Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday Selections #203

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.

Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am finally getting over my bah humbuggery and am getting into the Christmas spirit.  Or spirits.

For more years than I care to think about I have been making Christmas cakes of various sizes for family and friends.  Each year I tell myself it is the last time, and each year I start mixing again.  The fruit is soaked in a mixture of rum and brandy for a week or so before the cakes are cooked.  When they emerge from the oven they get a cap full of rum and brandy on alternate nights.  By the time Christmas arrives they are the cake you have when you are having a drink...




Happy holidays, one and all.

128 comments:

  1. I wonder if anyone makes a fruit cake like this that is gluten free? my aunt joan used to make the whole family these fruit cakes and I crave them this time of year terribly.Perhaps I need to learn how to make one as I love the rum or whiskey soaked cakes so much. Your's looks to enticing

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    1. Linda Starr: I vary the fruit and spices in them for individuals but haven't (yet) been asked for a gluten free one. I had a look on the internet though and it looks very possible. Next year?

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    2. I took the step and visited Linda Starr's blog, EC...and I gave her a couple of sites to visit so she can peruse a couple of gluten-free Christmas cake recipes. :)

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    3. Linda-- this brought back memories. Some years ago, not long after explaining my celiac diagnosis to a neighbor, she gifted me with a fruitcake. Regular kind, of course. She's a highly educated person who works in the education field. I was perplexed.

      I've never tried it, but I'm sure you could make a gluten-free one. Almost anything is replicable with a few tweaks. Good luck with the recipes.

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    4. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Hiss and spit. The recipes I had a quick look at on line looked relatively easy. Which is a rare plus.

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  2. Now that's a fruit cake I would actually eat. Sounds nothing like the dense, awful-tasting bricks people make here in the states.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: These are rich - but not awful tasting bricks. Or at least I don't think they are...

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    2. off topic, my mother's pancakes resembled bricks. Honestly, you could have paved the yard with them.

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  3. Yand the tradition continues ~ Happy Christmas to you and yours Sue from Cairns xx

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  4. Yand? Think it must be the Xmas cake ~ hic

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    1. Carol: It is a time consuming tradition. I made over twenty of them this year. Happy Christmas to you and yours as well. With plenty of hics, good sleep and wonderful books.

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  5. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, too, EC! I used to make and mail fruitcakes like that too. Haven't in a few years. They are heavy and I have to mail from Canada to Georgia (in the USA) for my family and to Saskatchewan in Canada for Tom's family. It became very expensive.

    I like nuts, dried fruits, but not dried citrus in mine. I also added coffee or grape juice to make them very dark. I used an antique recipe which suggested that. Best wishes to you in 2015!

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    1. D.G Hudson: We mail some of ours too - and it does get expensive. Coffee and/or grape juice sounds a good addition. I will have to think about that next year - if I make them.
      Best wishes to you and yours for 2015. I hope that your husband continues to improve - and that you aren't run too ragged.

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  6. Scrumpty, yum yum yum......................................

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  7. These types of cakes are so popular in England, I think if i bit into one I'd be overwhelmed with memories.
    Happy holidays to you!

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    1. totallycaroline: I think it would transport you back down memory lane in an instant. Probably the smell would be enough... I hope there are some good ones in there too.

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  8. Good morning EC. A lovely looking cake there. I made mine a few weeks ago; I multiplied the ingredients so I could make a couple extra as gifts...one extra for me (which I've already devoured. Well...I had to have a taste-test!)

    I'm finding it very difficult to get in the spirit of Christmas, too. But after the horrendous events this past week, here and overseas, I do feel like getting into some spirits!! It's been enough to drive one to drink!

    Purposely, my Christmas is going to be very low-key. I'm just going to do it "my way"...relax and enjoy it with my two furry mates. Once upon a time I went all out and overboard with hordes flowing through Christmas morning...and another horde for a sit-down hot lunch; and other times I catered for the masses when I was in the hospitality industry...but no longer. As well as growing grey hair, I think I may have grown some sense...some!

    I hope you, The Skinny One, Jazz and Jewel have a Merry Christmas...(and your guest)! Take good care. I'll raise a glass of good cheer to you on the Day. Enjoy your fruit salad and champers. :)

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    1. Lee: I started making Christmas cakes last month, and finished a couple of weeks ago. I haven't taste tested any of these batches yet, but the recipe is tried and true.
      I envy you your low key Christmas, and hope it is wonderful. Thanks for giving Linda the gluten free links.

