An email showed up in the inbox this week, titled, “Yo, fruitcake hater.”
It said: My Unabridged Websters Random House has:
1. a rich cake containing dried or candied fruit, nuts, etc.
[1840–50; FRUIT + CAKE]
I mention the years because I was going through some old old old family junk today and found a journal (pages disintegrating quickly) from 1864. Anyway, there’s a recipe for fruitcake in it! I will scan it and send to you tomorrow. Fingers crossed it won’t crumble into dust when i put it on the scanner….
This is the earliest written record of a fruitcake we’ve seen. A piece of history. Conspicuous by their absence, by the way, are the DayGlo fruit bits that are stuffed into the fruitcakes we see today.
Based on all the grease stains, it’s apparent this recipe was used more than once. The most amazing part? Not that the recipe is still around 146 years later. The real miracle is that the family survived all those fruitcakes, and is still thriving today.
Thanks to Susan for sending this. We don’t really hate fruitcake. As the butt of our jokes, it provides us endless hours of entertainment.