Because we take fruitcakes from people who hate them and re-home them with crazy people who love them, we get a bunch of emails this time of year. Most are quick requests for fruitcake, or letters in support of recycling. Sometimes we get one or two emails that make all the work worthwhile.
Lou, in Littleton, wrote:
I have a cousin, Willis, who is the embarrassment of the family. We all got together some years ago and agreed that he is a complete and total fruitcake. Shall I have him trussed and delivered to your door or would you prefer to fetch him yourself? He gets ornery when he drinks…
Of course, we had to reply:
I think I’ll let you keep him. I’m not sure there is anyone I can pass him along to, and he’d get pretty lonely sitting in the pantry all by himself.
We also got a great email from the other side of the debate:
To: Fruitcake Haters
Subject line: Haters don’t gotta hate
Dear Great Fruitcake Recycling Project,
I fear it’s become fashionable and trendy to rage against the fruitcake. Such a shame.
Because let’s remember, as in all things in life, fruitcakes can take their rightful place along a spectrum. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Sure, there are indeed horrible fruitcakes, but there are also tasty fruitcakes. Those with a delicate blend of holiday spices, precisely the right amount of candied pineapple and pecans, a good ratio of cake to fruit (meaning more cake than fruit, of course).
If nothing else, fruitcake brings us all one time a year to celebrate ritual and tradition. The ritual of complaining about fruitcake in principle, the tradition of eating and enjoying it nonetheless.
And where else can you can get your daily requirements of fruits, seeds, vegetables (in the form of vegetable oil), and cake (a major daily requirement in the American diet)?
Let’s reverse this negativity surrounding the iconic fruitcake. Applied to a person, the label fruitcake means “eccentric.” Conventional negative thinking about the food version only serves to dull the human spirit and dampen the holiday spirit.
That’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do: bring a little joy into the middle of all that negativity. Honestly, we don’t hate fruitcake. We just want it to go away. Far, far away. Another galaxy would be nice.