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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FRUITCAKE

FRUITCAKE
Bullying is on everyone’s minds these days.  I read in newspaper articles about bullying on a daily basis.  One victim of bullying has not been talked about.  A victim I loved.  An American Holiday tradition is gone as a result of relentless bullying. 

The Christmas Fruitcake is no more.

I loved the Christmas fruitcake.  This was a tradition, baked yearly in-mass by elderly grandmas, aunts, cousins or neighbors.  Women who could not afford gifts to their many acquaintances could pull out a generations handed down recipe and bake bricks of fruity rum infused deserts to be given as presents.

It is true that sometimes you received multiple fruitcakes over the Holidays.  It is also true that the fruitcake had a long, almost forever, shelf life.  The result was some fruitcakes went un-eaten, some were re-gifted. 

There are legends (myths) of the same fruitcake being re-gifted over multiple Christmas Holidays.  It became a joke that the re-gifting of the fruitcake was a Holiday tradition.  Not true, oh it happened, but the re-gifted treat generally ended up with a fruitcake lover.

Legends such as these are fodder for late night comedians and it became a Holiday tradition for these low life bullies to make the traditional Christmas fruitcake joke.  The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson was particularly brutal in his treatment of fruitcake.   

I loved fruitcake.  My family loved fruitcake, and yet we sat quietly, even laughed uncomfortably when these fruitcake jokes were told.

I should have spoken up.  I should have stood and yelled “Stop! I love fruitcake, and there are many others just like me!”  I did not.  Bullied by the jokes and the head nodding giggling responses of the masses to these jokes, I remained silent.  I allowed the fruitcake to be bullied.

The last ten years there have been no Holiday fruitcakes in my home.  This year there will also be none.  The grandmas, aunts, cousins and neighbors that used to bake and hand them out have all passed-on.  Their recipes have been filed away and forgotten.  Their protégés will not bake and hand them out.  They have been shamed and mocked by the fruitcake bullies; they will be shamed and mocked no more.


Few people will ever again know the joy of receiving and enjoying this Holiday desert treat.  History will tell of the much maligned once traditional Holiday fruitcake which disappeared from the American landscape due to scorn and indifference.

The truth is that a treat baked with love and enjoyed by millions is gone.  Gone as the result of relentless jokes and bullying which was silently allowed by a gutless audience of people such as me.  We quietly allowed a Holiday tradition to be maligned.  We sat back and allowed the fruitcake to be bullied until the fruitcake is no more!

When will we learn?  

8 comments:

  1. Cranky

    The traditional Christmas Fruit Cake is still very much a tradition in the UK, although not as gifts.

    Christmas Cakes are baked sometime in October and November and sometimes early December and then they are wrapped in aluminium foil and given weekly feeds of brandy or a mix of brandy and orange juice etc. on the run up to Christmas. Then just before the big day they are iced and decorated, and eaten as a traditional dessert on Christmas Day and every day afterwards until gone.

    They are big cakes using lbs of fruit, and they are truly delicious.

    If you would like a traditional English Christmas Cake receipe, just let me know and I will pass on my Mothers long used recipe to you.

    Sadly, because of the moving and wedding etc etc, we will not have Christmas cake either this year, but next year, we will most definitely be having one.

    Lou :-)

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  2. I have never bullied the fruitcake..... But that might be because I have never been given, or even tasted the dessert....

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  3. Well, as I mentioned over on my blog, I am one of the fruitcake lovers. The only reason I don't make it anymore is that I am the only one I know who does like it and I need a fruitcake in the house as much as you need a bottle of Crown Royale.

    Thanks for sticking up for the much maligned sweet, though!

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  4. I love fruitcake! I too have been ashamed to admit it -- until now. Thank you for setting me free!

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  5. My husband's Aunty Polly made us fruit cake for our wedding cake. I have never liked fruitcake so, although I was grateful for her effort, I ate the banana cake she had offered alongside it.

    A year passed, and it was our anniversary. We pulled the top part of our wedding fruitcake out of the freezer and had a little with coffee. It was DIVINE, the best fruitcake I have ever tasted. I raved about that cake to Aunty Polly every time I saw her thereafter. Sadly Aunty Polly has since passed away, but I think the recipe was handed down to one of her nieces. You remind me that I really should get in contact and see if I can get a copy of it.

    I do however have the recipe for my Dad's famous Aberfoil Christmas Pudding, all the way from Scotland. If my pleading and begging doesn't get me Aunty Polly's recipe, I can always start a new tradition of the Aberfoil Pud.

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  6. I must be an emotional train wreck right now because this post makes me choke up. Poor, poor Christmas Fruitcake:(

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  7. The bullying of the Christmas Fruit Cake must cease immediately. We cannot have discontented, materialistic Grandma's, Mom, Aunts and Cousins buying us anything at Christmas---it is only fair that they part their loving care into these fruitcakes for the rest of us to enjoy!!

    I'm with you all the way!! Cheers, Jenn

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  8. That is so true. The poor much maligned fruitcake has passed quietly into oblivion with few to mourn it. I didn't like it much as a kid - except my nana's, because hers was really dense and moist and yummy. But these days I do quite like a fruitcake, but no one much makes them anymore. The bullies have won.

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