Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Story of Fruit Cake

As a young girl, I remember my mother offering us pieces of this dark brown, heavy Fruit Cake that came in the mail.  I know it sounds strange, as children we thought so as well.  But when you live far away from relatives this is how you keep tradition.  My grandmother Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn (Nanny) made a traditional Fruit Cake every year around Christmas.  The recipe she used has been in the family for generations.  It originally came with my ancestors from England  in the 1700's.  I learned recently that Aunt Agnes continued to make it every Christmas in loving memory of her mother.  Nanny passed away in 1987. 

Aunt Agnes told me, in the winter they would be skating on the pond across from their house and they could smell the Fruit Cake baking in the oven.  Nanny would have it ready with a cup of tea when they came in to get warm.

This year I decided to try making Nanny's Fruitcake. Cinnamon, Cloves, Allspice, Dark Molasses, Raisins, Currants, Dates. Lemon peel, Citron, everything went into a large cast iron pot and I baked it for 3 and 1/2 hours in a low heated oven.  The smell of the spices filled my house creating an aroma of rich sweetness and comfort.  Once the cake came out of the oven, the directions said to baste the cake with a wine glass full of whiskey or rum, then a layer of white butter frosting to crown it.  During the process of making the cake, I thought about my grandmother, her sweet and loving ways. I think I have begun a new-old tradition.

I dedicate this Post to my grandmother, Ellen Mary Tobin Flynn

1 comment:

  1. Elaine, I am catching up on your posts! I love this one story. Is that lady your Nanny?