Archive for December, 2017

It Wasn’t a Bomb, but a Fruitcake!

This morning as I was lolling in bed, my attempt at sleeping in failing, I turned on the radio and listened to the national news with my eyes closed.  One news story caught my attention- on December 26th, a lone, wrapped Christmas present with no name on it was sitting under a Christmas tree at a Seattle ferry terminal.  Washington State Troopers were notified about the suspicious package and and in turn, they notified the terminal’s officials.  The officials temporarily evacuated the area, halted ferry boats out at sea from coming in for 30 minutes so that a bomb squad could examine and deal with the package.  Soon after the bomb squad began their work, it was determined that the unknown package was a fruitcake. Phew!  

I confess, I enjoy a good slice of fruitcake.  I am the only one in our household who does enjoy the holiday offering, with a good mug of tea or coffee to wash it down with.  I have never tried to make my own fruitcake from scratch and usually purchase one from a grocery store’s bakery department.  After this morning’s news story, I decided to find out how fruitcakes came to exist at Christmas time.

The Romans get the credit for first creating a “fruit cake”, meaning a barley batter that had added nuts and pomegranite seeds and raisins mixed in.  The Barbarians must have liked that recipe because versions of it were soon being made all over Europe. In the  16th century, when sugar was introduced via America, and it was seen to be a great way to preserve fruits, candied fruits became a product many consumers could purchase and making a fruitcake at home became easier.  Purchasing a fruit cake from a bakery also became more affordable.  Some countries’ versions do soak the fruits and/or the cake in brandy or rum and some don’t.  Some countries put frostings on their fruit cakes and some don’t.  New Zealanders often enjoy  a lightly frosted fruitcake as the main dessert at a wedding.

America has two main fruitcake companies to order from: The Claxton Bakery in Claxton, GA and Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, TX.  1913 was the first year in the United States that mail-order fruitcakes could  be ordered and sent as gifts.  One last wacky bit  of fruitcake information is that since 1995, on the first Saturday of January, in Manitou Springs, CO, there is The Great Fruitcake Toss.  Contestants vie for the honor of being the person, or team, that can throw a fruitcake the farthest.   

I think it would be fun to attend the “Toss” in CO, but would personally prefer to tuck into a slice of fruitcake with a steaming mug of Constant Comment Tea, Orange Pekoe flavor.

To those who follow my blog and wonder if I have been ok, as I haven’t written as many blog posts in 2017, I am in great health and have had to take online college courses in order to update my teaching credentials in order to receive a Missouri teaching certificate.  One class is done, two more to go! Hopefully, I will be able to pay more attention to my blog posts in 2018, but in case I don’t, it’s due to those online college courses!

Source cited:

“Fruitcake package temporarily halts Seattle ferry service”. Associated Press. 26 December 2017. Web. 27 December 2017.