I’m bordering on hysteria when I think about admitting my shameful secret. It’s something that could potentially render me a laughingstock among my peers and blogreaders alike, but I believe in confession being good and cleansing for the soul, so here goes:
But here’s how it all happened.
Poopy and I were grocery shopping last week and happened upon a rather large basketful of colorful fruitcakes in the store aisle, making a few disparaging remarks and jokes as we sauntered past the display. We pride ourselves in being a very stalwart couple where trying new foodstuffs is concerned, and he toyed with the idea of actually purchasing one.
Poopy’s far more adventurous than me, having tried actual haggis at a Scottish festival here a few years ago, plus he actually likes liver and onions (retch!), which, along with other nauseating organ meats, are verboten in the house, so for him to try a fruitcake was, well, a piece of cake.
After about a minute or so of bantering back and forth of “Really? You wanna try it, too?” we settled on a colorful variety made in Georgia by the Claxton Fruitcake Company (World famous since 1910 it said on the label, which was all the convincing I needed). I picked it up and was awestruck at its weight – it seemed heavy enough to wield as a cudgel.
(Can you imagine the police report? “Victim was bludgeoned to death by a holiday cake.”)
As everyone knows, there are a lot of jokes about fruitcakes, the most well-known claiming there being only one on earth which makes its way around to each and every home, where the last recipient sends it off (or “re-gifting” as it was called on Seinfeld) to the next unwitting recipient. In all actuality, it has honorable beginnings, being a sort of autumn ceremonial cake replete with all the fruits of the harvest that was stored and eaten during the winter. And the Victorians? Well, they were enamored of their fruitcakes!
Yet in spite of its humble origins, The Hubby and I were outright horrified at the caloric-overload of the thing. Good common sense told us to run like hell, but like the denseness of a black hole pulling in objects around it, we were drawn back into its orbit. So in spite of the knowledge that close to four hundred carb-laden calories per slice (enough to sustain a small family in any third world country!) were at stake to indulge in this sinful creation, we stuck with our decision to try it.
Surely, I thought on the drive home, it will induce diabetes at the first bite, but we nonetheless tossed caution to the wind and purchased the stout log.
It languished on the counter but a few days before I said to The Hubby one night after dinner, “Well, are you up for a small slice?” He was game and thus our gastronomical adventure was about to begin.
Carefully slicing off a few thin chunks, I watched as they fell over off the loaf in slow-motion, all the butter and grease and fruity goo holding each and every diabolical crumb together before it hit the plate with a soft ploop sound. I picked up a sticky slice and examined it closely: lots of unidentifiable fruit pieces crammed in there, jostled up against one another, and so very many hunks of nuttage as well. There were many different colors, too, including what can only be described as nuclear green and clown blue. I had to wonder, where in the world do green maraschino cherries grow? Like George Carlin before me speculating where they kept the blue food, I pondered the same thing of the otherworldly-tinged Whatever Berry I was struggling to identify. I tentatively bit into the slice and chewed cautiously. Its overall consistency was more Gummi Bear than fresh fruit, but still not altogether unpleasant to masticate.
However, the overall sweetness of the concoction was tooth-achey in every way. My salivary glands squirted in frenzied overtime, trying to break down the sugary bolus as best they could before I could swallow it down the ol’ gullet.
I’m of the mind that if something this sweet is good, why not make it even better by adding some nice fine booze to it (like Kahlua over ice cream, y’know?). And that I voiced to dear Hubby O’ Mine, who piped in with “Let’s douse it with some Sailor Jerry’s rum.”
But I’ll tell you, I’m darn proud that I overcame the hurdle of such a maligned societal victual, and freely admit that, yes, I liked it. The loaf disappeared rather quickly over the course of a few short days. And I find myself suddenly craving it now. Dear God, please help me…
However. The same sentiment will never be said of liver and onions, so don’t get your hopes up, Poopy.