By Ronald W. Floyd
Ahhh, fruit cake, dishpan size, big as a tire on a car.
Friend, did you ever taste a big delicious fruit cake made with love, with all kinds of dried fruit and nuts that they were available to be picked up and shelled out or bought for a price? A lot of expense or hours of time were expended to create a wonderful delicious and humongous cake. It would last out family and company for about 90 days during the cold months before spring when eating was bland and repetitious and needed help.
You didn't have snack cakes and cookies or junk food in stores like you do now, and if you were close to a bakery, you didn't have the money or you would have to use it for something needed for every day survival.
Fruit cake can vary as much as anything, white or dark, small or large, but you miss a lot of creativity when you settle for a pound cake size. Remember, when you cook fruit cakes, it will only stay moist and delicious when you keep adding wine or grape juice. Let it absorb well into the cake for about a week. We covered our cake with an old bed sheet folded twice and tied with a cord under the neck of the pan.
This was done to keep critters and dust from it and then it was stored in an unheated room. This could be a problem today--use an automobile trunk for an example.
After marinating with liquid for about a week, you can dump the cake on a clean cardboard section and slice it in huge chunks. Start to wrap with tinfoil and this can be frozen later. Make sure that this is air tight.
Some people don't like raisins and figs. Let them eat something else. We will have more for ourselves.
I remember this cake was best consumed in front or near a warm fireplace with a hot beverage. Oh, w3hat memories!
In times past, most people did hard labor just to survive. We would do well to revisit our roots and past once in a while and be thankful that we are living an easier life.
"FRUITCAKE MEMORIES ON KERSHAW STREET"
My memories of the best tasting fruitcakes that were ever baked were made by my grandmother, Agnes Garner, Kershaw Street, Timmonsville, S. C. , when I was a little girl....I remember that they looked almost a big as a car tire...and she would put cheese cloth over the cake and pour homemade wine over them, often, and they were kept in a cold dining room. She was very proud that they tasted so delicious.
I remember watching her shell the black walnuts that would dye her hands black and they were very hard to shell. She would also add some of her delicious fig and watermelon rind preserves.