23 December, 2009

Nannie's Darkest Fruitcake (Gluten-free) - 2009 Update

Marugame, Japan - Rare Snow at the New Year

I know the posts have been a bit thin lately but I'm hoping to change that in the new year, as the big news is that I'm finally in my own kitchen, after bobbing about in borrowed ones for over two years now, ever since I left Japan.

I have a beautiful apartment, on the 4th floor of a small building with big windows, overlooking the Bedford Basin. It's a place to watch the weather, dream up new recipes, and pinch myself that I have at long last landed somewhere stable to call home. It's a work in progress as I have very little furniture yet, but that didn't stop me from having the family over a few days ago for a picnic on the rug of pumpkin soup, pakoras, coconut curry and rice, and spicy cookies. I even had the gift of baking with my daughter who came over early to chat, make cookies with me and watch in fascination as a snowstorm danced in from the sea. She loves weather. She doesn't love baking, so this was a special rare event for us. It couldn't have happened two years ago when I was in Japan. There I used to be in a grinchy mood every December 25th, as the strain of missing family caught up with me.

Apartment Kitchen, (curtesy of manager's photos)

This year is different. In a few hours I will be going to my Mom's to spend Christmas in the country. Though it looks like it will be green, with mild temperatures, the thing about living here on the seacoast is that weather is apt to turn on a dime, and who knows but we may have a few snow flurries to paint the town white. Whether it's white or green, this year I'll see the relatives who are left, and remember the ones who have gone. In memory of my grandmother, who I always miss at this time of year, I have just finished baking her fruitcake, which I've cut up and carefully wrapped and will parcel out to all the family. No one else makes it now, with her daughters getting a bit old for baking, so with every fruited luscious bite, I know that we will be thinking of her.

This year I've added metric measurements to the recipe and put it large-as-life at the top of the recipe pictures. Clicking on the picture will take you to the recipe. If you want to make a good fruitcake, gluten-free or not, try this. The nice thing about it is that it's not one of those ones that you have to wrap and let mature for a month or more, though that's certainly possible. I made mine last night, and tasted it this morning, and with just a light rum bath, it is perfectly good to eat now.

Merry Christmas everyone; may the warmth of love be near to you now and all through the coming year. And I hope every stocking is filled with....fruitcake!


Ruahines said...

Kia ora VJ,
The thought of you in your own kitchen merrily experiementing away brings a smile to my face. I know this part of your journey has been a long difficult and trying episode but the sense of contentment and joy I get from your words is inspirational. Have a lovely and aroha filled Yuletide season my friend. I shall look forward to more frequent offerings in the New Year. Kia kaha.

butuki said...

By the way, your food makes my mouth water! Have to try the Darkest Fruitcake!

vegetablej said...

Hi Robb:

Thanks so much! I'll try not to disappoint you. Got a small camera for Christmas so there may even be pictures!

Happy holidays to you and the family! No need to tell you to keep warm, I guess.


vegetablej said...

Hi butuki:

Thanks for dropping by and your comment. Glad to hear you are still with us and working on a new, improved blog, which I know will be wonderful. I'm looking forward to it!

I held back your other comment and will answer either over at your blog, or by email.

Thanks for the mouth watering.

Happy New Year to you!!!

Kristy said...

The fruitcake looks delicious. I'm vegan and new to eating gluten free, so super glad to find your blog!

vegetablej said...

Hi Kristy:

Sorry to say the fruitcake contains a few free-range eggs and some butter, but you could try substituting Earth Balance(regular) and egg replacer. I can't guarantee the results, but I'd be most interested to hear how it works if you try it.

I do have some vegan recipes and they're marked that way. Hope you like them.

Good luck with gluten-free cooking!


butuki said...

Hi VegetableJ. I know it's been too long, but I did get your longer message and WILL take the time to respond to it. I appreciate your taking the time to talk with me about the subject. I'm in the midst of final exams at the university so can't get away to write a thoughtful letter; please give me a little more time. Hope you are well. :-)

vegetablej said...

Thanks, butuki, hanging in there.


Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the “Next Blog” button in the Nav Bar at the top of my blogspot blog. I occasionally just check out other blogs to see what others are doing.

vegetablej said...

Thanks, Inspector Clouseau, venerable name you have there to live up to. :)