When Thanksgiving is over and the refrigerator is full of foil-wrapped food, my thoughts turn to what I’ve been craving all year.
It’s time to order my fruitcake.
Yes. I love fruitcake, that holiday treat that has been maligned and scorned for decades. I’m proud to say it, and happy to give it the praise it deserves.
In all the world, there is no cake better than a good fruitcake. And that’s where the problem lies. For every single well-made fruitcake, there are dozens of dry, mass-produced bricks of dreck that should never be eaten by a living being.
A good fruitcake needs to be heavy. Heavy enough to make you just know it isn’t good for you. When you pick it up, the tendons of your wrist should bulge. There is genuine bang for your buck with a quality fruitcake.
Next, your fruitcake should be dark brown all the way through. The color should remind you of a football. And if there is a slight dimpling to the surface of the cake, like that football, that just means it is filled with lots of goodies.
Now, you need to look at the decorations on the top of the fruitcake. Traditionally, there will be pecans laying around the edge like tiny, ribby tombstones. And between each tombstone, you should see a sticky cherry half in neon red or green.
When you purchase your fruitcake (making sure to double-bag it to account for its weight) and schlep it home, you can just plop it in the fridge or on the counter.
Like your favorite tipsy uncle, it has an armor that keeps it safe despite its precarious fragility. The best fruitcakes have enough alcohol cooked inside to render it immune to immediate spoilage.
You’ll need a long, sharp knife to cut through a well-made fruitcake. There are obstacles inside there, mixed into the thick texture of the cake. Your knife will encounter bits of nuts and hunks of gummy cherries.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard