While working on it, it occurred to me that I’d made dolls for my two older girls when they were little, and I made my first granddaughter one a few years ago; but I’d never made my youngest daughter a baby. What a neglectful mother! But then I remembered I made her a pig once, and she loved it. So, good! No more guilt!
Anyway, I finished the baby on Monday, and moved on to baking.
My Aunt Mildred used to make fruitcake every Christmas–the kind that gives all fruitcakes a bad name. But despite my annual exposure to that travesty, I knew there was good fruitcake in the world, because our school band used to sell it. But I never found one that could compare with the kind we sold, until several years ago when Craig found a fruitcake recipe in the break room at work and brought it home, thinking I might want to try it.
I did. At first, I thought it was impossible. No way was that little bit of batter going to cover all those fruits and nuts. No way was that mountain of stuff going to fit into those little pans. And no way could it bake for two whole hours without burning black. It was crazy. But I crammed it into the pans, pressing it in bit by bit until there was not one molecule of air space left, and I let it bake the whole two hours, resisting the urge to keep looking at it to see if it was burning.
To my surprise, the result was the best fruitcake I’d ever eaten. It’s become a new holiday tradition.
Our first Christmas after Craig learned he couldn’t eat wheat, he mourned the loss of that yummy fruitcake — until I tried making it with gluten-free flour. It’s a little different, but still good; good enough, in fact, that it’s the only fruitcake I make now. No need to make both kinds.
So I made fruitcake on Tuesday (as well as caramel corn and some cookies). Zuri’s baby doll is finished. All my gifts are purchased. Once they’re wrapped, I’ll be ready for Christmas.