A friend sent me an inflatable fruitcake for Christmas. She meant it as a joke, and I truly love it, but what she didn't know is that real fruitcake is one of my absolute favorite foods. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm in the minority on this issue, but ever since I was a child I've been passionate about that much-maligned Christmas treat. When I was a kid, one of my dad's business acquaintances gave us a fruitcake every year. My father would pour rum all over it and reseal it in the tin in which it came. Then, a year later, we'd eat it. We'd repeat this each year. I'm sure it was my first introduction to alcohol, but I guess my folks figured that after a year it wouldn't have much potency. (Note: I think they were wrong.) My mom didn't like fruitcake, so my dad and I would polish off the whole thing between Christmas and New Years. I try not to keep fruitcake in the house now because I honestly could eat the whole thing in one sitting. It's important to note that I'm NOT talking about those nouveau "healthy" fruitcakes that just have dates and a few nuts in them. I must have the old-fashioned kind, heavy as a lead brick, and chock full of neon green and red chunks of candied fruit. It's making me hungry just to write about this, so I'm glad that now I have a beautiful, completely calorie-free, air-filled plastic replica to worship. Thanks, Sandy!
On the subject of baked goods, I have decided I must be the world's worst cookie baker. I'm actually a very good cook (or so I'm told), and I even taught cooking for a while, but when it comes to cookies, I have some sort of mental block. All I want to do this year is make a respectable assortment of cookies to give to all the nice people at my dialysis unit. But it's becoming a project rife with defeat and discouragement. The Amaretto cookies I made a week ago were 100% tasteless. I followed the recipe precisely, but later I realized that the recipe left out the Amaretto and I failed to notice! No wonder they tasted like a cardboard box. Then last week I made some Chocolate Espresso Balls, similar to chocolate truffles. They taste great, but as soon as I remove them from the fridge they turn into tiny pools of melted chocolate. How am I going to get them to the hospital without dry ice? Forget that! Today I'm making Raspberry Bars, which I've made many times before. I think they might be ok (except for those burned pecans on top). Oops! Tomorrow I plan to make Chocolate Macaroons. There are only three ingredients, but if there's a way to screw them up, I'll find it. I feel like drowning my sorrows in a 5 lb. fruitcake!