Fruitcakes, loved or hated, but rarely anything in between, have long been the holiday season’s favorite joke and re-gift. Johnny Carson claimed that there really is only one fruitcake in the world, and people keep sending it to each other. It has been called the “baked good that never dies”, and in fact there are a couple of century-old fruitcakes in existence! There is also a pineapple fruitcake on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space museum that was taken on the Apollo 11 space mission. According to the museum’s website, “As it was not consumed during the mission, it was returned to earth.”
What is it about fruitcakes that makes them so unappetizing to people? Have they even actually tasted a fruitcake, or are they just assuming they wouldn’t like something that is really heavy and full of sticky green and red stuff that makes it a “fruit” cake?
Some people must like fruitcake because the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas has been baking and selling them since 1896. There are also two bakeries in Claxton, Georgia that each year yield more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake. Both Claxton and Corsicana claim the title of Fruitcake Capital of the World.
Did you receive a fruitcake for Christmas this year? I hope you didn’t throw it away because there are other things you can do with a fruitcake besides eat it! Of course, I know you’ve heard the one about using it for a doorstop, but what about hollowing it out and using it as a safe place to store your valuables. After all, what thief in his right mind would mess around with a sticky fruitcake?
You could also use your fruitcake as a bike helmet, a punching bag or even a dartboard. The possibilities are many!
The above suggestions are all in good fun, but there really are some pretty good ideas of things you could do with your fruitcake. You can crumble it up and add it to muffin or pancake batter. Put it in your food processor to make fine crumbs, then add brown sugar and cinnamon and you will have the perfect topping for cobblers or sweet potato casserole.
You can also put your crumbles on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for eight to ten minutes. When done, your crumbles will resemble granola, and you can sprinkle it on your oatmeal, ice cream sundae or yogurt.
If none of these suggestions strikes your fancy, then just put your fruitcake away for re-gifting next Christmas!