Monday, November 24, 2014

Fruitcake Lover Or Hater?

What is it about fruitcake that brings out all the bad jokes? Just google "fruitcake jokes" to see what I'm talking about. Now, I fully understand that not everybody likes it, but surely someone besides me and Daddy-O still eat fruitcake! Is it because there is so much bad fruitcake out there, that many people have never tasted a good one?

When I didn't see any mincemeat at the store, I sent Jessica a text to see if she could find a jar in Atlanta. They sell everything! I quickly got a text back saying, "I always think mincemeat is just something they talk about in movies—not as a real ingredient."

At the checkout counter I mentioned that I couldn't find a jar of mincemeat. The manager said, "Oh, we do have it!" It was just in an unexpected place. While I waited for her to bring a jar back to me, I asked the young checkout girl if she liked fruitcake. (I was pretty sure what her answer would be.) She told me no, she didn't like fruitcake and proceeded to say that she had never actually eaten any. Then she said, "I heard if you eat it, you get sick." Come on now. It's fruit and it's cake.

I had to stop at the second grocery store—our town only has two—to find the quick bread mix. And while I was there I did ask if they had candied fruitcake mix. For fruitcake. The stock person told me, "No...but we have candy. Would that work?" She had no clue what I was talking about. I am old, old, old.

For all the jokes and ridicule that surround fruitcake, there is some reason that it still exists. No, it is not because they are indestructible and the ones still existing are left from 1960. There are enough of us who like it, that it has not faded away completely. I'm baking one this year. It reminds me of my dad and mother. And it's a good mid-afternoon snack with a cup of coffee.

This recipe is an easy version, but it tastes as good as the labor intensive ones my grandmother made. It's a recipe that my mother found years and year ago (probably an advertisement for one of the ingredients) and she made them for years. When her health kept her out of the kitchen, my dad took over the fruitcake baking. He would usually make two or three each year and one was always earmarked for us. Now, if my father could make these, you know it's easy.

So if you can remember when fruitcake was respected as a labor of love, give this a try. I still have my grandmother's handwritten fruitcake recipe which takes nearly forever to make. She might think this recipe doesn't even qualify to be called "fruitcake" but it's close enough for me. Shhh....I might like even better than my grandmother's recipe.

Posting the recipe tomorrow. Cake just came out of the oven. 
Daddy-O has been asking for an hour, "When can we eat the cake?."

This week is getting busy. Let's all be sure to slow down and really focus on things we are thankful for. Time goes by too quickly if we don't pay attention

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