Ghosts of Fruitcake Past

I picked up a fruitcake and looked at it appraisingly, much to my surprise.  I’d come for milk and creamer for the tea and coffee.  The snacks were already there and I never liked fruitcake.  But, since it was after the holidays, it was on sale.  That’s still not going to make me like it, I thought.  Do I even know anyone who likes it?  Something like sentimentality brushed against me….

Looking from one to the other, icing or no icing?  Snippets of faded images lingered, barely coming into focus….

The dishes were cleared and they served us all tea, coffee and fruitcake.  Despite being a little kid I could tell they’d taken a lot of care with this meal.  I managed a bite out of politesse.  I hoped to be excused from the table.

That’s not very persuasive, I thought as I stood in line at the check-out.

I could hear a faraway clinking of cups and saucers, and strained to hear their voices.  These people long since turned to ash and dust.

It’s probably not that bad, this fruitcake that weighed the same as a brick.  Variations have been around since the Middle Ages, after all.  Obviously a lot of people like it, I reasoned, as I arranged slices on a serving plate.

One bite and I reached for my cup, glad that I’d brewed a strong pot of black tea.  Give it a chance.  Another bite.  May I be excused?  Oh wait, I’m a grownup.  We may all be excused!  I laughed.

Maybe I’ll try a homemade recipe next year.  What can we really expect from factory-made?  Bread, fruit, nuts, whiskey…it should be delicious, shouldn’t it?

If you happen to have an authentic homemade recipe I’d be grateful if you sent it my way. 🙂

 

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30 thoughts on “Ghosts of Fruitcake Past

  1. There are a lot of fruitcakes on the internet, but this may be the only one worth paying attention to. I’m still trying to figure out if this story jumps back & forth in time, or if the protagonist (you?) is traveling back in his/her mind.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never tried fruitcake, and I don’t think I’ve ever had one offered to me. I’ll always opt for a more traditional cake or pie…or ice cream.

    Happy New Year, Danica. Hope 2017 is off to a great start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks Rich! They’re memories that overlap with my grocery store shopping and fruitcake/coffee/tea serving. I’ll see what I can do to make that more clear. Thank you for the feedback.

      Well, from my experience you’re not missing anything. Hopefully I’ll remember for next year and not be overly influenced by a sense of nostalgia.

      Happy New Year to you as well, Rich! So far my 2017 has had some great moments and I hope yours has as well.

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      1. That wasn’t in any way a criticism, Danica. I enjoyed the multiple possible explanations, but thanks for clarifying.

        The year has gotten off to a decent start, other than the weather which has been a lot wetter & chillier than it should be here. I occasionally suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I eagerly await the sun and some milder temperatures. Apparently that will happen sometime next week.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank, Rich! I’m glad you enjoyed the multiple possible explanations. It was interesting to hear your perspective because I originally had some italics. I removed them because they became confusing, as italics indicated both my current thoughts and the old memories. The old memories weren’t very clear and I struggled to bring them into focus. I think it’s because I was very young at the time. That element may have added a blurriness to my writing.

          The weather has been more extreme than normal in many parts of the world. I’m sorry it’s been affecting you. Have you tried SAD lamps? A.k.a Sun lamps, happy lights, therapy lamps, etc. I’ve heard from people who’ve tried them that they work or help to some degree.

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          1. I think the story worked extremely well without italics, and there was no blurriness for me. As with all of your stories, I was captivated. I especially enjoy guessing if it’s a first-person account or if you’re merely the narrator.

            Not sure a lamp would make a difference. Moving from New York to North Carolina in 2015 was the change I needed, even if it didn’t make everything better (what could?). Even though I still get down when there’s an extended period of bad weather, I now live in a place where winters are shorter & milder and we actually have spring & autumn. When we first moved here, it rained for 12 straight days. It’s been mostly better since then.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s so good to know, thanks Rich! I reviewed the story before I received your comment (this latest one) and added italics and spacing. If you happen to see this updated format let me know if you like it better.

              I’m glad SC is better for you, but getting down like that is pretty rough. Anything to help might be worth a shot.

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  2. Kevin

    Fun post. I have never even seen, let alone tasted a fruitcake! I wasn’t even sure if they really existed. I certainly have never heard anyone use the word ‘fruitcake’ in any positive manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really! It’s fascinating that you escaped without a scratch! Here’s a brief historical snapshot of fruitcake. BTW, the version he mentions from the time of Julius Caesar is not, in my opinion, a fruitcake but a form of a granola or energy bar. See: Harvesting Knowledge – Fruit Cake – America’s Heartland:

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    1. That’s an excellent approach, J! Even a whiskey splash and ice cream probably wouldn’t have salvaged this one. It’s mystifying that the fruitcake has endured so long. Maybe there’s a powerful sentimental link similar to the one I recently experienced, seemingly out of nowhere. Carrot cake and sponge cake, on the other hand, are delicious every time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jakecoker

    I couldn’t have a more appropriate story for this. So it was just before Christmas several years back, and some family decided they were going out of town to celebrate. They asked if I would watch their house while they were away and I agreed.

    I’m not sure what possessed me to do this, but I found a fruitcake in the fridge and decided to taste it (they did tell me that I could eat anything in the fridge). I quickly came to the conclusion that fruitcake is one of the most atrocious things created by man, and threw what was left away. Again, not sure why I did any of this.. Just seemed right at the time I guess.

    Anyway I guess my uncle found it in the trash, because he’s given me hell for it ever since. Every holiday we see each other he talks about buying me a fruitcake and asks how it was. That fruitcake before Christmas haunts me to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Jake! It made me smile. It’s funny how something that seems pretty innocuous can become a big deal. You’re now shadowed by the Fruitcake Before Christmas Haunting! 😉 Have you tried bringing them a replacement?

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