the description of how to make that specific recipe. So...I have shared my Not Your Ordinary Fruitcake with several friends. Nora in Conroe Texas has entered it several times in a baking contest...she wins every year she enters it! (I entered it in Daingerfield Days this last October...did not even place!) It is also in the cookbook the Friends of the Daingerfield Public Libray compiled. To order your copy of Cooking With Friends, just look to the sidebar to the right of this post and click on the cookbook.
Not Your Ordinary Fruitcake
Inspired by Ruby Durham Sanford
1 large jar red Maraschino cherries, drained
1 medium jar green Maraschino cherries, drained
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small package orange slice candy, chopped
1 (1 lb.) package white raisins
1 (1 lb.) package dates
4 cups pecans, chopped
1 package Craisins
1 (14 oz.) package coconut
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound butter
2 cups sugar
You are going to need a BIG container to mix this…I use a jelly kettle. Chop all fruit and nuts and mix together. Combine flour, baking powder, and soda; add to fruit and mix well. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add first mixture and mix well. Bake in two greased tube cake pans at 250 degrees for 2 hour and 45 minutes to 3 hours. You can also bake this in four loaf pans.
The good thing about this recipe is that you can add something else! The Craisins are a recent addition. A short while back, Mama gave me a bag of dried tart cherries. And, man were they ever tart! We ate a few before I decided that I better seal them and put them in the freezer or they would be gone. When Mama handed me a bag of pecans (they are costly this year and I had decided not to spend that much money for nuts therefore not making the fruitcakes) I chopped the dried cherries and into the mix they went. I didn't put as many Maraschino cherries in this time but still worried about adding the Craisins and the dried cherries...concerned that the batter might be too dry. It's not. Especially if you sprinkle a bit of rum over the fruitcake and put the dome back over the cakeplate. ;o)
Look at this cutie! This photo is through the screen so it is not clear. I tried sneaking through the garage, but as soon as I eased my head around the corner, the whole lot of birds "flew the coop." The Mister was on the bird feeder while the Mrs. and some other little birds were on the ground.