Christmas Holiday Fruitcake
Just what is this stuff? And, does anyone ever actually eat it? It weighs a ton. You only see it around Christmas. Once it is made, it's indestructible. It lasts forever. You wonder...If I eat it, what will it do to me? Err, make that ...is it even edible? Older generations know it all too well. With but one glimpse of it, younger generations often quickly dismiss it as a holiday door stop. If it fits this description, then it certainly must be a.....Fruitcake!!!
In Great Grandma's day, fruitcakes were as popular during the Christmas season, as ribbon candy. Okay, you don't know about ribbon candy either, huh!?! Well, as the Christmas holiday neared, Grandma went to work in the kitchen. She lovingly took out all the dried fruits and nuts that she had so painstakingly harvested and dried during the summer months. These precious and sought after fruits, and lord knows what other goodies, were carefully added (glued??) onto, and mixed into, a thick and heavy, sugar ladened cake. Liqueurs were added. Artificial preservatives had not been invented yet.
The resulting fruit covered cake proved heavier and denser than anything else known to man in the entire universe. It was virtually indestructible. At this point, one must pause to appreciate the creator. It was made with love by Grandma. So, no one dared to turn it down when given as a gift. And, no one dared not to eat a bit, if offered by grandma.
Pass the Fruitcake..... The trick then (some may have considered it a game), was to get this gift of love from grandma, and not have to "crack" it open and eat some before she left. With luck, grandma had a poor memory and would forget to ask later if you enjoyed eating it. Meanwhile, mom would re-wrap the Fruitcake in a box and give it to someone, anyone....else. Once put into circulation as a Christmas gift, a fruitcake could be passed from one person to the next dozens of times. You might even be lucky and receive the same fruitcake gift twice! In some families, you didn't want to be the last to receive the "gift", as you'd have the "joy" of eating it..... or keeping it until you could give it as a gift next Christmas.
Allegedly, nothing destroys a fruitcake, not even time. After the holidays, some people put it away until the following year, and put it right back in circulation! Fruitcake lore suggests it has been eaten decades after it was made!
If you receive a very heavy Christmas present this year, you just might be the recipient of a re-surging holiday tradition!
Did you know? National Fruitcake Day is December 27th.
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