Fruitcake

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       June 13, 2014

 

                                            

 

I don’t know which aunt brought it, but it was always there, sitting on the counter in the kitchen just waiting to be sliced into.

I don’t know who came up with the idea of fruitcake, but it was partially good. I didn’t much care for the candied cherries and pineapple pieces that invaded its goodness. The pecans and top side crusts were my favorite parts, but I had to take the good with the bad.

One time I pilfered the exposed inners of the circle of all the pecans I could see. My sin was discovered and atoned for by having to sit in a chair for almost a lifetime before I was paroled.

Fruitcake was always a part of our Christmas. I believed it was one of the Magi gifts brought to the Baby Jesus. I didn’t know what myrrh and frankincense were, so I figure one of them was a foreign name for fruitcake presented on a platter. That’s the only reason I could come up with that it only appeared at Christmas in our house.

It was also the only time during the year that I was allowed to have cake for breakfast, not much of a treat since the pieces of pineapple made my face twitch. A glass of milk and a piece of fruitcake got the day started.

When we weren’t able to go back to my family’s roots in eastern Kentucky at Christmas my mom would whip up a fruitcake at home. I knew when it was coming. The kitchen counter would be layered with the ingredients, all ready to fulfill their purpose. It also was the indication that Christmas wasn’t going to be held in a different state. We wouldn’t be traveling up river past Pomeroy and Gallipolis heading for the crossover into West Virginia and then Kentucky. An absence of pecan bags at home was a sure sign we were going to do some piling in the car.

Fruitcake was a symbol of the mixed blessings of Christmas. It was a gift, good and bad, like opening a box filled with Matchbox cars, and then the next opened gift containg socks and underwear. I never understood why underwear had to be wrapped up…kind of like why fruitcake had to have those pineapple pieces.

I would have been fine with a “fruit-less cake!”

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3 Comments on “Fruitcake”

  1. Joan Tatley Says:

    Very nice, warm memory.


  2. Fruitcake is Christmas. We always bought ours as both parents worked and there was so little time around the holidays – and it would transport in that red tin. My husband’s mom made theirs in a large pottery bowl we now have. She worked, but always made time for fruitcake – and the kids got in trouble for eating the fruit and pecans waiting to be used. Both of us have roots in KY. No matter what anyone says, we’ll always have fruitcake…but it may actually be a pecan cake from Eilenbergers – an old German bakery creation which uses more pecans than fruit.
    Enjoyed the post!


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