Thursday, December 07, 2006

Suldog's Home For Wayward Fruitcakes

[Those of you who have been coming here for a while will recognize this piece. It is from last year on approximately the same date. As a matter of fact, I should probably give you a general warning: the longer you come here, the more often you'll find out just how lazy a bugger I am. As long as nobody shoots me or anything, I'll just keep reprinting the same stuff, over and over.

(This goes for the "new" pieces, too. I'll recycle jokes enough times to get an award from The Sierra Club. However, I digress.)

Be that as it may - and it usually is - here is my heartfelt plea, from last year, for fruitcake clemency.]


I am about to make an extremely shocking admission, even for a reprobate like me. You should probably be sitting down. You might even wish to take a medicinal belt beforehand, so that the enormity of this truth I'm about to tell you doesn't send you into immediate cardiac arrest.

Are you ready? OK, here goes.

I love fruitcake.

There, I said it. It's not something that very many people would admit to these days, what with the unabashed fruitcake bashing that goes on every Christmas season, but I've never been very reticent about bringing up my peculiarities, so there it is. Little fluorescent green pieces of unidentified fruit? Love 'em. Cake with the approximate equal weight to lead? Bring it on! Cherries of a red hue unfound in any part or portion of nature? I plain cannot get enough.

I realize this makes me one of an extremely tiny minority these days. Most folks seem to have no better use for fruitcakes than to launch them with catapults or other such desecrations. At best, they are used as doorstops or perhaps something with which to whack an intruder over the head.

I, on the other hand, like to eat them.

Say what you will about my tastes, or lack thereof, I just love fruitcake and it pains me every time somebody makes the blanket assertion that nobody eats them. Saying something like that makes it just that much harder for me to find one when I want one, and makes it damned near impossible to get one as a present (which I very much appreciate, by the way.) It seems that almost nobody is willing to risk incurring the wrath of the snarky jokesters who have made "fruitcake" some sort of holiday swear word.

MY WIFE used to make a really great fruitcake, but she hasn't for a few years now. This is because she lost her recipe. Oh, the tears I've shed! That was my best shot at getting fruitcake for Christmas, without having to actually buy one. My sister-in-law gave me one a couple of years ago and that was nice.

Look, if you have fruitcake that you want to get rid of, please don't hurl it into space or relegate it to anonymous doorstop duty. Send it to ME. I'd love to give it a nice home (in my belly) and I will sing your praises should you send me one. Here's an address, and you can feel free to forward it:

Suldog's Home For Wayward Fruitcakes
93 Winsor Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472

No joke - send it! Believe me, you'll build up whole bunches of karma points if you do.

[2006 addendum: I have already received one fruitcake this holiday season. It came from my Uncle Jim - which, by the way, sounds like the title of a really campy horror flick. However, as delicious as it looks, it will not be enough. More! I need more fruitcakes! Send them, NOW! And I thank you.)


Peter N said...

I use them as kindling if I'm running low. Firestarters and a great aroma for the living room. I MIGHT part with one, a well aged 1999 model....if you insist. And Sul, thanks for the fun here.

Suldog said...

Kindling? Infidel! I'm reporting you to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of All Fruitcakes). Expect to be picketed. Economic sanctions are NOT out of the question.

Uncle Jim said...

It came from my Uncle Jim actually is a genuine real-life horror. I say this becule you have not actually tasted it yet and then looked in the mirror. By the way don't let YOUR WIFE eat any, if you truly love her.

Barbara said...

I hope you get all the fruitcakes you can eat until the next Christmas.

Michael Leggett said...

The Fruit is good:

The cake is rock-hard, though!

Suldog said...

Uncle Jim - Hey, I already look like a cross between The Wolfman and Frankenstein. I might as well have something good to eat, too.

Barbara - Wishing me many fruitcakes is not as good as sending me many fruitcakes. However, I still thank you, for both your well-sishes and for visiting as often as you do.

Michael - No, no, no. That's a brick that someone spilled some cherries onto. We're talking about fruitcake here. Try some. Yum!

Suldog said...

Barbara - That would be "well-wishes". "Well-sishes" would be... well, I don't know what it would be besides a typo. It's too early in the morning for me to be that clever.

sween said...

My father is -- unfortunately -- vying with you for the crown of Official Lover of Fruitcake. So, any that come my way will quickly after be heading his way.


Ericka said...

well, whatever pops your cork. actually, i've never tried fruitcake. i'm not even sure i've ever seen a real live in the neon-fruited flesh fruitcake.

but if i do, i'll send it your way. maybe with a small nibble gone. i can't make fun of it if i haven't tried it, right?

SalesIcon said...

Whenever I hear anything about fruitcakes, I think of the "Married With Children" episode when the Bundys give Marcy and Steve a fruitcake for Christmas, and Marcy says, "How nice. A fruitcake. With a footprint in it." Never ceases to crack me up.

