One year when my husband was still teaching, someone at school decided to put together a little booklet of food traditions the teachers enjoyed at holiday time.
I kept a copy of the following that Papa Pea submitted.
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A holiday tradition in our home is my
mother's-in-law fruitcake. Shortly
after I got married, I discovered she
made a fruitcake that was nothing like
the too-sweet, candied fruit concoctions
I had known while growing up.
When we moved from Illinois to Minnesota,
it wasn't always possible for all of us to be
together for the holidays. But I can always
look forward to receiving a very heavy
package in the mail --- several loaves
of her fruitcake!
A couple of these loaves get tucked away
in the freezer to bring out for canoe, car or
backpack trips during the year. (Once my
wife and I existed on hot tea and fruitcake
for three rain-soaked June days on a
Each year, we look forward to that fragrant
batch of fruit cake to continue a very special
* * * * * * * *
Here I'll add that my father was not happy that my mom baked these loaves of her fruitcake and paid a substantial amount (!) to mail them to us. Each year he asked if I had the recipe (I did), and why didn't I bake our own holiday supply of it?
Of course, once Mom was no longer able to make the fruitcake, I did take over the tradition but, sad to say, mine has never tasted quite as good as the special ones we received from her.
I know I've posted the fruitcake recipe before, but for some reason my computer is currently refusing to retrieve and give forth recipes previously included in any blog posts. So, once again, here it is.
Mix together in a large saucepan and
boil for 5 minutes:
1-3/4 cups honey (can use sugar)
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups hot water
1 cup butter
1 pound raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cool above mixture on counter overnight.
Next day add:
1 cup chopped nuts
3-1/2 cups flour (can be part whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2-3 cups chopped dried fruit (Mom liked
one cup of dates and the rest whatever
she had on hand such as dried apples,
apricots, peaches, cherries, figs, etc.)
Put mixture into three greased and floured
loaf pans and bake at 300 degrees for one
hour and fifteen minutes or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from pans and cool on racks.
Slices better after being wrapped and
refrigerated over night. Freezes well.
Makes three loaves.