Did you get a fruitcake this year? Let me ask this way, instead...
Did you get a fruitcake this year!?!?!?
Is it chucked down on the floor in the original box still - holding a door open somewhere?
Did you know I have a friend who buys a fruitcake each year just for that purpose? To bring it home and throw it onto the floor.
Nobody gave me a fruitcake. Nobody shipped any over to our inn or museum either, except for one exceptional chef and gentleman: Ken Ilasz (Host & Man of a thousand fruitcakes). And he only had the shenanigans to send me a recipe. So to be sure, I have added a link above to chef Ken's website and am also including a video from Martha Stewart on making fruitcakes from scratch.
We had a massive dinner of 17 people on Saturday night and did receive wine and other gifts and, WOW, was it wonderful. We welcomed home a United States Marine in our family, Jonathan Griswold, his wife Lauren Griswold and their little baby, Declan! But no fruitcake was served, or even put out on a plate in the living room for snacks! That's not how I grew up. Fruitcakes were awesome and part of Christmas! At least grandmom Vera Mongiello had a sliced one out and grandpop Michael Mongiello (despite being an American-Italian man) was caught snacking on slivers every hour.
But then again, I also like the ever-sickening mincemeat pie! Okay, okay... I like fruitcake. There, I said it.
We do have handmade peanut peanut brittle and spiced pecans abounding thanks to Paul Johnson over at Paul L. Johnson Interiors. Paul also wraps his own gifts and puts a classic brown wax seal on top. What a great family to stop by and drop off free holiday goodies! Thanks Paul.
But no fruitcake from Paul.
Chef Ken Ilasz evidently makes a fruitcake worth crying over and eating. His sometimes marinate for years! To me that is an amazing process. "The origin of my Cake is traced to the ancient Trypillian Civilization of Ukraine. A Honeycake or Medvnyk was prepared following each Harvest. Nuts were collected and fruits preserved to last over winter. Each year, the previous year's cake was eaten in celebration of another successful Harvest or Kupalo. This region became the Bread Basket of Continental Europe. Some claim the oldest reference to Fruitcake dates to Roman Times. Pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins were mixed in a barley mash then combined with honey, spices,and preserved fruits. This dense cake could sustain those on the move for a very long time."
"In the 1400's spices and dried fruits arrived in Britain. Thus began the British fascination for spiced cake. Pope Innocent VIII, 1432-1492, in his Butter Letter (or Butterbrief), sent permission to Saxony stating: "milk and butter could once again be used in the North German Stollen Fruitcakes". During the 18th century, Fruitcakes were outlawed entirely throughout Continental Europe. They were considered as "sinfully rich" and laws were passed to prohibit their existence."
"Between 1837 and 1901, Victorian England popularized the Fruitcake. It was customary for unwed women of the time to place a slice of dark traditional wedding cake under their pillow whilst they slept so they would dream of the man they hoped one day to marry. From this time onward, the British Fruitcake became the Hallmark of their Culinary Tradition."
QUESTION: Ladies, are you sleeping with a slice of fruitcake under your pillow? Please respond.