Family recipes

After my thoughts on Words and Events, I decided to start a collection of recipes. Why is that you may ask? Easy, the other day as I was cleaning some old books and shelves, I saw an old exercise book containing recipes that my husband’s mother (Joan) had RELUCTANTLY parted with. But we had, for some reason managed to appropriate  from her. Peter did, I never got one. So, I resolved that it would be interesting to change tack for a while and write what she had given us.

I will add also some of my favourite ones. But I do not guarantee any of it. I have this tendency to make a lot of recipes on the run. I go into the garden and see what is growing and imagine what I could do with what nature has to provide for this day and what I feel like adding or what inspires when I get into the kitchen. SO, there will be a hotchpotch of many different things. Or just make up something on the run that would turn great, then will forget all about it and never reproduce the same thing twice. Many people curse me for that…anyway, it will also take me quite a while to finish, but that I do not mind at all and I have to start somehow. So here we go without further ado!!!

This particular cake also was made by husband when I had a catering business and sold hundred of them to health food shops around the city.

Will start however with Joan’s FRUIT CAKE…Slightly modified to avoid  sugar.

Weight of cake: 1kg

For the first step


Spices 1/2 tea spoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, star anis,all spices. You can also add the proportion you like, but don’t over do it!

250g of Butter or Margarine ( I prefer butter)

200ml Apple juice concentrate

I cup of Orange juice

900g of mixed dried fruits (try 300×3)

A good nip of spirit

1TSP of salt

1TSp of bicarbonate of Soda

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 mns, let it cool then add and stir gently  then add :

200g of self raising flour

200g of plain flour

3 eggs.

Mix all the ingredients till all is well incorporated.

Line a tin cake with greaseproof paper or baking paper.

Bake slowly at 150 degree for up to 3 hours.

Try it and tell me if you like, but I am sure all of you will have their version of a fruit cake and there are no doubts thousands on the net by myriad of people from all over the world. But it does not matter really does it? Find you own.

Here is the book where it was written 20 years ago.IMG_0364

Til next time or next recipe.

2 thoughts on “Family recipes

  1. Thanks for the reply… as usual. You can make it in summer also….why not. It keeps quite well. I must say that I am a little liberal with the Cognac in it so that I can keep it longer. I personally do not like sweet stuff, but Peter does. I make all the desserts for him minus the amount of sugar. usually if I see something with sugar I usually more than half it. A little goes a long way.


  2. This is a wonderful idea Gigi! I cherish the cookbooks that my mother-in-law gave me and I have found that my husband loves anything I make from her recipes! Your fruitcake sounds especially good because it uses dried fruits. Here in the U.S., most fruitcakes contain candied fruits which are hard and very sweet. I much prefer the dried fruit. I’m not sure if I will try it because I would have to convert all the measurements! But I also have a good recipe for fruitcake. Nothing wrong with making it in the summer!


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