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  9. I have had good fruit cakes and I have had bad fruit cakes ... but I have to say, I wish I lived in your neighborhood. That looks delicious and the process holds all kinds of promise. I am glad you got past your Bah humbugs ... Hoping you and The SP are able to have a wonderful "spirts- ual" Holiday. Sorry you don't get snow ... that seems to be a prerequisite here for we all love our White Christmases. But a good book, a warm cozy chair, good company, a choice of spirits and fruit cake ... I would take that in a heartbeat. I wish you the best of Holidays and a year that brings good health and healing to your home. Happy Holidays!


    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea Priebe: Thank you so much. Happy holidays to you too - and a year full of wonder. I am hoping for a cool Christmas - even if it won't be white.

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  10. Oh my, I'm not normally a fruit cake fan, but this, I would make an exception for. It looks soooo good.
    I can imagine having a tipple or two with a slice of this at the end of Christmas Day. Delicious!

    Hugs to you and SP. Wishing you both good cheer on Christmas Day and warmest of heartfelt wishes for 2015.
    May you both keep safe and well.
    xxx

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    1. Vicki: We have had a very long time to tinker with (and hopefully improve) the recipe. And I am told it goes well with ice-cream.
      Best wishes to you and yours - and hopefully a less exhausting year for you. No less productive, but much less exhausting.

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    2. Actually, the only time I do/have eaten fruit cake, is with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm. You're making me drool at the thought...

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  11. Your fruitcake looks really good and well worth the effort since it will be enjoyed :)
    Wishing you and yours all the Season's Beauty and Delight.* Merry Christmas *

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    1. Whisper Mist: It is a lot of work, but I suspect while people still enjoy it I will keep making them.
      Season's Beauty and Delight is a wonderful toast - thank you, and right back to you.

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  12. I'll tell you what, I'm not a cake kinda person by any stretch of the imagination, however, as it's been lovingly dribbled with rum and brandy on alternate nights I may have to change my mind. De-licious! :)))

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    1. Wendy: I am not a cake person either. I will probably have one small piece of this one, and that will be it. The rum and brandy help, but I would much rather go down the savoury path for treats.

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  13. Looks delicious! Do you give it away or do you freeze it?

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    1. ditchingthedog: Most of it we give away. The skinny one's sister gets a huge one - which disappears in a day or so. His uncle gets a small one, my family get small ones, friends get them...

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  14. I'm the only one I know of who LOVES fruitcake, but not the hard, dry, fruitcakes. THAT'S the cake that everyone associates with fruitcake. I love them moist and chocked full of fruit. So, I made my own, then received one in the mail from a reader who knows of my addiction. One evening of eating a piece of mine; a piece of hers, a piece of mine.....and I got such a bowel blockage I may never see fruitcakes the same again. So keep them away from His Skinniness.

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    1. lotta joy: There is NOTHING hard or dry about these cakes. His high and skinniness likes it (a lot) but so far hasn't had any problems. Which I hope continues...

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  15. I have never had fruitcake before- but yours do look good! I love that every year you think it will be your last year making them! :)

    Happy Holidays!
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS: Happy Holidays to you too.
      There is a lot of work in them, and they are fairly expensive too. While I am in the insanity of making them I always think, never again - but my slow learning self lines up again the next year.

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  16. No cake for us this year. One year I made mini cakes and gave them out as gifts. They were double iced and turned out really well, but no-one seemed to appreciate them and given how much work went into them, that was the last time I made the mini cakes.

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    1. Andrew: There is a LOT of work as you know. I refuse to ice them, as it just adds to the work load. If the people we gave them to didn't appreciate them that would be it. Never again. I think I would continue to make one for us though.

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  17. My diabetes won't let me eat your fruitcakes but I can still wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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    1. fishducky: And Happy Holidays to you too. I hope you find suitable treats that you CAN enjoy.

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  18. Replies
    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: And to you and yours. Including those with four legs.

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  19. I am the only person I know who likes fruit cake. Loves fruit cake. Before the season is over I hope to encounter one. Good for you for keeping up the custom.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: I hope you find a fruit cake. A rich moist fruit cake.

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    2. I wish I'd known that earlier Joanne, I'd have made you one! Would you consider eating one at another time of year???

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  20. Oh Yum, I wish I were close enough to have a sliver of that cake. It looks so good! I bet everyone around you appreciates them so!

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  21. I am looking at that flower and going WOOOOOOW. I dont think I've ever had a christmas cake, but yours look good! It looks like what we have in America... called fruitcake.

