I’m happy to welcome author Vicki Batman. Today, Vicki shares interesting tidbits about fruitcake and her latest anthology, Whispers of Winter.
Since my story, The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, is in a holiday anthology, Whispers of Winter, I thought I’d share ten tidbits about fruitcake. I know many of you are naysayers and some are devotees. I love it. My favorite is chocolate dipped—tastes like candy!
1. The name “fruitcake” originated in the 1500’s.
2. Fruitcake goes way back, to Roman times.
3. Early ingredients included pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts.
4. The British added dried fruits in the 1400s.
5. The Victorians served the cake at tea time.
6. Mail order fruitcakes began in 1913.
7. Alcohol makes the cake edible for many years.
8. Manitou Springs, Colorado, hosts the Great Fruitcake Toss on the first Saturday in January.
9. 47 percent of people received a fruitcake as a gift and threw it away.
10. An ornate multi-tiered fruitcake was at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Logline – The Great Fruitcake Bake-off
When a five-time champion Samantha Greene teams up with her new neighbor, Dixon Roberts, for The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, they discover baking a prize-winning entry is complicated, bad guys are plotting to take the crown, and first prize isn’t just about a ribbon.
“I’m not entering this year.” I pinned an unbreakable stare on Bethany, my co-worker and long-time friend who lived in the same apartment complex as me. Standing firm, I crossed my arms. “Period.”
We’d arrived early for work and were piddling over coffee in her cubical like we always did before diving into the nuts and bolts of company business. She rolled her eyes in the “I’m so not believing this” fashion and tweaked the Santa garland decorating her cube’s walls. “Why not, Samantha? You should be proud to be the five-time winner of The Great Fruitcake Bake-off. You’re a-a”–her words trailed off as she searched the ceiling for the ultimate in descriptive–“legend.”
I dropped my arms to twitch my black skirt in place, then I tucked my shoulder-length hair behind my ear. I let loose a long exhale, “Is being a legend in the fruitcake world a good thing?”
“What’s your point?” Bethany asked.
“Alright already, it’s exhausting. Finding the perfect recipe, then bake and exhibit it. The tension comes close to killing my holiday enjoyment. Besides”-–I shoved my finger in her direction—-“shouldn’t the love be spread? Shouldn’t somebody else win the Bake-off?”
“Oh, by golly, Sam.” Bethany’s hands covered her eyes. A few seconds passed, then she clasped them to her chest, inhaled, and composed her annoyance before saying, “We’re talking fruitcake here. It’s not groundbreaking like-like the Declaration of Independence. Or the Pyramids.”
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