Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ask the Fruitcake Lady

If you can't bear to wait, go ahead and scroll down to the video. But I would invite you to practice the virtue of patience and enjoy a little reading first.

I come from a long line of fruitcake ladies. We're talking wonderful cooks! They could make you love a fruitcake whether you wanted to or not. The fruitcake has gotten a bad name because of the inferior variety that have invaded the marketplace over the years. The Claxton fruitcake could be used as a brick to build a house for the smart little piggy. It could be used as a doorstop. Its intense, sticky sweetness could make even dentures ache from the massive overload of sugar. It may even be the root cause of adult onset diabetes! Other such fruitcakes have appeared over the years, loaded with citron (what the hell is that?) and rum flavoring, dotted with too many bits of candied fruit and not enough raisins, overloaded with corn syrup. These are not my fruitcakes.

The fruitcakes of my youth were lighter, full of golden raisins, candied pineapple, and candied cherries. They had no real or imitation rum. They rose high in the tube pan, a golden-brown halo dotted with a pattern made of pecans, cherries and pineapple. For my father's clients, my mother would make loaf-sized fruitcakes from the same recipe, getting 4-6 loaves instead of one tube pan. We spent long hours in the tiny kitchen, mixing the ingredients by hand, for no spoon was sturdy enough, to cover each piece of fruit, each chopped nut, first with flour and then with batter. There are more secrets I will not share here of our fruitcake. It was a family recipe that made fruitcake converts of many people.

In addition to the fruitcakes, we would sometimes make candy - divinity fudge, chocolate fudge, peanut butter balls, and coconut balls. Sometimes we would have these delights going from sunup to sundown as the holidays approached. Mom loved to bake and make candy, to wrap the packages in neat holiday tins with the foil folded just so. She preferred making gifts rather than buying them. Each lump of green-tinted divinity had a little bit of her love in it.

Make no mistake, however. She could be feisty. The following video is one of my favorites because this woman seems to be a composite of all of the lovely women from my childhood. She is a fruitcake lady, I suppose, because she makes and sells fruitcakes. The humor in the video is that she is being asked non-fruitcake related questions, and her answers are hilarious!

Please enjoy this bit of holiday fun. Peace - D

(Since they automatically play, I simply included the links to avoid having them start each time you load the page.)
Fruitcake Lady 1
Fruitcake Lady 2

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Wow, I had no idea. You truley are one of the strangest and most fascinating women I have ever known.