Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Making Fruitcake with the Sisters

The coming weekend is the day: the girls are getting together to
make fruitcake!
In my family, it's been a tradition for as long as I can remember--and our cakes are good.

Mom used to be the one who planned it all, so last year was our first time to do it without her guiding hand. We missed her, but enough of my sisters remembered her tricks, and although "the" recipe was never found, we managed to come up with something that made a cake just about as good and moist as those we remember from past years.

What’s in the cakes? Well, some of this, some of that. Candied fruits, nuts, two kinds of raisins, currants, spices, molasses, eggs, two kinds of sugar, butter, port, sherry, brandy, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest—I’m sure I’m missing something!

Here are a few photos from last year’s great bake-off. While we were still sad from the loss of our father two months earlier, and still missing our mother who’d only been gone a year, the ritual of making the cakes ended up being a happy occasion full of memories that have carried us through for another year.

What were we talking about? I promise that no one even nipped at the sherry in the photo!

Uh-oh, it was getting serious! Were we hearing Mom's voice at this point? I would not be surprised, because she would have loved to be there with us. Perhaps she was, after all.

Theresa is obviously trying to remember something here, amidst the stacks of ingredients and utensils. And yes, we used almost all those eggs, all the fruit, a lot of flour, sugar, spices and nuts, along with judicious amounts of sherry, port, and brandy!

Crunch time as the day wanes and the batter is still in the bowl.

Stirring and making my wish. Three stirs, one wish, and don't tell your wish to anyone or it won't come true.

Finished! A couple of the finished product can be seen in the lower right of the photo. Seven of eight sisters were there--Maggie, whose husband was still in the burn unit at Johns Hopkins, could not be with us, but Theresa or Julie doctored this picture later so that Maggie was in in after all! Wish I had a copy of that picture. But from top left and going clockwise:
Mary, me, Theresa (the chief cook of the crowd and the one who remembered "the recipe" better than any of the rest of us), Cathy, Judy (we were at her house in the mountains of Hardy County, WV, the house she and her husband designed and built), Julie, and Elizabeth.


gvp said...

hi there,
I was randomly tagged through NaBloPoMo for this game - 7 weird or random facts about me - and according to the rules I have to use the Randomizer to tag 7 other people and you were one of the "lucky" ones to be randomized!! If you are interested in playing this post on my blog explains more fully.

It was nice to visit your blog in any case (although it made me feel rather hungry!).


Mary said...

It looks like such fun! Wish I could just teleport in! Looks delicious, too.

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