Heirloom Recipes and Memories of Truman Capote and Cousin Sook

By Marie Rudisill

With a new foreword by Jean Anderson


96 pp., 5 x 8

Not for Sale in British Commonwealth except Canada

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9930-4
    Published: September 2010

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Fruitcake is a jaunty little collection of heirloom fruitcake recipes selected by Marie Rudisill from a nineteenth-century family farm journal owned by Sook Faulk, a cousin of Rudisill and Truman Capote, who immortalized Sook in his novella, A Christmas Memory. Rudisill, made famous as "The Fruitcake Lady" on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, aims to elevate the much-maligned reputation of what she calls "the queen of cakes" in this book, which features 23 enticing recipes, including Peacock Fruitcake, Chocolate Fruitcake, Civil War Fruitcake, Pore Man's Fruitcake, and Farmer's Fruitcake. These are interspersed with pithy facts about fruitcake, an excerpt from A Christmas Memory, bits of kitchen wisdom and baking tips, and charming family reminiscences, most of which feature Truman and Sook. With a new foreword by cookbook author Jean Anderson, this entertaining volume enriches our experience of southern cooking by raising up one of its least-trumpeted culinary traditions.

About the Author

Hailing from a large family in Monroeville, Alabama, Marie Rudisill (1911-2006) was Truman Capote's doting aunt, an energetic family memoirist and writer, and a fruitcake fan. She was winner of the 2001 Jack Daniel Lifetime Achievement Award of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
For more information about Marie Rudisill, visit the Author Page.


Praise for the first edition

"Marie Rudisill…aims to rescue from ignominy the dessert she considers to be 'true ambrosia--the queen of cakes.' Rudisill knows whereof she speaks. . . . Just reading [the recipes]…is satisfying enough."--Gourmet

"For those who still think that it's not worth it, or who think that they do not have the time or stamina for making their own fruitcake, Rudisill's book is an inspiration, though not as much of an inspiration as she is."--Oxford (Miss.) Eagle

"A sweet holiday treat."--Publisher's Weekly

"The humble fruitcake gets another chance."--Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald

"[Rudisill] is an accomplished cook and writer."--St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times

"Even a reader who harbors no love for fruitcake will delight in this little book."--Baton Rouge Advocate