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    1. Furry Bottoms: It is a fruit cake. Called a Christmas cake because of the time of the year. Many of them are iced too - with marzipan and Royal Icing. I don't like Royal Icing and my partner loathes marzipan so we do without...

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  22. I am not a fan of the icky processed things they sell called fruitcakes here, but yours? With all the incredible dousing of brandy and rum? Oh, yes! I would definitely be on board for that! And yes... I think I can smell them from here, EC. Sending you and the family LOTS of love for the coming year. :-)

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    1. DJan: I am not a fan of the icky processed things either. It does smell strong, so perhaps you can smell it. Lots of love to your and yours too - hugs.

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  23. A nice moist fruitcake is a thing of beauty.

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  24. Isn't it funny that it always works that way? You are determined not to do something again and then you find yourself doing exactly that again and again and again. Those cakes look yummy. An edible drink is always nice...

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    1. Carola Bartz: It is a good recipe. And a forgiving one too. I change the fruit and I change the spices, and it still works out. Which is just as well.

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  25. made my cake - yet to ice it. Yours looks so good. Hankering for a slice with a glass of milk for some reason...

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: I am not icing these. I would like marzipan and himself would like Royal Icing. So they will go naked and unadorned.

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  26. 99% of my family aren't christmas cake fans, nor the puddings either. I've never made a boozy cake, just fruit cakes but nobody ate them but me. I tried puddings for a few years, bought ones and the kids would eat the custard, maybe a nibble of pudding, so I gave up on those too and now buy a small iced cake and one of those tiny individual puddings just for me. I remember living across the road from Rosemary in 1976 and visiting while she was making her cakes, her home smelled so delicious! Your cakes look wonderful.

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    1. River: The house does smell amazing while they are cooking and cooling down. Baking is one of the very best smells isn't it?

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  27. I'd like the recipe please, if you don't mind sharing it, I'm sure I can find odd corners in my freezer to put slices of cake into. I could do the baking in winter to warm the kitchen.

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    1. River: I have sent you an email. If anyone else is interested I have posted it before, and you should be able to track it down by putting 'the cake you have when you are having a drink' into the search field.

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  28. I'm in permanent bah humbug mode...although if I were to eat one of your cakes I could probably sing Jingle Bells with gusto! You are a generous person, EC, both in spirit and thought. Big hugs to you! I hope others appreciate your thoughtfulness. I know I do!

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    1. River Fairchild: Blushing here. I am a bad tempered piece of work as well. But you know that. And hugs to you too.

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  29. That cake looks wonderful, E.C. I wish I ad the patience to bake one.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: I can almost do them on automatic pilot now. Almost.

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  30. Replies
    1. Lon Anderson: Rich and delicious. Not a cake to have before driving though. Or doing anything much at all.

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  31. Well, how could you possibly get through the holiday without fermented rum and brandy? I suppose maybe you could just skip the cake part, but the cake probably does help the alcohol slide down more easily.

    Of course, in my part of the world I think pastries are more usually baked with the herbal alternative to booze. (For the record, I do not personally do that kind of baking. Just saying. I live in Humboldt County.)

    Good luck getting through the "holiday"!

    (PS I tried to leave a comment on an earlier post a few days ago, but Google dumped it. @#$% Google.)

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): Blogger has been particularly obstreperous of late. And yes, fermented rum and brandy has a LOT of charm at the moment.

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  32. Oooh, EC, that looks so good and reminds me of my Mum and Nana and the many rich alcohol soaked Christmas cakes they made each year. I did too, in a past life, but you're making me think maybe I should get back into that mode next year. I love your generosity as I'm sure do all the recipients of your wonderful boozy cakes.

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    1. Carol: It has become a tradition now. And when I once suggested that I was done the complaints were deafening. It is more up my alley than facing shopping centres too.

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  33. Oh to receive such a cake. Your recipients are blessed :)

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    1. DeniseinVA: I hope they think so too. Thank you.

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  34. My mouth is watering just looking!!! I have to be honest and say I have never made a Christmas cake (or pudding for that matter). I think it goes back to my childhood when we spent all our Christmases away in Mandurah but in later years my mum made the world's bestest mince pies and I miss them so much.
    P.S. I once though did make really wonderful boiled fruitcakes but weight and diabetes put an end to that unfortunately.

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    1. Mimsie: My mother made two different types of fruit cake each year, shortbread, mince pies, cheese straws (a savoury shortbread) and more each year. Sometimes she also added a Christmas pudding. Way too much work for me - and too much food as well.

