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Easy Fruit cakes for staying home and self care


Just when we thought things were getting better, they got worse. We haven’t been able to avoid the Delta COVID strain and even our little state had another lockdown, although nothing like those in New South Wales and Victoria where our children and my sister's family are once again sitting it out.

In the last weeks as the Northern Territory and the National capital joined them, Afghanistan fell once again to the Taliban and our dear Raf, diagnosed with Leukaemia continued to be confined to a hospital room, attached to dripping chemicals, everything seemed so bleak.

I am not a cake baker (or any type of baker) but with so many people stuck in so many ways, a cup of tea with a nice bit of fruit cake is a welcome comfort.

For years I have been eating mum’s fruit cake but it wasn’t until I was caring for her a few weeks ago after she fell and broke her sternum ( yes that happened too), I asked her about her recipe. I have never made fruit cake because it always seemed time consuming, complicated and to be honest, why would I bother when I could just eat my mum’s.


This recipe is unbelievable. It has no eggs, no butter or fat of any kind except for greasing the tin.

Once I had committed to the fruit cake, I also asked about another comforting memory cake. In the spirit of nostalgia, a few years ago I bought a nut loaf tin from a second hand shop but I had never used it.

Her recipe for date and nut loaf is hand written in her home-made cook book, a now ragged volume bursting with written and pasted recipes spanning decades. The recipe had little detail and is also extremely simple.


Once made, sliced and and slathered in butter it transported me to my country childhood church morning teas and afternoon teas with visitors. Nut Loaf was a must-know for every young housewife at that time, hence the creation of its own very special tin.


As we grind through these gloomy days, self care is vital. If it comes in the form of fruit cake, all the better.

Ruth’s Vegan Fruit Cake

Ingredients

1kg of mixed fruit (you can get this in a bag or box from the supermarket or from Charlesworth nuts in the Adelaide Central Market where it is called fruit cake mix)

2 cups of fresh orange juice

2 cups of Self Raising flour

Almonds for the top


Put the fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the orange juice.

Soak it over night

The next day, add the flour and mix well. Line a 20cm rectangular pan with baking paper, grease the paper with oil or margarine

and pour in the mixture. Press almonds in the top in rows quite close together (this will prevent burning on the top)

Bake in a slow oven (160 degrees) for around an hour or until it is cooked.

Cool and remove from the tin.


Date and Nut Loaf

If you don't have a special "fit for purpose" tin, then an ordinary loaf cake tin will do.


In a saucepan, boil

1 cup of chopped dates,

1/2 cup of sugar

2 oz butter

1 cup water 1 teaspoon of carb soda


cool and add

1 beaten egg

1 cup of Self Raising Flour

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts


Line the tin with baking paper, including the lids and stand upright on the bottom lid.

Pout the mixture in the tin and put the top lid on.

Stand in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until it smells cooked.

Take out and cool before taking it out of the tin.


Serve in slices on its own or slathered with butter!










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😘I am off to buy dates this afteroon🥰

Gilla
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