Saturday, December 22, 2012


Fruitcake means fruitcake, a cake with candied fruit in it, and also someone who is a little nuts. I saw a t-shirt that said, "Respect the fruitcake" and I really like that, because I do.

My grandmother on my mother's side made stollen, German fruitcake, dry as a bone, and up to its ears in chartreuse-colored bits of citron that made you think of a thin spinster aunt in a Great Plains novel, something by Willa Cather, but, when toasted, transformed into this fragrant, buxom, bitter-sweet Christmas experience. The icing pleasantly caramelized, the citron got Italian. I looked forward to it.

Now I'm candying my own pummelos. No euphemism. They're in a reducing sugar syrup in a big copper pot as I write this. It's a fruitcake thing to do, sure, but one of the joys of adulthood is knowing exactly what kind of cake you are.


  1. How I love your posts. You say so much, so very much, in the fewest words.

    What a master you are at this craft.

    Happy Holidays, Elizabeth--you've made me smile more times than I can count.

  2. I'm an all-natural dried fruitcake, then. Dried apricots, pineapple, cherries. Pecans, no walnuts. And no alcohol. I don't need alcohol on my cake. I like it in a glass.

  3. I agree with The Empress. You say a lot in a few, choice words and with incomparable humour. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Look forward to more fab posts in 2013. :)