"It's not the thing you fling, it's the fling itself." ~ Chris Stevens (Northern Exposure)
Call me a fuddy-duddy but I actually crave this mysterious and marbled, everlasting, unyielding, imperishable, rock-hard Christmas delicacy before and after the holidays. (Minus the marbled and rock-hard part, I think I may have just described myself. Hmmm?) I really do eat them and have found that the cheaper the fruitcake, the better the taste. (But so much for my low-end gastronomy.)
My burning question is "Does anybody really have a clue what's actually hiding in a packaged holiday fruitcake?" It usually weighs more than a doorstop (I'm just guessing here) and if wrapped in contact paper, it might perhaps last indefinitely.
Nelly men like myself aside (yes, I take pride in being a Fruitcake!), fruitcakes of the baked variety have a longstanding tradition. Consider its origins, found in references from Roman times. Recipes that included barley mash, honey, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, raisins and spices slapped and stuck together for traveling crusaders and hunters on the go the Clif Bar, if you will, of antiquity. Historically, they were made with the intent to be eaten an entire year later. In fact, in an attempt to display ladylike restraint, moderation and fine taste, the Queen Mum (while showing no such restraint when it came to her gin) waited an entire year to eat hers.
Most modern fruitcakes are mass-manufactured to accommodate Yuletime mass consumption, and are actually comprised "mostly" of good stuff, and are scrumptious to some, yet vile to others. Store-bought varieties are ready-to-serve but unfortunately because they've not had time to fully congeal, leave behind telltale moist-n-murky stains.
While dried fruits and nuts, mounds of sugar, flour and booze painfully glued together resulting in a cake more impenetrable than kryptonite may be yummy to someone like myself, others might prefer consuming potting soil. Created just for folks who'd rather eat dirt, I proudly present "Fruitcake Toss Day."
To celebrate the festivities of Fruitcake Toss Day (supposedly any day you pick early in January), your first challenge is to not open the package. To most, this is a given, not a challenge! (And don't leave it unwrapped just for regifting purposes either. "Oh...a fruitcake! You shouldn't have. Really! Harrumph.") While not much can damage the bugger, hurling its unprotected, sticky and slimy carcass might offer some unforeseen oily offenses worse than the consumption of the fruitcake itself.
The laws of nature truly apply to this ritual. It was Sir Isaac Newton who said it best: "What goes up, must come down." And the splatter of a tossed fruitcake is far greasier than you would ever imagine. Therefore, for oil on your driveway, sidewalk or garage floor from fruitcake tosses or the ordinary automobile leakage sprinkle baking soda over the spots to absorb them. Then, add just a little bit of water to the baking soda, enough to form a paste. Next, with a brush in your hand or a scrubby pad under the sole of your shoe, work it up. Rinse with clean water, and repeat if necessary.
Fruitcake Toss Day can be a family event, neighborhood event, or just a private way to relieve holiday stress. Either fully entombed in its original wrapping or left to the elements, Fruitcake Toss Day is your opportunity to toss, chuck, hurl, pitch, lob or heave this weighty lump of wasted calories and say, "Look! There! Up in the sky! It's...a fruitcake?"
(Word of caution: Remember, this isn't dodgeball. Flying fruitcakes leave welts.)
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