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  35. I love fruit cakes, well any cake really especially chocolate! that one of your looks delicious. Have a great Sunday and a wonderful Christmas week ahead

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    1. Margaret Adamson: I am not really a cake fan. A slice of cake occasionally - but not more.
      I hope your Sunday and your Christmas week are magical.

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    2. Baida is one of 16 female would-be suicide-bomber suspects or accomplices who have been captured by the police in Diyala Province since the beginning of 2008; almost as many have blown themselves up. When I first met Baida in February, she had already been in jail more than two months. She was in the same cell with another would-be suicide bomber, Ranya, who was 15 when she was caught on her way to a bombing, her vest already strapped on. Ranya’s mother was also in the jail because she was believed to be connected to those involved in trying to organize Ranya’s death.

      Nowhere, it seems, have more women blown themselves up in so short a time as in Iraq, where there have been some 60 suicide bombings attempted or carried out by women, the majority of them in 2007-8, according to statistics gathered by the American military and the Iraqi police. (The numbers, for men as well as women, are lower this year, though the attacks continue.) At least a third of those bombers came from Diyala, mostly from the provincial capital, Baquba, 40 miles northeast of Baghdad, or from a small stretch of land that lies in the Diyala River valley. Thick with date-palm groves, small rivers and lush fields, Diyala appears to be an oasis in the desert. But over the last four years it has been home to some of Iraq’s most violent terrorist factions. It was here and in Baghdad that the extremists’ most lethal weapons were honed. One of those was suicide bombers who were women.

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    3. usicdidribee titkea: I have left this comment in place, despite it being off topic because it is proof that you don't have to resort to aggressive obscenity.
      I would like to know more about this, and how you are connected. In what capacity do you visit these women? Just the same, a blog about fruit cakes is not the place, and I didn't need to see the same comment multiple times. A blog of your own perhaps?

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  36. Wow that looks lovely, you're a fine baker misses as well as an artful photographer it seems *beams*. I have never eaten fruit cake because the fruit seems to take the place of where cake should be *laughs*.

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    1. All Consuming: Fruit cakes seem to fall into the love it or loathe it category. You DEFINITELY wouldn't have liked one of my mothers cakes. There was just (and only just) enough cake to cement the fruit and nuts together.

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  37. Lucky family and friends! They look great! I don't eat fruit cake at all but my partner loves it, and Christmas puddings etc. It's all a bit too rich for me but I do love a mince pie.

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    1. LL Cool Joe: It is rich. Very rich. I will (probably) have a slice - but no more. My partner will enjoy it though.

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  38. That sounds (and looks) absolutely exquisite. I may be bumming the recipe off you in the near future, when I have more than one person to bake for! I've never made a holiday or Christmas fruit cake before but this is tempting me. I just need to find some willing eaters... (and drinkers)

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    1. Raquel Somatra: In my experience if you cook, the consumers will come. Sometimes like locusts. Hugs.

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  39. I'm not a big fan of fruit cakes either and for the reasons Alex states, but I might give yours a go! It sounds yummy :)

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    1. mshatch: This is definitely not a dry brick. I hope it doesn't taste awful either.

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  40. absolutely gorgeous and yummy.
    I smell it all the way over here, S. xxxxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: Doesn't baking give the best smell?

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  41. I know just what you mean about thinking you'll never make them again and ending up the next year making them again. I do the same with an oatcake recipe that seems very popular here. It would be more fun if I didn't feel obligated - now why is that?! Your cakes look awesome. What a lot of work (I read in the comments that you make many, many more than in that photo).

    I hope you have a peaceful and lovely holiday season, EC and SP. Enjoy.

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    1. jenny_o: We have created a monster. I made over twenty cakes this year. And cooked shortbread for a few people who consider fruit cake poison. Oatcake? Recipe? Please pretty please.
      A wonderful holiday season to you and yours too. Love and laughter.

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    2. Recipe - of course - by email, soonest. The recipe I make here in Nova Scotia is like a cookie, not a cake as one might think from the name, and not a flatbread as it was originally made in Scotland. Apparently when the Scots came to Canada, the oatcake evolved from a basic carbohydrate, served like bread at every meal, into a sweet or savoury treat to have with tea. For more, here is the wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatcake. They are fiddly to make but because they have enough fat and sugar to sink a ship, they taste pretty good :)

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    3. Thank you. I am always happy to broaden my recipe horizons.

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  42. That looks and sounds divine. A very sweet season to you, EC.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: Thank you. It is a tradition now - and a sweet one in every sense of the word. I hope your holidays are blessed (with some of the laughter you so generously give to others)

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  43. They look [and sound) GREAT! Wow


    "Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy." - Robert Anthony


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

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    1. Cloudia: Thank you. Love that quote too.

