Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Trash Motherlode:Fruitcake is whack

If any readers are not familiar with the awesomeness that is the White Trash Motherlode book, I encourage you to go here

As I was busily making Holiday Granola, chopping "good" dried fruit, like apricots, cherries and blueberries, my mind wandered to the dark side. You know, the side where the "bad" dried fruit hangs out, drinking Miller High Life and listening to The Scorpions?

"Bad" dried fruit: pineapple, figs, dates, and those neon red/green thingys that they say are cherries but whaaaaa?

Tuck into a couple of those red cherry thingys and you'll have Red Dye #3 poisoning in no time.

And, as it often does, my mind wandered from a bad thing to a totally wrong thing.

Which happens to be fruitcake.

Wild Uncle Johnny, for some crazy reason, loved fruitcake. And he'd send one our way every Christmas. Mama would eat a piece, just so she could be honest when she thanked him. That's Mama for you--she'd rather gag down a piece of hideousity than tell even a leeeeetle white lie. Thank God she didn't pass that trait down to me.

Nobody else in our house would go near that neon brick of wrong. Every year, fruitcake -1 slice got hucked into the garbage. The cessation of the Gifting of the Fruitcake was the only good thing about Uncle Johnny's death.

Luckily, giving fruitcake during the holidays has fallen rather out of favor in my neck of the woods. I don't know anyone who makes it, which means I don't have to pretend to eat it.

And if you are one of those freakshows like BigLittleWolf who likes fruitcake, I just shake my head at you.

Three Wrongest Things About Fruitcake:

~the aforementioned neon Alien Cherries
~the egregious waste of butter...lovely, creamy butter...totally sacrificed on the altar of bad fruit
~the directions "pour brandy over fruitcake, wrap tightly, and store in a cool, dark place for one month before eating." Ummm, hi Salmonella! Nice to meet you. Welcome to my holiday gathering!

But, gentle readers, there is even one thing more wrong than the above list of offenses.

I give you this recipe from the White Trash Motherlode Cookbook. Not only does it have the Alien Cherries; if you look closely, you will see that this recipe contains not a drop of booze.

Assholery! Brazen Assholery! Because don't people know that the addition of copious amounts of alcohol is the ONLY redeeming quality of fruitcake???

Enjoy this recipe. Make it for your mother-in-law or that cousin who can arm-fart Jingle Bell Rock. Good Times.

Best Fruit Cake
makes one cake in an angel-food cake pan

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 pound coconut
1/2 pound red cherries
1/2 pound green cherries
1/2 pound pineapple
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup Brazil nuts*

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a pan lined with foil or waxed paper. Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

*Brazil nuts? Are you freaking kidding me? Nobody eats Brazil nuts. Just ask every bowl of mixed nuts I've ever served. Why do they even PUT Brazil nuts in the nut mix? I am sensing another rant coming on...

For more awesomeness on the fruitcake debate, check out BigLittleWolf's Fruitcake Love.


  1. Would it surprise you to know that I eat Brazil nuts?

  2. Fruitcake sans booze????? I didn't know it could get worse.

  3. "or that cousin who can arm-fart Jingle Bell Rock" = ow, my stomach hurts from laughing.

  4. Ha ha ha - too great. Fruitcake without any booze is totally wrong in every way shape and form. And I'm with you on the Brazil nuts, big bitter mealy nuts, ugh.

  5. I don't think you can call if fruitcake w/out the booze! Just wrong. I'm a freak, though...I tend to like a slice of fruitcake. And I've even had a really good one before. Hmm.

  6. I KNEW you were a Scorpions bighair groupie!

    *yells at top of voice while arm farting*


  7. And here I thought I was actually old enough to claim the fruitcake was an antiquated tradition. Hopefully like all things that went out of style this Christmas gift choice WON'T make a comeback. (Hugs)Indigo

    (I get a gag reflex just thinking of taking a bite of that foul, rubbery foam brick disguised as fruitcake.)

