December 9, 2011

Fruit Cake Monster

“Why, thank you, Mildred!  You shouldn’t have!”  If you guess right (the way you have every other year since Aunt Mildred has been visiting), this would be a fruitcake.  An entirely inedible creation of frightening ingredients that weighs about a metric ton.  The only thing you might be unsure about is exactly what kind of fruitcake it is this year.

“It's Model 47,348.”  Fruitcake Monster is not unsure -- he knows exactly what’s in that cake.  He may not keep meticulous records, but he never forgets a fruitcake.  Model 47,348 was carefully crafted on a sunny November afternoon in the monster’s fruitcake kitchen. He began with last year's batter (it’s gummier that way).  Threw in 48 nuts of varying varieties:  macadamia, lug, pistachio.  Then he sprinkled in some fruit pieces (yes, actual fruit!): pear, apple, cherries and “of the Loom”.  And after tossing in a few mystery ingredients (he never reveals those), he mixed in a few spices to round out the essential flavors -- everything from allspice to Old Spice.

Fruitcake Monster is enormously proud of his cakes, and when his cousin once suggested he make “real” cakes that people would actually eat, he was absolutely appalled!  Fruitcake Monster replied that he couldn’t imagine a world without fruitcakes.  “Fruitcakes are a tradition!” he said. “They might be a silly tradition, but what tradition truly isn’t?"  Sometimes you do the things you’ve always done because -- by golly -- the world just isn’t the same without them.