My paternal Grandmother lived until the age of 100 and 9 months. I am sure she was fuelled by porridge, weak tea and fruit cake. I still remember her coming to visit us for a month at a time in the height of summer still making hot salty porridge every morning.... we still ate it because she wanted to make it for us. I still remember the joy on her face at her 100th birthday party licking the custard out of her bowl. When it is your 100th birthday party you should be able to do what ever you want to, right?
I recently wrote on our socials about asking my cousin for some of my Grandmother's recipes. I couldn't find some old print outs that I used to have. She gladly send me some photos of suet pudding pikelets and a variety of recipes that I remember her making. The one that caught my immediate attention was her recipe for Boiled Fruit cake. I can still remember making with her and eating it but fruit cake is fallen out of favour so I went to rediscovering it myself. This handwritten recipe only contained the quantities and ingredients and lines to represent stages of the recipe with no method.
I remember a couple of months ago reading a piece in SBS Food by Jennifer Curio https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2020/06/18/art-recording-family-recipe. In this she guides the reader through a few considerations such as recording, ingredients, measurements and telling the story. Whilst I did have the ingredients and quantities she writes that ingredients and how they are used changes over time. I also discovered that the mixed fruit was very different than what I remember - no glace cherries! Also there was no method. I know how to make a fruit cake but I wanted to ensure that it was authentic so I researched a few recipes to ensure that it was made as my Grandmother would have. There is a story to tell here, an important one. It's my story and my memory and may be different from my family.
Boiled Fruit Cake
1 cup mixed fruit
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
4 oz butter
2 cups SR flour
Cook for 3/4 hour.
I made it. It had the same taste but was a bit dry (hot drink required) so I will keep on working on this one. Her recipe will be rewritten in her memory.