  8. Condensed milk is at least as disgusting as the red alien cherries. The green guys are way beyond anything except Spam.
    Like Wolf, I eat Brazil nuts. Did you know that *one* Brazil nut contains your day's requirement of selenium? One. So I'm so set on staving off selenium deficiency, and THAT, dear Witchy, is worth a mediocre-tasting nut any day. Because dammit, I need to take one worry off my list. Selenium? Check and double check.
    (No idea what selenium is good for or why my body has a daily requirement. I don't ask. I just check things off the list.)

  9. I'll drink a bottle of Asbsolute Citron with a splash of cranberry juice and WATCH you make this. I'm not a fan of condensed milk-- waaaaaaaaay too sweet for me. I confess, though, that I like carcenogenic maraschino cherries (saw how they are made, and I still eat them). I'm with you on the Brazil nuts. I had to laugh-- they remain on the bottom of the mixed nut can in our house. Cashews! With vodka-- perfect combo. On fruitcake-- hate it, too. I can't do it.

  10. egregious waste of butter indeed! i'd heard about people being sent fruitcake each year, but i didn't believe that it actually happened. it seems a bit cruel, uncle johnny. :)
    also, i lovelovelove that clip art.

  11. You gotta have the booze! Not only are the red alien cherries "iffy" but what are the bright green things? Never did get into the maraschino cherries even in my drink! :)

    BTW the other day my co-worker said "you know those silver ball things they used to put on cookies? I just found out you're not suposed to eat them, and I've always ate them!" I just thought you'd enjoy that! "wink, wink"

  12. Alright.. why is pineapple on the bad dried fruit list?
    I have a fruitcake aging (as I was told to let it...) in my cubbard. It might not make it out. Ever.

  13. I agree on everything you said about fruitcake, but come on, dates and figs on the bad list?

  14. My family never made a real fruitcake but, enjoyed receiving their annual supply of Claxton fruit cakes (yuck) as a gift. I have to admit I picked those ailen neon colored cherries out of the fruitcake to eat. That was the only part that I liked. Pretty scary.

    Happy holidays to you!

  15. Fruit cake without the only thing that makes it worth while?!? wrong wrong wrong! I have to agree with Tamar though figs on the bad list?

    I watched a show on Food Network yesterday about how to make fruit cake... Damn hell it went on forever. I'll stick to buying dessert.

  16. Haa,haaa you need to read my blog!
    I'm back and happy to be making havoc with the keyboard again...but a bit rusty so bare with me!

  17. I have never had actual fruitcake, I think--my great-grandmother would make something similar, I think, but those neon-fruits also skeeved me out at the tender age of ten.

    Dried figs, though are so NOT part of the bad fruits club--they are delicious when baked with some honey and served with goat cheese!

  18. Yeah, someone in my department passed out fruitcake with some weird hard shell topping, definitely wasn't brandy though. That thing hit the trash very fast at home, and with a very loud "THUNK!". After we all had fun tappin out a beat on the hard top.


  19. Ah Fruitcake. My Aunt Slema and Uncle Jiggs would send us one every year. It came in a cardboard box, weighed about 20 pounds and every year put on the dessert table, only to be thrown whole in the garbage at the end of the night!

    And sorry, brazil nuts are my favorite! :D

  20. You know, for the life of me, I can't think of the last time I've even tasted fruitcake. Have I ever?! Surely I have, right? (Now you've made me want to go and try one.)

    I DO love pineapple. As in LOVE-love.

  21. We recieved our very own white trash mother load recipe book in the mail the other day...a collection of hubs families favorite recipes.

    And i'm sorry...i don't do is probably the only cake that I don't eat....strange????

  22. I likes Brazil nuts...but I hates fruitcake. And anything with candied cherries. Ick. And this Christmas pudding thing my mom and grandma made every year--although the caramel sauce was divine. Christmas has some of the BEST--and WORST!!!--recipes of the entire year.

  23. My Pops gets a second-hand big ole fruitcake every year from his neighbor. His neighbor gets it every year from some rich weirdo in NYC. So, said neighbor comes over yesterday with the re-gift and my Pops gets all worked up and excited, pours a half bottle of Jack over the mess and sets it aside for 3 weeks. Then he eats it. He loves it. He will, no doubt, share it with my kids. All kinds of poisons mixed together! YUM!!! I love reading your rants Witchy!

