Those who know me well already know this, I haven't been able to celebrate "Christmas in my heart" for the past few years. I did celebrate, but the deep joy was missing. Maybe it was my health, or maybe it was too much loss, I'm not really sure. I would make plans and not follow through. Promises to bake all the traditional dishes, even to the point of buying nuts, spices, fruits, etc. only to toss or donate after the holidays were over with. Plans to visit friends and go to concerts all cancelled at the last minute. Using my messy house as an excuse not to invite folks in. So, when I had my husband buy all the ingredients for his mother's fruitcake recipe, I think I saw a little eye roll and heard a bit of a sigh.
Well, tonight the fruitcake is in the oven! I never truly appreciated the work involved. The batter is heavy, so heavy that my big spoon broke right in two! That did not deter me. I stirred the 7 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of butter, the sour cream, the brandy, the fruit, the nuts. It reminded me of kneading bread! My arms are so tired, but I got it all in the oven just in time to sit and watch the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree light up! I had been listening to all the beautiful music while I worked.
I never really cared for fruitcake (sorry Grandma), but my mother-in-law's recipe was unique. I'm hoping my first attempt will do her justice. It's been a lot of years since my family had Grandma Jahner fruitcake. I plan to make a few more treasured recipes during the next three weeks. And yes, I will be starting a "diet" after the holidays. For now, I'm going to celebrate all that is good and fun and delightful!
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me."
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens