JASON BORSETH/Missourian 515-991-1744
Monks at Assumption Abbey Monastery in Ava, Missouri Feb. 17, 2006.
Fruitcake is the joke of the Christmas season. For example, A. Lee Martinez, in his book Gil’s All-Fright Diner, said “Reality is like a fruitcake; pretty enough to look at but with all sorts of nasty things lurking just beneath the surface.” And Johnny Carson said, “The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” Just DuckDuckGo “fruitcake jokes,” and you’ll get plenty.
Actually, it’s not that bad, depending on where you get it from. My favorite is from the Trappist monks at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia, about thirty miles from me. The monastery itself is a beautiful place and it’s home to men who have dedicated their lives to God. Many of them are old and infirm, and the sale of bakery items helps pay for their medical care. I spent a week on retreat there almost thirty years ago, and it was a beautiful experience. I’m very fond of those guys. Every abbey has ther own recipe, it seems; the picture shows an example of the fruitcake made by the monks of Assumption Abbey in Missouri.
There was a place across the street from my grammar school that sold a “Jule Kake,” which was essentially a fruitcake. At least, that’s what they told me. The place was never open when I tried to drop by. I never saw anyone in there, either. Very strange. Makes you wonder what they were really selling.
Mary makes a good fresh fruit cake and adds cranberries, apples and pears. I don’t have the recipe, unfortunately, but trust me, it’s good.
Anyway, the title refers to the phrase “nuttier than a fruitcake.” When you say that someone is nuttier than a fruitcake, you’re saying he’s koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs, just like Sonny in the commercials.
General Mills has Cocoa Puffs, Trix and Kix. It’s all the same cereal, but Trix is fruit-flavored, Cocoa Puffs is chocolate-flavored, and Kix has no flavor added. Doesn’t taste especially pleasant, either. But that’s just me.