Friday, December 03, 2010

Fruitcake!



I've been called worse.

Those of you who have been coming here for a while might recognize this piece. It is from two years ago on approximately this same date. And also from two years before that, as a matter of fact. It's my biennial tribute to sloth!

(If you're new here, I'll give you a general warning: the longer you come here, the more you'll find out how lazy I am. As long as nobody threatens to dismember me, I'll keep reprinting scads of old stuff. My master plan is to stockpile 200 good* pieces in the archives and then never write again. I'll just trot the old pieces out on appropriate dates, dust them off slightly, and make them do their pitiful little dances into eternity.

* "good" is subjective, and I'm the subjecter.

The general warning also applies to what I laughably call "new" pieces. I'll recycle the same jokes often enough to deserve an award from The Sierra Club. It's not all bad, though. You can pretend you're part of an exciting social experiment! This could end up being the first totally green blog, with nothing but post-consumer materials.)

Be that as it may - and I've given you no reason to believe it isn't - here is my heartfelt plea for clemency concerning one of my favorite anvil-like desserts.

(By the way, in addition to this brutal foreword there will be a brutal addendum. See you then!)

A CONFESSION

I am about to make an extremely shocking admission, even for a reprobate like me. You should probably sit down. You might even wish to take a medicinal belt of booze. That way, the enormity of the truth I'm about to reveal won't send you into immediate cardiac arrest.

I love fruitcake.

There. I've said it. And I feel better for having done so, too. I admit it's not something very many folks would admit to these days. I've never been particularly reticent concerning my peculiarities, however, so there it is. Little fluorescent green things that purport to have been alive and growing at some point? Love 'em. Cake with an approximate weight equal to lead? Bring it on! Cherries of a bright red hue not found in any part or portion of nature? I just plain can't get enough.



I realize I'm in the minority these days. There's a whole bunch of unabashed fruitcake bashing going on. Many folks seem to have no better use for fruitcakes than to desecrate them. Some folks get their jollies launching them into space via catapults. 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 taste - or lack thereof - I really love fruitcake, and it pains me every time somebody makes the blanket assertion that nobody likes the things and everybody dreads receiving one. I absolutely love receiving fruitcake as a present. As a matter of fact, the only thing I love more than receiving one is chowing down on it. Saying that nobody wants them makes it 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 curse word.

Screw the self-appointed arbiters of holiday taste. I love fruitcake. And I'll defend it to the last delicious bite.

MY WIFE used to make a really great fruitcake, but she hasn't for a few years now. She lost her recipe and isn't one to improvise. Oh, the tears I've shed! That was my best shot at getting fruitcake for Christmas without having to buy one.



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 pass it on to anyone you think might be interested:

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


No joke - send 'em! Believe me, you'll build up whole bunches of swell karma points if you do. I look forward to you giving my mailman a hernia.

Previously Promised Brutal 2010 Addendum

I have already received two fruitcakes this holiday season.


To be truthful, it's actually FIVE fruitcakes. I'll explain.

One came from my Uncle Jim. He sends me one every year, God bless his soul. And a mighty fine fruitcake it is, too! His was made by monks, so it gets bonus points for being all religious and stuff.

I also received a box of FOUR smaller-sized cakes from good friends Thimbelle, Twinkie, and The Wrench (who doesn't get a link because he appears to be the only one in the family without a blog. Slacker!) I know that one of them is wonderful, as I was recipient of the full-sized version last year, but I haven't yet tried the other three varieties. I have no doubt they will be superb.

Let me be sure you know where I stand, though. As delicious as those I've already received are (or will be), and as thankful as I am for them (which is very), they will not be enough. More! I need more fruitcakes! Send them - NOW! - and if I don't die too soon after eating them, I'll be sure to keep you in my prayers.

Soon, with more better stuff (and maybe an extra fifteen pounds I'll have to shed before next softball season, but I'll worry about that when the time comes.)

P.S. My Uncle Jim's fruitcake came from HERE. Thimbelle & Co. sent theirs from THIS PLACE. Both are excellent, if vastly different. The one from the monks is heavy on raisins, for instance, while those from Collin Street have Pecans as a major ingredient. The photo of multiple fruitcakes on a snowflake background came from HERE. I have not sampled their delicious-looking treats, but I'm willing. The other fruitcake picture came from THIS JOINT, and the site has links to more fruitcake information and lore than you'll ever need in two lifetimes. I found the reading material to be fun. I haven't actually tried the fruitcake - yet. Again, I'm up for it.


