Olivia's Genealogy Site: Christmas at a Lumbee Home
|This Web page is based on research of records known to be valid from State records, Federal records, manuscripts, and private papers. Olivia remembers her Christmas season.|
CHRISTMAS IN A LUMBEE FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
Christmas for my family began a few days after Thanksgiving when my mother and I made the Christmas fruitcakes. Now, many people would immediately say, “Fruitcake, yuk”!! My mother’s recipe, however, was for a dark cake with tons of pecans, that had been gathered and shelled by the family usually on Thanksgiving day. Very little dried fruit was added. That which made it most important to me was that my mother and I worked together as she taught me the fine points of measuring, mixing, and baking. Because of her many years of cooking, my mother often used the handful, pinch, palm full, sprinkle, dash, method of measuring but for the fruitcake out came the measuring cups and measuring spoons. The heavy electric mixer was brought in the kitchen from the pantry along with the huge canner that had not been used since the end of summer. THIS WAS SERIOUS BUSINESS!
Fresh eggs, rich golden butter, and heavy cream, from our farm were taken from the ice box and placed on the counter. Sugar and flour were sifted, baking powder and salt were mixed in and then it was time to have the electric mixer do its job. Butter and sugar were creamed, eggs added, and the dry ingredients were added alternating the heavy cream until it was a beautiful mound of dough. In went many cups of pecans followed by folding in the few dried fruits. This delicious mix was put in two large tube pans and baked until done.
When the cakes were cooked an apple was put down in the hole that was made by the tube pans and they were wrapped in cheese cloth sprinkled, with grape juice and stored in the canner until Christmas day. Every few days we checked the cakes for moistness and sprinkled more juice as needed.
In our community it was a tradition to go from house to house in the afternoon on Christmas day and sample the many cakes and pies that the other families had baked. Our family had the moist dark fruit cake sitting along side a variety of tasty sweet selections including nut and berry pies and other cakes to serve our guests.
Olivia Lowry Schwartz----Lumbee