Ok, so I know what you are thinking. You just celebrated Fruitcake Day last week. Why do it again? Are you on some kind of fruitcake agenda? Well, last week I celebrated National Fruitcake Month because I was at a loss for daily holidays to celebrate. Little did I know that fruitcake had its very own day. And there was no denying fruitcake’s hold on this day. Almost every website I check for holidays listed today as National Fruitcake Day. I had no choice but to celebrate it. Lucky for me, I still had a loaf of fruitcake leftover from last week in my refrigerator.
I wonder if anyone else is in my predicament of having a leftover loaf of fruitcake? Do people still give fruitcakes or is that one of those cartoon myths we all learn to believe (like mice living inside perfectly arched holes in the wall)? A good fruitcake, I’m sure, is probably really tasty, like any homemade baked good would be. It likely tastes of tradition and of holiday cheer to those who have been raised on it. It’s kind of a victim of having a pretty bad rap to go along with an awful name. Maybe we need to rebrand it. Maybe if I said I made an artisan cake of farm-to-table scratch ingredients including free range fruits that have been candied by solemn monks with vintage brandy, I might get a few more takers. But for now, we are stuck with uttering that awful phrase, “would you like some fruitcake?”
Last week, I just ate a piece of fruitcake for my celebration and what I remembered most about it was it was filling. I knew that this was kind of a repeat, so I had to think a little outside the norm for how to enjoy it today. Some way to make it special. As usual, the answer was liquor. The idea was to make a fruitcake shake. I don’t think this has been done before, so this would truly be an original concoction. I’ve been known to have a few crazy ideas that involved blenders. I am recalling my brief lived concept of Twinkie Drinks (frozen drinks made with Twinkies and other Hostess products) that never made it out of the drawing room, but I still feel there was potential there. In concept, the blender would chop up the fruitcake so you would still get the flavor, but you wouldn’t have to labor over chewing it. I started off by throwing in a piece of the fruitcake which I had chopped into small pieces into the blender. For booze, I went with coffee liqueur because fruitcake goes well with coffee and I also poured in some whipped cream vodka because that too goes well with any baked good. I topped it with some milk and let it soak for a few minutes hoping to soften the cake a bit more. I then scooped in some vanilla ice cream and added a few ice cubes, then blended away. It came out smooth and creamy looking. I poured it into a glass and topped with whipped cream and garnished it with a slice of fruitcake. Not too shabby, I thought.
Lola saw me making a milkshake and saw me pour it into the glass, so I asked her if she wanted to taste it. She had not yet seen the fruitcake garnish. So when it was just a milkshake, she was very much interested, but when she learned what kind of milkshake it was, she lost interest. She gave it a taste however and for a split second, it looked like it was a pleasant surprise. Then her face turned to one of disgust. She wanted no part of it and offered some comments about never needing dates in her drink. She was not a fan. Then I tried it. I made the mistake of eating the fruitcake slice garnish first so my palate was full of the flavor of fruitcake. Had I not done that, it would have been a more milder flavor. It wasn’t that bad because it’s still a milk shake, but it just did not cover up the fruitcake taste. Plus I started to get little chunks of unblended fruitcake that would get stuck in the straw causing me to have to suck it out. I can say this: if you have to eat fruitcake, it’s not an altogether bad way to eat it. The ice cream lightened it up slightly and I picked the right liquors to pair with it. But in the end, it’s still fruitcake.
Later, I decided to have one more slice of fruitcake to end my celebration (hopefully forever). It was really a dilemma for me because our house is so full of great desserts and treats. We have carrot cake, pumpkin pie, fudge, chocolate balls, gingerbread cookies, shortbread cookies, oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Every one of those items are so much better than a slice of fruitcake, but I felt obligated to my quest, so I turned down all those delectables and went for the fruitcake. This time I topped it with whipped cream just to give it a little something extra. It’s still just ok. I may have said last week that it wasn’t that bad, but I think I got tired of it. There are worse things, but it’s a strange combo. It tastes dry yet also moist and really filling. The fruit inside is always the worst to me. It’s preserved in weird preservatives so it’s almost like fake fruit. It was just too much for me and I secretly dreamed of cookies and fudge as I tried to swallow down this stupid seasonal delight.
The best part of National Fruitcake Day was that it was over and I had survived. Yeah, it’s a festive treat, but let’s not get carried away. I think every person that celebrates the holidays should try a piece. We shouldn’t have all this fruitcake bashing unless you have indulged in it. Then you can bash away. Or maybe we just stop perpetrating this tradition and end it once and for all. Replace it with something better. Regardless, fruitcake will always have an odd festive yet negative reputation hanging over its head. At least now I know why.
Next up: National Chocolate Candy Day (now that’s more like it)