I have to say, when I put the first morsel of my homemade fruitcake in my mouth, I had nearly the same reaction as Anto Ego in the Disney animated feature Ratatouille.
Memories of Christmases past, family came to mind. I pulled out the Nat King Cole Christmas CD. It seemed to be the perfect compliment. After one whole piece, I really didn’t want to do much of anything for the rest of the afternoon. I called my friend Paddy, the source of the recipe, and asked her where is her cousin Marjorie Boyd (creator of the fruit cake). Somehow after a boating business and a divorce Marjorie’s dropped off Paddy’s family radar. All we have left is her fruitcake(?)
Something about fruit cake that translates across cultures and continents when done right. I’ve read recipes or cooked Latin American dishes that required some form of candied fruit. Pastry or baked cake batter isn’t the signature flavor or texture. I believe Middle Eastern and Arab nationals appreciate the date and fig mixture. Afterall, where do you think these ingredients originally came from? Ireland’s Christmas Cake includes a fruit mix topped off with frosting and marzipan. The proof of the cake is in the flavoring with the fruit…and the liquor (Irish whiskey of course). As Paddy said, it was the commercial and company fruit cakes without the soak that led the revolt against fruitcakes in the U.S.
This baking experience makes me want to include a fruitcake story as part of the final “Church Lady Cake Diaries” documentary. So Marjorie Boyd, if you’re out there, we’re ready for your close up. Readers are welcomed to share your’s.
Baking and Making Memories2013 Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Pie Baking Challenge presented with Eatonville Restaurant Entries due February 4, 2013
2011 Coconut Cake Winner Decoyise Brown
2012 Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Semifinals
March 24, 2012 at Martha's Table
Church Lady Cake Diaries trailer
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