  24. Can you buy Brazil nuts separately?

    My mother in law took a trip to the east coast not too long ago and while she was there she picked up a few gifts. She gave me a cookbook called Out of Vermont Kitchens since 1939. So many of the recipes in it remind me of the ones you put on your blog.

    I love when you do these, they always give me a good laugh! :D

  25. Oh, I am so with you on the fruitcake debate! I mean really, no one likes this. Ever. We also rec'd one every year as a child. It was sent from Marshall Fields department store. My family would return it for the $40. Happy Holidays, right?!?

  26. I absolutely abhor fruitcake. And this one is particularly bad because it has brazil nuts (!) and NO BOOZE.
    I've got a couple old cookbooks like your mother's....believe it or not there are a few decent recipes lurking in there!
    Happy Holidays!

  27. Fruitcake with no booze? That's just wrong on so many levels.

  28. I've always believed that aliens will take over the world through fruitcake, good spot there with the cherries, I'll alert the authorities.

  29. Now I understand my non-aversion to fruitcake. I love dates - though usually stuffed and soaked in alcohol - and I am the one who picks the Brazil nuts out of the mixed nuts first thing. LOL - I know, as my kids tell me constantly, I am a freak!

  30. As a kid I hated fruit cake. Now, I make it once a year. For my dad, who grew up eating the fruitcake his dad made in his bakery. Last year I got grandpa's secret recipe and made it for my dad - he said it was just like grandpa's - success! And it didn't taste too bad, either. I agree about the alien fruit, but surely one a year won't be fatal? It makes my dad happy, so I'll keep making it. But that store bought/mail ordered stuff? Pass!

  31. That is a cake with "fruit" (and I use that term lightly) but I stand by the axiom "No booze, not fruitcake".

    I do, however, take issue with your characterization of dates. Dates are awesome.

  32. jc: you can arm-fart the Scorpions? I am wicked impressed!

    As for those of you who question my characterization of "bad fruit"...of course, this is just my opinion. But I find all of the "bad fruits" just too sweet for me. But you know me, I'm a salt girl. My ideal meal is bacon.

  33. When I was a kid, an aunt would send a fruitcake to us every Christmas. My mother would leave the box on the dining room table for what felt like weeks, flashing a dirty look at it every time she walked past it (which was often since the dining room table stood between the kitchen and the living room). She'd open it finally, snapping through clinched teeth, "Fucking fruitcake," just before she'd dump the whole thing into the garbage. It was like a wonderful Christmas ritual!

  34. I will not be making this recipe. But Miller High Life? Yeah, I have been known....

  35. with one arm tied behind my back.

    I'd eat bacon fruitcake.

  36. "Assholery...brazen Assholery!" You crack my shit up!!! I will never, ever in my life understand Fruitcake. Ever. Sorry I'm behind on reading your blog...being so sick you can't look at your computer will do that to a girl. Missed you!!

  37. I have never, ever passed a piece of fruitcake past my lips and I am pretty sure I never will. Guh-ross.

  38. Brazil nuts are there to bulk up the volume, imo. Like the white socks in your pants. Mr. Monk has actually been asking for fruit cake because of all the pop culture references to it. He's now very intrigued. I was going to make this one, but no alcohol?! WTF?! By the way, if I put a lot of rum in it, does that mean I cannot give the cake to Mr. Monk? Such dilemma...

  39. Candied fruit is the grossest thing I can think of and the fact that this particular fruitcake doesn't contain any booze officially makes it the worst ever. I've never tries fruitcake, to be honest, but after reading what you have to say about it I think I'll never will!

  40. Hey. Brazil nuts out of the shell are tasty.
    My grandma makes a type of fruit cake bread that just sits there, waiting to be dumped in the trash. She complains no one eats it. Because no one would; besides it's next to all sorts of yymmy cookies and candy just begging to be eaten.