October 08, 2017

My Grandmother's Recipe Box: Uncooked Fruit Cake

I explained in a previous post how I came to own an old metal recipe box that was my grandmother's.  She just passed away in February and although I've had this box in my possession for a few years, I hadn't used the recipes in it much as I didn't want to keep touching them and flipping through them.

Some are 'newer' meaning; gathered in the 1970's but many are from the 1940's and are handwritten - a couple in 'dipped' ink - and many are so faded I can barely decipher them.

I was going through them this week and lamenting the fact that a couple are ripped and edges breaking off the brittle cards and it suddenly hit me; I need to take a picture of the card and type out the recipe on my site so they are 'saved' not only for me but for my three kids (all of whom love to cook and bake!).  So dear readers, you will be on the receiving end of some tried and true (and loved) recipes straight from my grandmother's recipe box.

This first recipe is neither hard to read nor as old as some.  But I chose it because not only was it easy to read, but the name of my grandma's friend and neighbor is written on it and on a whim I popped her name into the internet search engine and found a wonderful 'background' story about this interesting lady.  I loved learning about her and her family - knowing that she and my grandma were friends and neighbors - having coffee together and swapping recipes.


12# Uncooked Fruit Cake

2# graham crax
1# ginger snaps
2#nut meats
1 t cloves
1 t cinnamon
1 t Allspice
1/2 # dates
1/2# fig
1/2# candied cherry
2# raisin
2#red and green gum drops
1 c jelly or dark syrup
1 1/2 c fruit juice

Mix well and press in loaf or shallow pan.  Store in cool place.


This was readily available on public websites and I just loved the childhood stories she told.  The woman who gave my grandma this recipe was born in 1897 and walked 1 1/2 miles to school starting when she was just 5 years old. 

Apparently she wrote out a bit of her life story in 1969 - and her family included it with her obituary on a public obituary page.  I've taken out names - but left portions of it that had some wonderful stories.

The following written by her in 1969:

Born in 1897. Started to school at age 5 years. Walked 1 1/2 mile to school and the same home. In March 1907 the family moved to Montana where Dad homesteaded. We arrived at Mondak where we had to cross the Missouri river on a cable ferry boat. The ice in the river was just breaking up so had to stay there for six weeks until the boat could cross. May 8th we got across and drove all day with our household goods and stock to our homestead which was our home for several years and we children grew up there on the plains of Montana. All open range country at that time with no neighbors for miles.

The first summer a big prairie fire went past our house. It had burned for around 30 miles. My mother must have been scared when she sit in the house with we four children. For many miles around all men were out fighting the fire with barrels of water and gunny sacks. They got it out a short ways past our house. I never will forget how dark it got and how the range stock was running ahead and bawling.

The first school we attended here was 4 miles distant. We drove a horse and buggy. Believe we went there 2 or 3 years then another school was built 3 miles distant. Was in this little country school where all 4 of us graduated 8th grade. Building not very big but a lot of pupils. The teacher then had to walk 1/2 mile or more, build her own fire and do all the sweeping etc., and teach all 8 grades.

In 1916 our neighbors little girl came to live with us. Her mother died when she was born. She lived with another family for about 3 years before she came to us. From then on Mother and Dad raised her to a young womanhood. We all dearly loved her, to this day we still do.

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