I think fruitcake gets a bad rap. It can be difficult to really appreciate the squishy bright red and green fruit mixture with candied pecans concoction. Sometimes, I admit, it doesn’t even look like a real cake. Most people when they receive a fruitcake, immediately roll their eyes, and think recycled gift. I must confess that I’ve always had a particular fondness for fruitcake.
What I remember most about my childhood were the little things that my parents would do with me. I remember watching the Three Stooges as my mother would braid my hair, waking up to Sunday morning donut runs, going to putt-putt golf every Friday and eating veggie-burgers at the local Burger King. It was also a tradition for my parents to order fruitcake. It would usually arrive in a red tin a day or two before Christmas and every morning my parents, my sister, and I would each have a slice of fruitcake. As we ate our fruitcake breakfast, some Indian song would be blaring in the background, the four of us sitting around our dining table, talking and making fun of each other.
We were in our own world and unless you shared it with us, you would never understand the ferocity of our fruitcake joy. I don’t know if it is my recollection of my youth that gave me this feeling, but it was a sense of comfort and well-being. The sense that some things no matter how much time passes will remain etched in your life and you carry that feeling with you forever.
To this day, I don’t feel like it is necessary to explain my fruitcake fetish. I am ok with people who think fruitcake is a non-dessert, a second choice, or something that you give your most unwelcome guests. It has been a long time since I’ve had a fruitcake breakfast. I know what doesn’t change is the nostalgic feeling you experience when you come across something in your past. If I ever run across that red tin, even after all these years, I will smile and know some of my best memories are in a piece of fruitcake.