It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTmas……or as soon as the fruitcake’s in the oven, it will be! And not just ANY fruitcake…. it has to be my Aunt Wilma’s White Fruitcake.
My Mother LOVED her sisters. And why wouldn’t you? A sister is a very special gift to one’s heart. There’s just something about that person who grew up in the same home, with the same parents, and had the same experiences that unites and bonds! Mother always thought her sisters were the best cooks in West Tennessee and she LOVED making their recipes. I think it made her feel close to them. And I get that. I feel the same way about my sister….. Phyllis Jane!
And so my sister and I have continued to carry on our Mother’s tradition…. every year we make Aunt Wilma’s White Fruitcake. Some years Phyllis has made TWO of them! And actually one year I made two…. the first one didn’t turn out very good — it was dry. And so I decided to shellac it (yes… I really did) and thus I turned it into the proverbial doorstop! But it really was quite the festive decoration! I would haul it outta the attic every year and it always looked beautiful, sitting out on my kitchen counter! But then I got to worrying that it might attract mice up there during the hot summer, so I eventually pitched it!
One year I got to wondering if Aunt Wilma had any idea how special her White Fruitcake recipe had become to my sister and I. So when I made it that year, I Fed-Ex’d her a piece, along with a thank-you note! I’ve also mailed slices to my brother and sister-in-law in Tucson. And I’ve mailed it to Rachel in Pennsylvania! (It arrived FROZEN!! Gets cold up there in PA, evidently!) But Rachel, who was somewhat of a less-than-exurbrant recipient, was subequently removed from all future fruitcake lists. Interestingly enough, however, Rachel must have had somewhat of a fruitcake epiphany this year, because from outta nowhere she sent me a text a week or so ago asking if she could have a second chance…. would I send her a piece of Aunt Wilma’s White Fruitcake again this year? In the spirit of CHRISTmas love and joy, I’m extending grace and will be Fed-Ex’ing again to PA! Fruitcake is a lot like love…… it needs to be shared!
Well, my Aunt Wilma, and my Mother, and all her sisters are gone now. They all celebrate CHRISTmas in Heaven. That makes me so happy…. even though we miss them here. But for as long as my sister and I are able, we will continue to bake the cake in memory of the Osteen girls…. Aunt Wilma’s White Fruitcake. Why would we not?
So the cake of 2017 is in the oven…. a done deal…. and without a hitch. Well, there was one little hitch, but I’m hoping it’s not going to be an issue. That said, when I was cutting up my dates (my snobby Choice Medjool Dates that were literally hanging on the trees just a few short weeks ago in Dateland, Arizona), ……but one itty bitty pit somehow made it past my probing fingers!!! Opps!!! I did look for it, but to no avail. So I tried to convince myself that perhaps that particular date had no pit. Can there be a pit-less date?I just hope it’s either me or my sister who gets that piece of fruitcake. Or maybe the recipient will just assume it’s a pecan shell. People like “organic” these days, so I hear!!!