Christmas Fruitcake Story Contest

What’s your fruitcake story? Submit by December 16th. Must 250 words or less. If the word count is too high, you’ll be eliminated. Winner receives a copy of Feeding the Whole Family for Christmas.

When I was in college at Wichita State University, every Christmas Eve the theater majors would go out caroling. There were some decent voices and it sounded pretty sweet. We often went to Max and Barbara Schaible’s house and one year Max wasn’t there but Barbara was and she graciously gifted us with a fruitcake. It was in my hands. Later in the evening (okay we sometimes drank some wine between houses) we were at someone’s house I didn’t know. They were having a party. One of the guests, who stepped forward, was Max Schaible and without thinking I walked up to him after Good King Wenceslas and, smiling, handed him the fruitcake. He was charmed. For some unknown reason, even later, we decided to drop by the Schaible’s house again and Barbara seemed very confused as to why Max had come home bearing the fruitcake she had given us. Obviously I had no explanation.

OUR WINNER IS Jacqueline!  Loved the line”Funny how nostalgia makes things taste better.”  Indeed.  Happy Holidays.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Fruitcake Story Contest

  1. That story is awesome. I don’t have a fruitcake story. I’ve always liked fruitcake, especially as a kid. Maybe it’s because my mom makes a really good fruitcake. It’s not incredibly dense, and doesn’t have so many bits of fruit that it seems like a brick. She would make these mini loaves to give away, and we would cover them with marzipan, then fondant icing, and then make little marzipan fruits to put on top. I always thought my mom’s marzipan fruits were little works of art. And I loved her marzipan, so they were little edible works of art.

  2. I can’t say that I always enjoyed my grandmother’s fruit cake. In fact, I remember as a kid thinking all those brightly colored candied fruit bits – especially the citrus pieces – were completely disgusting. How could my parents eat that stuff?!? But over the years, my feelings (and my taste buds!) have changed and I now look forward to her dense, brandy flavored holiday treat. She generally makes a small little loaf for each of her loved ones. Not everyone is excited to receive their personal brick, but that has never discouraged her from sharing her winter tradition with family, friends and neighbors. Now that she’s 91, my sister and I make the fruit cakes with her. It’s a wonderful way to spend holiday time together 🙂

  3. My grandmother used to drench her fruitcake in Brandy every week as it “aged” from the time she baked it in the fall, until Christmas. The kids were each allowed one small slice, and it would get us tipsy. I don’t think any of her fruitcakes ever lasted long enough to get “regifted”.

  4. Despite all the bad press on fruitcakes, I enjoyed a particular kind when I was growing up. Since becoming a healthy (no preservatives for me–at least if I can tell that a food has them in it) vegan, I would not go near that cake today.
    However, where I grew up back in Waukegan, IL, the home of Jack Benny and Ray Bradbury, the local A & P (The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, I think) had a version that my family would add to our holiday table every year. Coming from A & P, it was the Ann Page brand, which as a child, I felt was rather clever. Get it? A & P, Ann Page? Anyway, the fruitcake as you might imagine was the kind that had red died cherries and goddess knows how many unnatural additives. It came wrapped in plastic and was nestled in a appropriately decorated tin–a number of which were recycled to store holiday cookies in subsequent years. The cake was–shall I say–solid and of course would have lasted for weeks if we had not eaten it all in a few sittings.
    My parents eventually sold their house and much of their furniture and retired to Florida a few weeks before Christmas. Their home was still sparsely furnished and lacked window coverings much less a Christmas tree. But a trip to the local Big Box produced a Norfolk island pine that sported a few of our family heirloom ornaments which had moved down with them. Our family gathering that year was certainly less than traditional.
    Still a Midwesterner, I managed to get a three-day weekend off from work and hopped on a flight on December 26th–the first of many times I would actually miss the usual Christmas day family celebration. But as my parents and brother showed me around their newly adopted town, we stopped off at a local chain grocery store to pick up a few staples. And what to our wondering eyes did appear on a promotional table in the store was–you guessed it–“our” family’s fruitcake with the same A & P label and decorative tin.
    There was no snow on the ground, no bundling up tight, no shouts from my father to “Hurry up and get in the car! It’s cold out!.” But there was our family’s fruitcake. Funny how nostalgia makes things taste better.

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