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Sunday, December 20, 2020



Rerun from 2011 

Bullying is on everyone’s minds these days.  I read 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?  


  1. Fruitcake is one of my all-time favorite treats. Thank you for this defense, Joe. Not homemade, but a great one - try Collin Street Bakery in Texas. Not rum-infused but still delicious.

  2. I never did like fruitcake, and had I known I would have sent mine to you.

  3. I too always loved fruitcake, the boozier the better. I've got a thing for the candied fruit, in or out of bakery delights...

  4. Fruitcake is good, and it should not be bullied out of existence. Our family didn't have a recipe, we always just got the ones that come in the Harry and David gift baskets.

  5. My mother made the most wonderful fruitcake ever. It was moist and delicious. I miss her fruitcakes.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

  6. There's always Assumption Abbey, too.

  7. I too am a fruitcake lover and have my grandmothers recipe. I let the bullies get the best of my though and haven’t made it in years I usually remember too late as it needs a month of rum soaking goodness to live up to its true potential. Maybe next year? Zingermans has several they offer i limited editions too ....

  8. There is only one fruitcake, a commercial source I ever liked as didn't care for the dark fruit cakes. The one I preferred was solid candied fruit, no citron, lots of pecans, all held together by very little light batter cake, very moist. My MIL used to make a very rich sausage cake, wrapped in bourbon that was delicious.

  9. Dear Joe i am here to drop my best wishes for both of you for the happiest day of this year
    Happy Christmas to you and family !

    there are so many lovely sweet traditions gone forgotten by people of new era ,traditions that would bring simple true joy to so many
    we have tradition to make deserts and share with all relatives ,friends and neighbors close by ,this adds more delight to our Eid days ,i don't think if someone is out of source for having food i bet there is no problem for him on such days because sense of sharing is fully on during such happier days
    Blessings to you both in days ahead !

  10. Look ma friend, I would 'ave sent ye a wee slice of home-made fruit cake; only I be just finished the last slice. Goes down well with a glass of Drambuie, ye ken. Och aye! Better than black bun. Do ye know what black bun be?

    God bless.

  11. Oh my dear blog buddy! You and my Jack could sit and share a piece of fruitcake that he so dearly loves! His Mom (may she rest in peace..along with her recipe) made the best fruitcake. I didn't eat any but I heard it was fabulous. She made it months in advance of the holiday and poured booze over it in a timely fashion. My brother actually makes a good fruitcake too. I made one...and I mean one..for Jack and he said it was really good. These days I buy them for him and they last in the fridge for quite a bit. So don't despair! There are still fruitcake lovers in the world and good bakers of them too. I'm sure amazon could send you one with free shipping and in 2 days you could be in fruitcake heaven. A very Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. C!!!!

  12. Lol, it does get shamelessly bullied! I always loved it, as did my Dad. Makes me miss him even more. I have a recipe for fruitcake made with a pumpkin base. Really yummy!