Saturday, December 10, 2011


We came to the farm Thursday. It was cold – probably about freezing – and cold in the house. I brought with me another fruitcake trial – this time a recipe from Mother’s box in her handwriting. I had mixed the fruit and dry ingredients in town. I mixed in the eggs, packed the fruit-rich mix into bread pans lined with greased brown paper, and set them to baking in the oven at 275.

Mother baked fruitcake while I was at school, so I never saw the process from beginning to end. I don’t even know for sure that this recipe is the one she preferred. And anyway, I used my own mix of fruits, substituting golden raisins and fruitcake mix for much of the candied fruit.

I wasn’t sure when the cake was done. With so little batter it was hard to test. I baked it 75 minutes and then removed it from the oven.

But – in two days Mike and I managed to eat one of the loaves by ourselves. Note to self: get more fruitcake supplies and start earlier next year.

Mike got up about 5:45 this morning to let Nellie in. The wind blew the woodshed door open and that was too weird for her. He checked out the lunar eclipse and took this picture of the Christmas tree. 
When I got up, I noticed a deer at the far side of the “north forty.” And then there were five in the middle of the field. I think they know the season closed. KW


Chris said...

Okay, I can't stand that there are zero comments on this one, and so I'll repeat the one I put on the wrong post. :-)

Mmmm, the fruitcake looks yummy! One of these days I'm going to have to give making some a try.

Kathy said...

I appreciate the comment, Chris -- wherever you put it. I have made three batches of fruitcake so far. Next: rolled sugar cookies.

Leah said...

Rolled sugar cookies are the only cookie I ever made for Christmas. Yes, that's past tense. No family around to bake for now. My recipe came from a book that my mother-in-law had. Don't remember if she made them, before I found it in her book.

I was trying to replicate the cookies my mother made for Christmas. She didn't bake much so I loved those cookies. My father made the cookie cutters by hand from tin cans that held shortening, coffee, etc. I remember one shape that had the loops around it like a large flower.

The recipe (from 1956) was so good and perfect for my little family. I rolled them very thick and after they cooled, frosted them with green or pink powdered sugar icing. That was in the days before you could buy frosting, too. One shape in my cookie cutters was a Christmas tree. It was twice the size of the bell & star shape. We always ate the trees first, as it made a very tasty cookie.

My recipe had a soft texture...never crunchy. They didn't stay in the cookie jar long enough to get crunchy! I asked an aunt one time why my cookies were so soft. She thought it was the milk in the recipe.

Maybe I should have waited for your Sugar cookie post, Kathy.

Kathy said...

Well -- and I'm about at that point, Leah. But as I told Chris, it doesn't matter where the comments land.

Hallie said...

Oh that must have been neat to have custom made cookie cutters. I'm not much for store bought frosting. Mom always whipped up the frosting at home. I like the candied fruit cake squares but I probably haven't had a lot of fruitcake in my days.

Leah said...

Life in the 1930's & 1940's is nostalgic from this vantage point. But money was scarce. Many things were handmade from available materials. People recycled before it was "fashionable."

I'll bet Kathy can tell us about handmade things (not sewn items) in the Dobson, Dickson & Portfors families.

Kathy said...

Yes, and sometimes I do talk about the handmade things. I believe it's not that they came through the Depression but that they lived before the Depression when not only money but goods were scarce. Mike and I come from the same sort of backgrounds where people "made do," regardless of whether you could afford to buy or not. Today we have to remind people to reduce, re-use, and recycle.