35 comments:

lailani said...

lol! If I should receive one, I will be happy to send it to you post haste! I promise!

Teacher's Pet said...

Jim...if the article itself wasn't good enough (and it is) the forward and the addendum are icings on the cakes (not fruitcake, though. A fruitcake doesn't need icing. It stands alone.)
Am I to understand that you like fruitcake...and would like one???? (or twelve)... Is that my understanding??? I'll see what I can do. We make a wicked one down heah in tha South.
Hugs,
Jackie

Nick said...

I love fruit cake too, but not the way you Americans make it. Too much fruit, not enough cake! I think that's why so many Americans don't like it. Try a traditional Brit/Aussie receipe. ANd don't get me started on homemade plum pudding. Droolin' here.

Lori said...

LOL...I promise if any come my way I will positively send them your direction. :) Happy weekend!

Boom Boom Larew said...

I hereby commit any fruitcakes I receive during this season to you... eat in good health!

Brighton Pensioner said...

The Old Bat's Christmas cake should by now be maturing nicely. Every now and then she pricks holes in it to deed it more brandy. Come Christmas Day it's really great! And I am positively NOT going to part with any of it for the likes of you!

lime said...

i can't say as i understand or even share this fondness, i'd be the one using it as a doorstop, but if you like it i hope you are filled to the gills with fruitcake this season. i bet you'd love trinidadian black cake. it's fruit cake in which the fruits have been rum soaked, then the cake is regularly doused throughout the month of december so the nearer to christmas the higher proof the cake.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I totally remember reading this 2 years ago because I gave you a prompt high five knowing we were 2 of the only people on Earth who truly enjoyed this fruit & nut filled goodness sent directly to our plates from heaven. My god, my mouth is watering now...must find fruitcake before the day is through...

Michelle H. said...

My mom used to make fruitcake. I don't particularly eat them, but if I see someone trying to make one into a doorstop, I'll rescue it and send it your way (after passing it through a metal detector to make sure there isn't any razor blades inside.)

Craig said...

Wow. . . I admire your candor, Jim. . . just WOW. . .

One of the better fruitcake stories I've heard was of a family who've been sending great-great-great-grandma's fruitcake around from family member to family member for something approaching 100 years now. Sort of a token of being part of the clan. Nobody would even dream of actually eating the thing by now (and you've gotta be impressed that the thing is still sufficiently intact to still be making the rounds a century later, dontcha?) (but, like you say, there ain't a whole lot of 'nature' to those things, anyway). . .

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the fruitcakes; if I get any, I'll certainly send 'em your way (unless one of my teenaged sons gets to it first).

But I'm all about the figgy pudding. . . ;)

Uncle Skip, said...

I must admit, too, to not being a fan of fruitcake. I also have to admit that my prejudice evolves from an environment where we never had any fruitcake because of an anti-fruitcake bias. So I guess I should say that I know as much about fruitcake as the Brighton Pensioner knows about Diamond Head. [just sayin'].

Karen said...

I love (rum-soaked)fruitcake, too :)

haphazardlife said...

Oh god, I HATE the stuff...

As for this comment: It's my biennial tribute to sloth!

Dude, I beg to differ! ;-)

Daryl said...

Eons ago I worked with a lovely Jamaican woman who brought in fruit cake one 'holiday' season ... Oh my .. it was sooo good and we all got drunk, seriously .. turns out the day after Christmas they start soaking the fruit in rum until the following December when they make the cake ... no lie ..

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Well, this would definitely serve as a corollary to the saying "sweets for the sweet."

And I will be forwarding any fruitcakes to the address you listed. With my compliments.

Jeni said...

Just reading about fruitcake today transported my mind back in time to when I was a youngster (many, many, moons ago, I know) and my Mom and Grandma would gather all the ingredients (and cheesecloth) and make the annual Christmas fruitcake. I'm not sure why, but back then, I hated fruitcake. Wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole! I've never tried to make it myself either although my tastebuds have changed somewhat over time and today, I rather enjoy a bit of fruitcake. A church nearby to ours makes and sells fruitcake every year now. They take orders for it and it's become one of their trademark fund raisers -a very good seller for them. I guess if I want any this year, I'll have to order one from them since I haven't a clue as to how to properly make one.

