cake4Nothing’s more satisfying than a thick slice of home-made dark Christmas cake with a cup of tea—except perhaps maybe a butter tart with a cup of tea, or a dark chocolate nut brownie or a . . . well, you get my drift. I think fruitcake gets a bad rap and I don’t understand why people compare it to unsavory items like a brick or wallpaper. Properly made with fresh ingredients, a nice dose of rum or brandy and left to ripen for at least six weeks before devouring it at Christmas, it’s one of life’s treasures.

My mother used to make her annual cakes during the first week of November each year while Dad was away deer-hunting. The recipe came from the aunt of her childhood friend Phyllis whose aunt and uncle owned Anderson’s Dairy in the small Ontario town where I grew up. Mom remembered stopping at the dairy on their way home from school in the 1930’s and reaching into the vat of fresh, warm cheese curds for a late afternoon snack. Health regulations would prohibit that kind of special treat today. But Mrs. Anderson’s Christmas cake recipe survived and is now part of my annual tradition.

When my mother reached the age when she could no longer make her own Christmas cakes, I took over. I went to stay with her, taking bags of ingredients I’d purchased ahead of time. It was a major production and I don’t know what my mother used to mix the ingredients in but I couldn’t find a bowl big enough so the first year I washed out a cooler and used it as a mixing bowl, getting in with both hands to blend and mash the candied cherries, currants, raisins, nuts, dates and other ingredients. Typical of decades-old recipes, it was rather vague on some of the portions, such as “one jar of red cherries, one jar of green cherries” so I had to guess at the quantities.

cake2Christmas happens this weekend but I couldn’t wait and last night I carefully peeled back the cheese cloth, inhaled the rich, sugary sweetness of the blend with a hint of rum, poured myself a lovely cup of tea and for the first time in almost a year, once again bit into Mrs. Anderson’s old-fashioned Christmas cake. It’s not just the immediate gratification of tasting the cake that I enjoy, it’s also the memories it evokes—thinking of my mother, her friend and their stops at the dairy, the sharing of a generations-old recipe. I share the bounty with a few fruitcake aficionado’s but mostly I reserve it for myself and my honey. It’s too wonderful and precious to share with anyone but true appreciators. However, if you drop in and you’ve been nice instead of naughty, I’ll put the kettle on and welcome you to my world. Do you have special recipes or things you make at Christmas that warm your heart?

Click the “Follow” icon to receive automatic notifications of new BOOMERBROADcast postings.

Feel free to share this blog post via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or other social media links below.

Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. My girlfriend tried to get her mother’s recipe for her favourite German cookies before she left this earth but the recipe was difficult to follow as grandmothers and mothers had their own way of measuring…..instead of a measuring spoon, Oma used the shell of a cracked egg to measure an ingredient that was part of the recipe; it was a pinch of this and a handful of that. My mother always left out an ingredient so when my version of her recipe never turned out she would say…..well, of course you add sugar, did I really have to tell you to add sugar!!!! Great memories and part of who we are today.

    Merry Christmas!
    Gail from Oakville

    1. My only modification to the Christmas cake recipe was the addition of rich, dark rum. I guess earlier generations were still too puritan to include alcohol in their recipes. Thanks for the memories.  Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: Social commentary on life from a Boomer Broad’s perspective e-mail: For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link:  or

  2. With the help of one other lady my mom made 30 loafs of Christmas cake at her Senior Residence for the yearly craft sale. I have 3 lbs of it in my freezer … cheese cloth and all batch ever!!! Merry Christmas !!

    1. C’mon over. I’ll put the kettle on!  Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: Social commentary on life from a Boomer Broad’s perspective e-mail: For further insights into the Boomer perspective on business, fashion, mind and body, order my new book, BOOMERBROADcast. It makes a great hostess, birthday or Christmas gift. Click on this link:  or

Leave a Reply to MA from Toronto Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: