About 1973, I started a new family tradition. Well, they have to start somewhere. They can’t be all date back in the mists of time to the Middle Ages, can they?
For some reason unknown in my memory, I decided to make some holiday fruitcakes. The fruitcakes I had sampled were not fabulous. So there was no high standard to match. Digging around for a recipe, I found one in a very early edition of the Joy Of Cooking. That year I made two fruitcakes, one of which I sent off to my parents. It was a success, and I’ve made fruitcakes every year since.

What’s my secret? It’s so simple I blush to tell you; quality rum, lots of nuts, lots of dates and figs, and then more rum. I know that some people love and expect to see the candied fruit, so I add some; otherwise, it’s rum, fruit, nuts, and more rum. The photo above shows my sixteen cakes this year.

After they cool off, they’ll be wrapped in muslin and begin their long trip into rum-soaked splendor. I really should put a safety sticker on these that states you should not operate machinery or drive after eating a slice of this. Every year I am amazed that I can ship them without hazardous goods stickers stating – CAUTION FLAMMABLE.

Ah yes, let the holidays begin!

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