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Fruit Cake

2 cups shelled pecans
16 oz pitted dates
8 oz candied cherries
8 oz candied pineapple
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Take half the flour and put it in a large bowl and cut the dates
into small pieces in that so they won't all stick together. Add
the cherries, halved, and the pineapple, cut in small pieces. Stir
up with the nuts.

Mix the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla.
Beat the eggs. Put the eggs with the flour mixture and pour that
over the floured fruit and mix well. This is supposed to make 1
loaf for a 3x10x4 loaf pan although I make two smaller ones.

Line the pan or pans with waxed paper and press the cake mixture
into place. Bake it 2-1/2 to 3 hours at 300 degrees with a pan of
water on the shelf of the oven under the cake. When it's done and
cooled, dip an old piece of sheet or cheesecloth in rum, brandy or
sherry and wrap the cake in it. Wrap that in aluminum foil and
put the cake some place to season. Check it once a week to re-rum
the cloth if it has dried out.

The cake keeps beautifully and can be put in the freezer. It never
really freezes since it's mostly nuts and fruit. Don't be alarmed
when the cake comes out like a brick after cooking, since it takes
a couple of weeks of seasoning to make it mellow and cuttable.

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