One December day, many years ago, a package arrived at my childhood home.
This was pre-Amazon, and packages, particularly around Christmastime, were the source of great excitement, at least for myself and my siblings.
With much anticipation, my brother and sisters and I gathered around and watched my mother open the package.
It was homemade fruitcake from my grandparents.
As quickly as they arrived, everyone in the dejected crowd dispersed. But I stayed, because — cake.
My happy mother put on a pot of coffee and poured a glass of milk for me. She peeled away the aluminum foil and we enjoyed every moist, dense, candied-cherry, spiced-rum bite of it. It was a warm Christmas memory.
But it was clear we were a house divided. When my father learned I liked fruitcake, he looked at me the same way he did when, at age 7, I declared my undying love for Wayne Newton.
I outgrew my crush on Mr. Las Vegas, but not on fruitcake.
I never understood why fruitcake got such a bad rap and became a national holiday punchline.
In this issue, we meet Aprille Meek, who shares a recipe she promises will win over the staunchest fruitcake haters.
Though I love it, I never make fruitcake — my holiday specialties are pecan pie and snickerdoodles.
But it’s always a sweet surprise when a friend or relative sends one my way. It reminds me of that day long ago when a package arrived.
Coast Monthly wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.