…or Over the Hump
I have four more days of self isolation but I’m not itching to get out. The more I read online, the more I think it is best just to stay put until boating season. (Just watch me change that tune real quick when Saturday comes and I spy the key to the boathouse and think maybe I could do just a little sanding) I am no more productive than I was on day one of isolation but am getting better at some things like lighting a fire with no kindling (my axe is at the boathouse), asking for help when I need it, finding things I didn’t know I had lost, and at using up stuff from the kitchen cupboards. I found a recipe for boiled raisin cake I had forgotten about while I was looking for another a few days ago. It used to be a staple in my Mom’s house in later years.
I never really liked it much back then but Dad loved it, so when I think of boiled raisin cake I always think of him with his cup of tea and his cigarette after dinner* asking “Is there a’r piece o cake?” and Mom coming around the end of the counter with a slice of plain cake, no frosting or garnish, which boggled my mind, how could a person eat cake with no frosting, and Dad locking eyes on it as he rested his smoke on the edge of whatever was handy so that he could tuck in proper.
* what we called dinner is lunch to most people now. It was the main meal of our day
I decided to make one. The recipe is for a fancier cake than raisin cake as it has cherries and dates but it is not a Christmas cake because that would have candied peel and citron (shudder). When you look at mine you might see the raisins and apricots I used for the fruit part but don’t be fooled. The raisins are the apricot coloured bits, being golden raisins, and the dark bits are the apricots. They were unsulphered organic ones and black as your boot but still good. Yes I tried one (remember that advertisement “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything?” that could be me and if I am hesitant I can always get Lance to try something, he’s got an ever bigger Mikey gene than I) This is the recipe for what Mom called boiled raisin cake exactly as my sister gave it to me, copied from Mom’s:
Dark Fruit Cake a.k.a May’s Boiled Cake
3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb raisins
1 1/2 cups dates
1/2 cup cherries
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour
Boil first 10 ingredients for 1 minute. Let cool. Beat in soda. Then stir in flour. Bake in tube pan. Bake 1 hr 45 min at 275 degrees.
* Mom adds a bit of lemon flavouring or maybe a bit of molasses.
So I did add lemon flavouring and molasses. And it was good. The baking time was too long; I start checking it at 70 minutes in and knocked off at least 15 minutes, and I added an egg just because I could. Before I baked it, not after I started checking it.
And rum sauce. I added rum sauce. If there isn’t to be frosting there must be rum sauce. Oh me hips. There’s still some left if you’d like a slice but I’d have to sterilize it and that would dry it out and I’d have to pass it to you on a six foot stick. Best stay home and make your own.
© Judy Parsons
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