The Brunini* Family Recipe
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE (found with fruit cake)
This is not a fruit cake. Do not serve this cake to people who like fruit cake – they may be disappointed and fail to appreciate it. Do not serve this cake to people who do not like fruit cake – they may suspect it is fruit cake and not eat it. This cake is adult food. Do not serve this cake to children – they may not like it or, worse, they may like it.
This cake should be aged at least 21 days before it is eaten but, you can cheat. Each week you must, over the top of the cake, pour one half oz. of fine bourbon. When the cake is not being treated or consumed, it must be kept tightly wrapped and stored in a cool, dry, dark, quiet place. This cake, or any part thereof, may be kept for up to six months. After the first three months, bourbon need be added only once every three weeks. The cake is best at three to six weeks of age.
If any part of the cake remains extant ten days or more after the first piece was eaten – you did something wrong or you are hoarding and refusing to share.
*The Bruninis sailed from Italy to New Orleans in 1974. They then moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1885. Marjorie Brunini, my grandmother, was born in Vicksburg in 1915. This recipe was, according to my grandmother, brought by her mother from Italy except, probably, the bourbon and the pecans – in Italy it was more likely almonds or walnuts. The following version of the Brunini fruit cake was “slightly changed and perhaps or perhaps not improved” by my father in 1996.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 cup nuts
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbls lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 quart of your favorite whiskey
Sample the whiskey to test for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again to make sure it is of the highest quality. Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer and beat 1 cup of butter in a fluffy bowl. Add 1 tsp sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixerer. Break two legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turnerer. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something, who cares. Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or, something – whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window. Check the whiskey again. Go to bed. Who the hell likes druitcake anyway.