Barbara said...

I never see a fruit cake. I'm keeping an eye out for one.

Melinda said...

You would love England, Sully. They eat fruitcakes and all sorts of interesting Christmas puddings and treacles and other things that I have never been brave enough to actually consume.

Great post btw - I'd send you a fruitcake but it would probably only be suitable as a doorstop or to hit an intruder over the head by the time it got to the USA.


cheers :)

kaylee said...

I am noe a big of fruitcake but i liked your post

James Cooper said...

I haven't seen a fruitcake in my mail for years, makes me wonder if someone finally ate the damned thing instead of just passing it along like it had been for centuries. Or, I suppose, it may have found it's way to "Suldog's Home For Wayward Fruitcakes." One can only hope.

Rebecca said...

WOW, while I've personally known many a fruitcake - I've never known anyone who's actually eaten one! ;)

What does it taste like? I'm mortified just by the jellied appearance of the candies - that always sort of made my stomach flip. But then again - I dont' care for mincemeat pie either. So now I'm wondering if this tastes like mincemeat but with brighter candy? Anything with raisins turns me off...but now you've really got me thinking.

So do tell...what does it taste like?

Suldog said...

Hmmmmm... Rebecca asks a very good question. However, how does one describe heaven adequately? I'll try.

(I will here be describing a great fruitcake. There are less-than-great ones. I like all of them. However, if you've never had one before, I feel it is imperative that you start with a great one.)

The cake itself is dense. You should actually have a somewhat hard time cutting it with a side of a fork; it should offer firm resistance.

The fruits are varied. That is, it is up to the person making the cake to decide what goes into it. I have had fruitcakes with apricots, cherries, figs, dates, candied orange peel, citron, pineapple, and just about any fruit you can imagine, in any mixture. Unfortunately for Rebecca, raisins are pretty much a given. However, you could order one custom made at a local bakery, I suppose. Check the label for ingredients; maybe you'l get lucky.

They often contain nuts, too. Walnuts are the most often included.

A really good fruitcake is saturated with brandy or a liquer of some sort. Hic! Actually, most of the alcohol evaporates over time, leaving the taste but not the buzz.

Spices include nutmeg, allspice, cloves, mace, cinnamon.

It should be moist, but not wet. The crumb should easily cling to your fork when pressed.

There are many variations - lighter cakes, non-alcoholic cakes, "white" fruitcakes, steamed fruitcake, ice-box fruitcake - but the one I've just described is baked, then drizzled with bourbon or brandy every 3 or 4 days for a couple of weeks before it is aged and ready.

I'd suggest just entering "fruitcake recipes" into Google to get an even better idea.

A great one will cost anywhere from $15 to $50. It will NOT be sitting on a supermarket shelf, in all probability. It will most definitely not be made by Hostess.

Barbara said...

Have you gotten any fruitcakes yet?

Thimbelle said...

Sorry, old friend, but any "fruitcake" at our house will be consumed.

We are long-time consumers and repeat customers of the Collins Street Bakery in Texas. Their "Christmas Cakes" are the best stuff. Ever.

But we'll be *thinking* about you as we greedily gobble another slice of cake, if that helps any...

T. :)

Chuck said...

I am not a Fruitcake Fanatic, but I do like the occasional slice when I get a chance. We used to have a relative that sent one to my parent's house faithfully every year. However, time marches on, and it's been several years since I have partaken of the Fruitcake Flavors. But I'm sure I'll get one sent to me eventually.

sween said...

Hmmm... looks like there is a fruitcake blog now...

Suldog said...

I really should direct all of those fruitcake-haters over here, Sween. At least then if they get one they'd know where to send it.

Isabelle said...

This here's Isabelle from over at Mondo Fruitcake. Bless you for loving fruitcake and proclaiming it, loud and proud. How about getting not one, but 7 fruitcakes? The remains of each one I've reviewed now lay dismembered in my freezer. This was the first time in a lifetime when my mom sent me a fruitcake and I was a bit disappointed--that's what happens when you've been eating them since July!

Isabelle said...

Hey Suldog, I'm giving you a shout out in my blog, that way any uneaten fruitcake won't languish in a garbage can but will find safe haven with you. My family is making fast work of my frozen fruitcake collection, but if there are any remainders, I'll send them your way!!

Suldog said...

Isabelle is a princess! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Suldog!

Loved reading your blog!

I have to ask this, because I didn't see it addressed on the page of comments -- What is your FAVORITE fruitcake? (I'm doing another taste-test at my house this Christmas, following recommendations from Isabelle's "Mondo Fruitcake" site). Would you care to recommend any particular fruitcakes? -- Thanks! -- and Merry Christmas, from sunny San Diego! :o)

Suldog said...

Thanks for reading, and for the kind words!

I would wholeheartedly recommend fruitcake from The Colin Street Bakery in Texas. It's the best I've ever eaten.