Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1994]
You'll need the following: a cup of water, a cup of sugar, four large eggs, two cups of dried fruit, a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, a cup of brown sugar, lemon juice, nuts, and a bottle of whiskey. NOTE: Whiskey may be replaced with your favorite swill^H^H^H^Hbeverage. Being of Scottish ancestry, me and grandma naturally used Scotch.
Sample the whiskey to check for quality.
Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again. To be sure it is the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixer. Break two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.
Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window, check the whiskey again and go to bed.
Origins: Civilized society stands divided into two distinct camps: Those who adore fruitcake, and those who detest it. On the fruitcake issue, the middle ground stretches out forlornly deserted, across which each side glares at the other.
On only one issue do the two sides agree: they're both charmed by the Ultimate Fruitcake Recipe.
Those readers whose first exposure to the Ultimate Fruitcake Recipe occurred on the Internet might well think the bit of humor quoted above originated in this medium. Truth is, versions of it have been kicking around for years, as this example from 1959 shows:
It's impossible to age a fruitcake too long, say those in the know. If stored in an airtight container and basted occasionally with liquor, it'll keep indefinitely.
Then again, the same could have been said of Admiral Nelson.
Barbara "waterloo bridge mix" Mikkelson
Last updated: 15 December 2009
1. Cerf, Bennett. The Laugh's on Me. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1959 (p. 124). Denver Rocky Mountain News. "Biting Into the Rise and Fall of the Fruitcake." 22 December 1995 (p. D2).