Buck said...

Well, if YOU can recycle posts, then WE can recycle comments, no?

Except I can't find your 2008 Fruitcake post, and I looked. My comment had something to do with the annual fruitcakes my grandmother used to send to the fambly when we were overseas... each fruitcake wrapped in brandy-soaked dish towels to keep the product moist. The cakes were MOST excellent.

I'll just assume you read the comment back then.

Stu said...

"I'm the subjecter." - That sounds like such a Bush-ism.

The Good Cook said...

Confession: I love fruitcake too! My mom used to make it and wrap it in a rum soaked cheesecloth piece.. she would unwrap it every week and resoak the cheesecloth in rum, wrap it up again... She would do this for 4 weeks.. hic!
No wonder I like fruitcake.

IT said...

Oh, whew! When I saw the title, I thought maybe you were gonna roast me again.

What I remember about fruitcake is that I thought it was pretty good. But none of rest of my family cared much about it, so there wasn't any around.

Buck's comment piqued my curiosity. What did he do with the towels?

Nick said...

Yes, as someone said, rum-soaked fruitcake is good. Even beter without the fruitcake.

Pam said...

Well, if one should make its way in the door here, I know who to send it to. My mom loved fruitcake also and always had plenty of it around the holidays.

Hilary said...

I don't dislike it but neither do I love it. I promise that if one comes my way (which is unlikely.. but still) it will be on its way to you shortly afterward.

Quirkyloon said...

Do you want the two I use as bookends?

I'd be happy to send them. I'm sure they are still tasty even after ten years.

Fruitcake: the cake that keeps on giving. Perhaps it should be called Forever Fruitcake.

Kathryn Magendie said...

SULDOG! I love fruitcake too! The only person who ever gave me fruitcake was my mother in law - and since she passed away several years ago, alas, no more fruitcake!

Send me your extras *laughing!*

slommler said...

Let it be said!! There are fruitcake (bleh) and there are FRUITCAKES (yum). Hopefully all of yours are the later!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Ericka said...

as i've said before, whatever floats your boat.

should i stumble across one, i'll send it your way. :-)

(and the wrench has a blog, but it's top secret as it reveals his secret irl identity for his work. not everyone is as "out" as you, my friend.)

Crazed Nitwit said...

I was 'caught' by your title. I thought you might, perhaps, have a new post up, nope. However, I had to laugh because my mother, a native of Canada, also loved fruitcake. It was my parents wedding cake 'cuz that's how they used to roll in Canada in the 1950's. I'm also sure, although I never asked, that my father's parents were horrified with fruitcake as their choice of wedding cake. That just made me laugh.

Kinda like most of your posts make me laugh.

It's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I have never made a fruitcake. I wish you would print a really good recipe for one. I could try to make it.

Red Hamster said...

My parents always ordered a fruitcake from the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, TX every Christmas. They swore it was the best because it had the most pecans.

I've never been a lover of fruitcake myself. The red and green glowing fruit seems more suited for hanging on the Christmas tree than for eating. But kudos to you for being so "green"...what with recycling old blog posts and keeping so many fruitcakes out of the landfills.

Joan said...

You might be eating a lot of fruitcake! Enjoy..

Shrinky said...

I DO recognise this piece, but am glad of the fond memories it inspires. My version of this is our family "Cloutie Dumpling" - a fruit-cake steamed, wrapped in muslin, type fruit cake, which thrupenny bit coins and sixpences were stirred into the mix, before steaming. At least one relative or two almost choked to death each year, having been "lucky" enough to have drawn a slice with something so auspicious to have had a coin in it!

eileen said...

I like the idea of fruitcakes, but to be honest, don't like how they taste. But I'm glad someone does!

Ci-Sun said...

I love cake, especially fruit-cake ,but I'm no one sends (

Barbara Shallue said...

In the slim chance I receive one, you can be sure I'll zip it off to you pronto! And I'll spread the word to my friends :)