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  44. So that's how you make fruitcake, eh? I've never known. I've never eaten it. Lots of jokes feature fruitcake around where I live, on tv and such, but I have not even known what one looks like. So thanks for the education! I've not been participating in Christmas. No reason really. No family. No money. But I put up some lights because they're pretty, then I put up a fake tree I got cheap at a thrift store. And I like it. It's pretty with the lights.

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    1. Strayer: Fruitcake seems to fall into the love it or hate it category.
      I have a huge weakness for lights myself. There are no decorations up here - but I do have some flashing stars in the window. And they make me smile.

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    2. I know, I like the lights so much I think about leaving them all year. It's one string, kind of in an arch when I go into the kitchen. But I think maybe they would not be special anymore if I left them all year. Still debating. I really love them.

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  45. Happy Holidays Soosie and how special all those who get to taste your special cake!

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    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness: Thank you - and very happy holidays to you and yours.

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  46. I have very little doubt those are welcome cakes. I think it's a nice holiday treat. :)

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  47. How yummy! I didn't make Christmas cake this year. Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season. Cheers!

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    1. Karen: And to you - and I hope that 2015 is much, much healthier for you.

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  48. Apparently my last blog post had so much humbuggery that my dad is getting me a set of blocks that says, "This is as merry as it gets." ;)

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    1. Riot Kitty: I think the cat I sent you nailed it...

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  49. Hi human, Sue,

    Always wondered why folks tell Gary he's "as nutty as a fruitcake!" That kinda' confuses me. I hope you have picture ID when you pawchase alcoholic pawducts for your Christmas cake.

    A peaceful holiday season to you, dear lady.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny :)

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    1. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!: You flatterer. I am older than dirt and it is a looooong time since anyone has asked for proof of it.
      A peaceful and upheaval free holiday season to you, to Gary, to Tristan.

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  50. Oh my goodness EC you and River are going to take out the Aussie Christmas baking prize for sure!! I can smell it from the tropics - speaking of which it's going to be a stinker here for Christmas!
    MM, how about the Great Aussie Christmas Bake-off!
    x

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    1. Rose ~ from Oz: River wins, hands down. I made my cakes over several weeks. River baked her heart out in the ONE day. An amazing effort. I have no doubt she cleaned up after herself immediately as well.

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  51. Oh yes - those look delicious! Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday.

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  52. That looks absolutely scrumptious EC!

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    1. Jacquelineand...: Tried and true, and a tradition we have made our own...

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  53. This reminds me of that joke recipe telling how to make some kind of alcoholic dessert--you're supposed to drink while you're making it and by the end of the recipe, the words are so messed up, you can hardly understand it!

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    1. Stephanie Faris: I have seen those recipes. If I consumed quantities of the rum and brandy not only would the cakes be a dismal failure but I would probably swear off making them forever.

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  54. Replies
    1. Andrew MacLaren-Scott: I tempted you did I? Recipe is on the blog if you would like to make it...

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  55. The presence of so many nuts and fruits in your cake makes it look very exciting and inviting.
    Merry Christmas :-)

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    1. Haddock: Merry Christmas to you and yours. Plenty of fruit, plenty of nuts, vanilla, spices and booze. What's not to love?

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  56. Geez, talk about a merry Christmas... Wouldn't want to get pulled over on the way home and have to explain "Sorry Officer, I was eating Christmas cake.

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    1. Michael D'Agostino: That would be a very real possibility if you ate very much of this cake...

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  57. My mum in England made the the Christmas cakes(fruit cake with lots or booze).It was always round.On Christmas eve she would surround the cake with marzipan.Coat it with royal icing,and decorate the top with a Christmas theme it was my favourite part of Christmas.

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    1. Anonymous: I like marzipan my partner doesn't. He likes royal icing. I don't.
      So our cake stays unadorned. The cakes which do the full Christmas theme do look amazing though don't they? I hope you got one this year.

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  58. My grandmother used to make fruit cake and laced it with bourbon for days, according to my mom. I've never liked the fruit cake that is sold packaged, but yours looks good!

    My grandmother used to make "Japanese Fruit Cake", too - which I loved. Here's a link to Paula Deen's recipe, which I figure would be the most like Nannie G's: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/paula-deen-japanese-fruitcake

    Sorry to be so late commenting - I read this post and probably got interrupted before I could comment. Life. :)

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    1. Lynn: That recipe looks good. Fiddly - but good. And you are welcome whenever you drop by - and are never late.

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