I have an uneasy relationship with fruitcakes.
You know, the stuff you eat. Well, I suppose you eat it. I mean, from what I’ve heard, no one eats it. It gets shoved into the back of some cupboard, or into the corner of a freezer, and there it stays until is discovered, like an Indiana Jones artifact. You have to dig it out with a pick.
And by then, it will have acquired the density of a hockey puck.
But my questions is, if so many people hate it, why does it keep showing up on store shelves? Somebody must be buying this dreck.
And what about the people who make them?
If you stop and think about it, there’s an awful lot of fruitcake around at this time of the year, and if you can find one person who says he or she likes it, then you’re farther ahead than me, my friend.
My mother used to make fruitcakes. She would start in September so that they would age properly.
“Age” properly??? I don’t get it. They are the only thing on the face of the planet that doesn’t age.
If Armageddon were to occur tomorrow, the only thing left would be fruitcake. It would be a sea of fruitcake. You would have to elbow the fruitcake out of the way. Every fruitcake that everyone in the world has ever been hoarding would float to the surface, bobbing there like little brown pontoon boats.
Sorry. I just had to have a mini-rant.
Anyway. Once she had made them, she would store them in cake tins and every couple of days, she would take them out and paint them with rum.
Now, I’m half French. And I was raised mostly around my French relatives. And to me, and them, the whole fruitcake thing was a complete mystery. Why would you put this lurid neon fruit that you would never eat by itself for fear of contracting a dread disease, into a pan of perfectly good batter, leave it for months, douse it in rum, and then oooh and ahhh over it?
I suppose it had to be doused in rum. That was the only thing stopping it from getting up and walking out and starting its own colony.
Anyhow, once it emerged from hiding, my mother would spend the rest of the holiday coaxing, cajoling and ordering people to eat it.
I mean, I know that there used to be a time when fruit had to be preserved and anything sweet, especially at Christmas, was a delicacy.
But my goodness! We aren’t eating hard tack any more, so what’s with the fruitcakes?
And those blanched nuts on top of it. Yikes! The word “blanched” says it all.
To me, a fruitcake should be made with real fruit, dried or fresh, and not that stuff that has survived a nuclear winter. And if you want to add some real nuts, that’s good, too. I’d be happy to try some fruitcake that has been made with real ingredients.
What about you? Are you a secret lover of fruitcakes? Do you feel that fruitcakes have been unfairly targeted by discriminatory forces? What is your fruitcake opinion?
I’d be delighted to hear from you.