According to an old French proverb, Rome was not built in a day. So, you're going to think I'm totally off the wall, but I believe that the same can be said about that darn fruitcake...you know, the infamous creation that dates as far back as Roman times. Unbelievably, it takes at least a month of preparation (adding fragrant spices, candied/dried fruits, and nuts) stored in an airtight tin can inside a larder, where it is cooled and aged before it is ready to be devoured. If marinated in the right "spirits" with an abundance of sugar, it could have a shelf-life of twenty-five years or more. Unfortunately, for many of us who have no love for this holiday eyesore, we must begrudgingly welcome it back for yet another season.
Centuries ago, ancient Egyptians placed fruitcakes (prepared with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins in barley mash) on the tombs of their loves ones as food for the afterlife. The Romans believed in many different gods and goddesses; perhaps there was a god of the fruitcake? It could have protected the Roman soldiers: either to satisfy their hunger or to use as a weapon for the battlefield. Even the prolific 19th Century author, Charles Dickens, had his say "A fruitcake is a geological homemade cake."
So, can we talk? I am thinking I may just want to come back and live my second life as a fruitcake. If I were preserved with fruit, nuts, the finest liqueurs, and pounds of powdered sugar to keep from molding, I could come back for an additional twenty-five years. Why not?
Now, here it is, hundreds of years later: millions of fruitcakes are manufactured and sold in just the United States alone. So, beware of those re-gifters; keep your friends close, and, those who re-gift you with a fruitcake--closer. Keep one eye open for those who are still re-gifting those Y2K survivor boxes (which include a slice of fruitcake), as you may have a potential stalker on your hands.
Yes, I know fruitcakes are loved and appreciated on many islands and in other countries; some are even covered with icing (yuck!). Some women actually have fruitcakes as the top tier on their wedding cakes...to enjoy at every anniversary for the first twenty-five-years. I am not being a Debbie Downer, but if you put the fruitcake in perspective, and you divorce within twenty-five years, have you given any thought as to who would be awarded the fruitcake? One word, ladies: prenup...
My mom was the only one who dared to eat that funny-looking stuff that always appeared dry and spotted with colors from a crayon box. Even in the 1960s, my siblings and I believed Santa preferred cookies instead of a slice of that eyesore with his glass of milk. We didn't want Santa to wriggle down the chimney, catch sight of that weird-looking so-called cake, and shimmy-shimmy-ko-ko-pop right back up the chimney with all of our toys.
I am surprised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not spoken out--why they aren't outraged over the phenomena of the fruitcake, while millions of (dark, light, citrus, Jamaican Rum, and boiled) fruitcakes are floating around in our atmosphere since their office first opened in 1970. Something is in the air that is the cause of our wacky weather across our nation--it is not El Nino, it is fruitcake season!
What about NASA? Are the folks at that agency keeping any secrets? Please don't quote me. I can only surmise that one of our astronauts, on a covert twilight-zone mission, left a fruitcake (installed with a hidden camera) on the moon to monitor the reactions of alien beings, to see if any will go near one. The alien beings could blow the mission by pushing that darn fruitcake off the moon and back to earth to destroy us all. Is that a scary thought or what?
I know there is a fruitcake on the moon--watch out, the next sighting may not be a falling meteorite; it could be that covert fruitcake!