Marie Rudisill, also known as The Fruitcake Lady, got her nickname from writing about fruitcake. Her book, Fruitcake: Memories of Truman Capote and Sook, preceded her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In fact, it precipitated her appearance when she sent a copy to a producer of The Tonight Show with a letter chastising Leno for his fruitcake jokes.
Q. What do you do with a Christmas fruitcake? A. Try eating it! Hey! It’s one way to get rid of it!
Seriously, Marie’s book is a gem. She reminisces about growing up in the Old South, family traditions, her nephew Truman Capote, and their cousin Sook Faulk, whom Capote memorialized in A Christmas Memory.
Marie also rhapsodizes about fruitcakes, describing them as a “wonderful concoction of walnuts, pecans, candied red and green cherries, pineapples, date, almonds, and such” and calling them “true ambrosia – the queen of cakes.”
And, of course, she includes over twenty recipes. Can’t wait to get started? Here’s one Martha Washington is said to have used.
Cream together a 1/2 pound butter and 1-1/2 pounds sugar. Gradually add six beaten egg yolks until creamy; then dissolve a teaspoon of soda in one pint of sour cream and add, alternating with 1-1/2 pounds of flour. Next, add the whites of the six eggs, beaten stiff.
For the final steps, add one pound of raisins, one pound of currants, a 1/2 pound citron dredged with a 1/4 pound of flour. Add the juice of one lemon and the rind of two lemons, one grated nutmeg, and a sprinkling of mace.
Bake in a greased ten-inch tube pan for five hours at a slow, steady heat. Cover with buttered paper while baking.
A fruitcake will make a nice addition to your Christmas table. Or you can always pass it along to a neighbor or friend who’ll pass it along to a neighbor or friend who’ll pass it along to a neighbor or friend…
© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved