Monday, December 26, 2016

Hard sauce


My grannie made fruitcake every year. She started early in the fall, assembling the fruit and nuts, gathered all the spices, then she made the glacé and candied the citron, assembled the batter, mixed and packed the cakes, and then steamed them for six hours (not baked). When it was cooled, the fruitcake was swaddled in cheesecloth like an infant, and required a weekly baptismal dressing in whiskey, up until it it was served, well aged, with real hard sauce, tea, and more whiskey in the hand. But I couldn't eat it. Eventually she quit making fruitcake. An old tradition that died hard. It was the Christmas ritual that mattered, not the cake. I wish I had been kinder as a child.

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