Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Fruitcake

On April 1st of this year, I wrote my initial post for the "It's never too later for a happy childhood" blog. My first post was entitled A Fruitcake Tradition and it went on to explain why I chose Fruitcake Sandy as my signature.

Today is November 15th and I have just completed the Christmas 'tradition' for another year. It is a two day minimum undertaking. One day to sort pecans,
to dice the ingredients, chop nuts, mix thoroughly and bake. The second day consists of basting the cakes in brandy and wrapping each cake in plastic wrap ... and cleaning the kitchen. Door handles, faucets, utensils, cabinets, counters and the floor must be cleaned. I don't know how I manage to get so much of the sticky stuff on everything, but I do. It's always with a sense of relief ... and accomplishment when the last cake is wrapped and the floor mopped.

I finished the task a little earlier this year ... with mixed emotions. Our daughter is 7 1/2 months pregnant and I was trying to 'clear my schedule' in case I am needed to start 'Grandma duty' earlier than expected. The sadness I'm feeling is because of my aunt who always wrote with great affection "the fruitcake arrived today!" My aunt passed away on the 17th of September. We had visited her just a month earlier and reminisced about the past; about families, memories, and especially about my stepmother's incredible fruitcake. My aunt was one of only a few members on my dad's side that really enjoyed the fruitcake.
It became a tradition for the three J's (Juanita, Jan, and Jeanne) to enjoy the cake on Christmas Eve at a family gathering. My older brother absolutely loves the fruitcake and has repeatedly 'begged' me to continue baking them.

Thus I've been baking
16 cakes each year for 20 years. Many ... too many ... family members have died over the years and the 'Fruitcake list' to family has gotten much shorter. But somehow we've managed to 'adopt' others ... friends and neighbors who happen to love fruitcake. When I decided to write a posting about the fruitcakes, I went online to find some clip-art. While 'surfing the net' I found several sites dealing with the apparent universal dislike of fruitcake! One site is called The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project!

I shouldn't be surprised that so many people do not care for fruitcake ... I managed to grow up not liking it ... well, I actually can't remember ever eating any. When I was older I did see some around Christmas time, but it usually looked like cardboard with green and red gumdrops glued to it. Our family fruitcake is not like that ... it is quite different, no citron, no raisins, very moist ... yummy! I have several 'converts' who now say it is the only fruitcake they will eat. Only last year did The Duck and I keep two cakes for ourselves ... without any guilt!!! Nevertheless, I have found unbelievable propaganda maligning this Christmas cake. The opinions that follow are not shared with this author.

If fruitcake were even remotely popular, you'd find it on the menu at your favorite restaurant. Or your least favorite. For the record, have you ever seen it on a restaurant menu, anywhere?

Planning to travel this holiday season? In 2005, CBC News announced that fruitcake is a security threat. In fact, they said if you try to bring a fruitcake on-board an airplane, expect it to be xrayed because they are dense and could hide a weapon. This restriction is still in effect today. No kidding? I've always believed that the fruitcake itself was the weapon. In fact, you could kill someone with a fruitcake, easy.

It’s not “democracy,” “freedom,” Larry Flynt, or even a hundred years of imperialist adventure ... it’s, it’s ….. FRUITCAKE!!! Who can blame ‘em?

Fruitcake: The Other White Wood

Good Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake

Fruitcakes Recycled: 633192
Making a difference, one fruitcake at a time

For the record ... I LOVE fruitcake ... MY fruitcake .... and NO, I'm not sharing the recipe. I'm still holding out hope that my granddaughter will help me make the cakes each year and we can make some memories with our family tradition!

p.s. ... Katie, Bollocks to the those PC people ...

Merry Christmas !!!

Geseënde Kersfees; Glædelig Jul; Fröhliche Weihnachten; Nollaig chridheil huibh


Bz said...

So why not share the recipe? I have to say, I've always wondered why some people don't share recipes... I mean, I understand if it's a capitalist thing and it's the way a person makes their money (like a famous chef/ someone that sells their food)... but ....sorry... have to say... I never have "gotten" why some "average Joes" decide... "I'm not sharing".
To me, by doing so, it passes on the symbolism/meaning and allows other to have good memories of the sharer.
You (obviously) don't have to post this comment, but I was here, so I typed.
p.s. Good post, like the pics. Will have to watch video later. And, will have to t-r-y the fruitcake this year.

Bz said...

Finally had chance to watch the video... funnnny. Am surprised that you didn't know the jokes abound re: fruitcake. Don't take it personally. It seems to be one of those things that folks either really like or really don't.
Again, enjoyed pics with post. Am glad the making of them has such symbolic meaning for you. Celma would be proud.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Okay, girlfriend. If you are EVER in need of an appreciative audience, send one of those delicious confections here. Grizzly has threatened to put an add in the local paper advertising a home for unwanted fruitcakes. Just a little afraid of what might show up! lol - Hey, I might have to do a post about this!

Seriously, I HAVE to make the man a fruitcake. Yours sounds devine if you EVER decide to share the recipe. I understand though. I have a recipe for fudge that came down from my grandmother and it is to DIE for. I have to make it to give away because I will go into a coma eating it and the North American continent will tip decidedly in my direction! It wasn't even given to me until I was in my 30's and determined to recponsible enough not to share it.

But with my crazy family, I'm grateful to have anything I consider an heirloom! Now gotta go watch the fruitcake video. :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

LOVE THE VIDEO! I sing with a musical group called the BOMS (Bunch of Moms - four of us) and this is the kind of song we do. LOVE IT! You KNOW I have to steal this to use in my post about Grizzly and his fruitcake desires. THANK YOU FOR THE LINK!!!