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!