By Martha Reed
Everyone should have a holiday tradition that kicks off the spirit of the season. For some, it’s choosing a Christmas tree or hanging a balsam wreath on the door or stringing twinkling lights in the trees. Maybe it’s hearing that one favorite Christmas song that always stirs up a warm memory. For me, it’s fruitcake.
Johnny Carson used to joke that there really was only one fruitcake in the world and it got passed from family to family. I’ve earned my share of teasing over them. But there’s something about those little pieces of candied fruit that is just so stickily delicious that I will put up with all the guff my family can hand out (and that’s a lot of guff) to get my share.
I think this all started back when we were kids and Mom served us Boston brown bread in the can (remember that, anyone?) with cream cheese sandwiches for a treat. The next level was discovering the rich pecan version put out by the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana when I lived in Texas. That chock full of nuts version is pure heaven. This year, my sister brought me the Bloomingdales version and I have to tip my top hat; those New Yorkers know how to do it right, too.
To keep the spirit of the season light, I’m sharing this video of the Great Fruitcake Toss in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Someone certainly got creative – check out the trebuchet. But my vote is for the guy with the motorcycle helmet who is trying to field the flying fruitcakes with a bucket!