Respect the Fruitcake?


I always wondered who ate that one slice of fruitcake and what was wrong with them.

Does fruitcake deserve respect? At Atwater’s restaurants, they think so. Lisa Robinson is not so sure.

Having fruitcake around is a tradition of sorts but it is a peculiar one. As a child I recall that my Aunt Ethel would make one of these every holiday. My parents would smile and accept it like it was the best thing in the world. As far as fruit cake makers, Aunt Ethel was right up there with the best.

We would put the cake out on Christmas day, but by the end of the night it went back into the box, missing one slice, and was placed way in the back of the refrigerator. This fruit cake stayed there until Aunt Ethel brought us a new one the next year. No one fessed up to eating that slice.

The other bit of food that seems to get no respect at the holiday dinner is cranberry sauce. My mother ate it. But that was about it. It was the kind of cranberry sauce that came in the can, which I chilled and cut up and put on the table. It would go back in the fridge with the leftovers, but I would eventually end up throwing it out.

Then there’s the sauerkraut. I always make too much of it. It was one of my mother’s favorite dishes. She loved for me to cook it with pig tales and an apple. These days, maybe three or four people eat it. I just make it in memory of my mother.

My husband’s family is all about meat and potatoes. So, I always try to slip in something new. One year it was asparagus. That didn’t go over too well. Next I slipped in some roasted beets   — they were excellent. But I got a lot of “I don’t eat beets.” Um, OK. I really was dealing with strictly meat, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese and stuffing people.

But what’s wrong with shrimp and grits? I made THE BOMB shrimp and grits. The only person who tried it was my nephew — and he even asked for some to take home.

I get sick of the same old holiday food. People need to try new things. Stick with the old, but refresh your plate. Perhaps this year I will go all out and just make them turkey sandwiches.

Yep. I just might do that.

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