This year is like other years, there is a serious undermining of an American tradition. Once again there are denigrations against a confection that has been a staple of past Christmases, the fruit cake. It is said they are stale, tasteless, too much fruit and too little cake, hard to cut, even impossible to digest. There are few to defend the fruit cake but I proudly state that I like them and do indeed eat them.
Pat's Aunt Lottie and Uncle Ed used to, each year, make fruit cake and hand them out as Christmas presents. They had a special recipe
which included a soaking in rum making them uniquely tasteful
. They would wrap the cake in tin foil, paste a tag with a name on them, and hand them out without any further disguise. Seeing
a foil Christmas present was a dead give away as to the contents. Every year, they showed up with fruit cake, and every year it was welcomed by me. My father-in-law, Gene, one year disparaged the cake in my presence. I think he added: "Cheap bastards". That was the year I told Pat to get their fruit cake, and she did. I had fruit cake well past the season because none of the kids would eat it. One year, the fruit cake was slightly burned and did not taste as good. When Uncle Ed gave me the fruit cake he apologized
saying: "This year they came out overdone." Yet, he still passed them out as presents, cheap bastard. The burnt taste did not deter me, I ate all we received
Pat let it be known that I liked fruit cake and somebody gave her one that they had in the refrigerator for more than a year, It was an expensive, catalog fruit cake and was excellent. I had it to myself and, over time, ate it all.
The fruit in a fruit cake cannot always be strictly identified. Someone has applied the title "candied fruits" into the recipe
and no one knows which continent, or world, they come from. I once had some dried apricots
and then some dried papaya and it was not even close. Perhaps fruit cake, like sausage, should not be scrutinized
as to ingredients.
It takes black coffee to bring out the excellent taste of a fruit cake. In a pinch cold milk can be used. I will admit that even with tea the fruit cake is scrumptious. I have even had good results when eaten dry.