There is one holiday tradition from my childhood that I’ve been loath to revisit. For years I was subjected to the truly heinous task of eating fruitcake. (Including fruitcake turkey stuffing.) Just thinking about it makes me gag. And to be clear by “eating” I mean taking the smallest bite possible and then wrapping the remaining fruitcake in a napkin and attempting to surreptitiously dispose of it without being caught by an adult
The fruitcake of my youth was a gelatinous concoction, filled with unidentifiable chewy pieces that I was told were “exotic” fruits and yet tasted like gum that had been harvested from the underside of seats in a school bus. It also had a weird tang that my aunt told me was from all the booze that was used to “feed the fruitcake.”
I was haunted for years by this “feed the fruitcake” statement. Was the fruitcake a living being? Would the fruitcake that was stored in a dark corner of my grandmother’s basement gain enough power after being “fed” to kill me in my sleep, shedding the gross bandage it was wrapped in (I know now the bandage was actually cheesecloth.) and then use it to strangle me.
But recently I began rethinking my position on fruitcake being a demon sent from the deepest realms of hell to steal holiday joy. It started with an article in a magazine about how fruitcakes have been updated to reflect a more modern sensibility. The mushy fruits and icky goo of fruitcakes past have been abandoned and replaced with dried fruits and a cavalcade of spices.
I did more research on the 2022 fruitcake and decided it was time for me to give this holiday classic another chance. I began by buying a fruitcake that was heralded as “the” best fruitcake on the market. I don’t know about the best, but it certainly was pricey. Based on what I paid for it I expected no less than a religious experience at first bite.
Let’s just say I didn’t exactly get my bang for my buck in the taste bud department. This is because upon unboxing the cake I was greeted by a bevy of not only maraschino cherries but the green candied cherry. Both of these “fruits” immediately harkened back to my childhood fruitcake nightmares.
For the record, any edible item embedded with these candied goblins should be avoided at all cost. It’s a culinary warning that danger lurks in what lies beneath these imposter fruits.
Taking a deep breath, I persevered and tried a small piece of cake. It was unpleasantly moist and filled with the same mystery fruit that tormentedme when I was seven.
I bravely decided to forge ahead and make my own fruitcake. After all everything’s better if it’s homemade – right? This process led to many discoveries. First, I don’t earn fruitcake money. These cakes are expensive to buy and make. There were more than 26 ingredients in the recipe I used. Secondly, I felt guilty giving a fruitcake more attention than I give my spouse.
The cake was a freaking diva. I had to feed it (inject with rum) every night for two weeks, make sure its wrappings were secure and check that it seemed happy in the dark corner it needed to “rest” in.
When the cake was finally “mature” I cut a slice and I was in a word – underwhelmed. It was better than the fruitcake of my grandma’s era but in terms of cost and the time invested it was an epic fail.
I’m sorry fruitcake but it seems I can quit you – forever.
The one thing you don’t need to quit is me! ❤️ In fact, I would like to give a great big holiday hug to everyone who has bought one of my books in 2022. 😘 My gratitude is immense. Now, if you haven’t taken a walk on the Snarky side let me present my books.
Empty is a “laugh till you cry” menopausal revenge adventure. Back to School is a hysterical read for any mom whose experienced elementary school parent drama. Trouble in Texas is a tall tale of what happens when a daughter lets her septuagenarian mom enlist her in a wild scheme that could end up with both of them in jail. And Four Seasons of Snarky is full of short stories (perfect for the person who doesn’t have much time to read) that feature tales of suburban revenge. Please click this Amazon link for to experience the fun. https://tinyurl.com/mwbjckbb