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The Manure Spreader: Fruitcake

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 12 December 2019

The ultimate in longevity is the Christmas fruitcake. It’s a cake made during the holidays with fruits that make it heavier than the stove it is cooked in.

—Erma Bombeck



These days, if you happen to get a fruitcake from someone at Christmas, it’s actually worse than getting a gift card for the dentist. The history of the fruitcake dates back to the early Egyptians. It’s said that fruitcake was placed in the tombs of the deceased so the dead would have something to snack on in the afterlife. Well, times have not changed in the last three thousand years.

Archeologists have uncovered tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, and everything inside was decomposed and turned to dust – except entire fruitcakes. Even in death, people are afraid it will kill them. Long before the Egyptians, it’s been a theory that fruitcakes have always been tough to slice or, better yet, chew. That’s why the dinosaurs all died.

In modern times, fruitcakes are made with wine, whiskey or brandy. That’s just to entice people to taste fruitcake for the first time because the inventors of fruitcake were trying to compete with eggnog and rum balls. Seriously, there better be liquor in fruitcake just to get past whatever those green things are in there. Last year, on New Year’s Eve, a fruitcake was dropped from the Empire State Building … 102-story, 1,250-foot drop to the pavement, and the fruitcake didn’t even crack on impact. You don’t need toothpicks to know that cake’s done.

In case you happen to receive fruitcake this year as a Christmas gift, I have come up with some great uses for fruitcake. When you receive fruitcake, you should re-gift it as fast as possible. Fruitcake is one of the top re-gifted items every Christmas, and you don’t want to be stuck with one. It’s like a Christmas game of hot potato or musical chairs. If you have enough fruitcakes, I’ve seen landscapers build retaining walls with them.

My grandpa inherited a fruitcake when he was a young child, and to this day he still uses it in his blacksmith shop as an anvil. On Christmas Day in the early 1970s, a young man received not one but two fruitcakes. For some people, fruitcake is an acquired taste, and this young man just couldn’t wrap his tongue around it. So this young man – named Gene Simmons – re-purposed one fruitcake to the bottom of each shoe and started a small rock band named KISS. Fruitcake changed his life.


So people, this Christmas, spread some holiday cheer with fruitcake. It’s “the gift that keeps on giving.”

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  end mark