Fruitcake Lies

After a friend confided that she loves fruitcake, I decided to make Martha Stewart’s fruitcake for her for Christmas. I like a daunting task or two around the holidays. And I’ve had success with Martha before–one year I made her caramels from scratch. I’d never made candy before and I was renting a house with an ill-equipped kitchen. But, except for a dicey moment when the basset raced past while I was juggling a big tray of hot candy, everything went just fine. I was ready to move on to fruitcake.

Let me just say this: Martha Stewart is a big fat liar. Oh, sure, in person she’s probably very blonde and charming and offers you fabulous appetizers on linen napkins made from flax she grew herself. But her cookbook? Don’t trust it as far as you can throw it. (No, I don’t know exactly how far that is. But I’m sure Martha can tell you, to the smallest fraction of an inch. Or in metric.)

The recipe supposedly makes two loaves and calls for 6 lb. of dried fruit. That seemed like a lot, but what do I know, I’ve never even tasted a fruitcake. So I bought the fruit (partial list–papaya, mango, pineapple, orange & lemon peel, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, but NO bright green or red cherries. Martha would not approve). Chopped it up and put it in a big bowl. It seemed like way too much. So I checked out a couple of other recipes, and, sure enough, Martha’s makes at LEAST four loaves.

What to do, what to do? I decided to go ahead and make it. Wound up with two big loaves and four miniature loaves. They all look appropriately fruitcake-y. But what the hell am I going to do with the extra loaves? You don’t happen to love fruitcake (or Martha), do you? Or know someone who does? Or have a really big grudge against someone who needs to be punished? Let me know. I think I’ll have these around here for quite some time to come.

Copyright 1999 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission