Friday, December 15, 2006

Fruitcake

Fruitcake … love it or hate it. No, wait, love it, hate it, OR love it but say you hate it and eat it secretly, sort of like a closet fruitcake fan.

There are two types of fruitcake, really, really good fruitcake filled with all sorts of real fruit and plump pecans or really, really bad fruitcake filled with way too many raisins, mystery nut bits and bits of mystery nut shells, and tough, dried green, red and yellow blobby, chewy things that may have originated at the end of pencils.

Good fruitcake is a divine pleasure to the senses, moist, fragrant and a thrill to the palate. My dear Aunt Elizabeth made the best fruitcake in the entire world. A visit to her house from October on meant a “taste” of the latest fruitcake to mature. She used all the finest ingredients and the best whiskey to produce a dark, rich and highly intoxicating slice of heaven. She wrapped her fresh fruitcakes in cheesecloth, put them in metal cake containers and poured a generous glug of “preservative” over the tops before snapping on the lids. About once a week, she would open all the cans and add additional glugs for insurance. Her whole house would be so perfumed during this ritual, it was a wonder the feds didn’t raid the place.

She also tasted the whiskey occasionally – okay, frequently – to make sure it was still acceptable and took a lot of kidding from the rest of the family about which had more whiskey in it, the cakes or the cook.

With such a good role model, it was only natural that I later became sort of famous for my fruitcakes “preserved” with apricot brandy. I also had to carry on the tradition of making sure the preservative was acceptable and once ran out of brandy, but was too, uh, well let’s just “tipsy” to drive anywhere to get more.

Along with the rise of mass produced brick-like (and tasting) fruitcakes, came the fruitcake jokes, starting with the now famous “there’s only one fruitcake in the world and it just keeps going around from family to family.” Standup comics and cartoonist have seasonal fodder to make people smile and I’ve yet to hear a really bad fruitcake joke.

So, in keeping with the season, here’s my contribution to fruitcake jokes: “How many nerds does it take to eat a fruitcake? None, not even nerds eat fruitcake!” Okay, okay, I’ll stick to baking.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fruitcake!

P.S. You might enjoy reading "Irish Fruitcake Recipe" written in November 2007.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:36 AM

    Hi Suzz, loved that post also love fruit cake, the I hate fruit cake theme is mainly American as far as I can tell, everyone in Australia seems to love, or at least like fruit cake.

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  2. Anonymous5:40 AM

    Hi Suzz, loved that post also love fruit cake, the I hate fruit cake theme is mainly American as far as I can tell, everyone in Australia seems to love, or at least like fruit cake.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous4:59 PM

    I loved your fruitcake piece! You oughta write a book about fruitcakes. What a novel idea. Keep up the good work. Your blog is delightfully funny and so well written!
    Merry Christmas, Suzz.
    From your "nuttier than a fruitcake" friend,
    ABN

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  4. LoveM5:30 PM

    Good job. I hate fruitcake but that is only because I have only tried the ones made with candied fruit -- a year or two ago.

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  5. p. mona9:09 PM

    Have you noticed that every cookbook has several of Auntie "so and so's" famous fruitcake recipe? Wonder how many people actually use them. Personally, I just love fruitcake with lots of Jack Daniels and topped with eggnog icecream.Yummy!

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  6. Loved this blog! And, I love (most) fruit cakes, especially the ones made with JUST candied cherries, candied pineapple, and pecans, and the Orange Slice fruit cake, made with orange slice candy, coconut and walnuts and/or pecans. I also like to "saturate" my fruit cakes with apricot brandy. Yum Yum!

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