It's the running joke of Christmas songs and gag gifts.
It's the fruit cake.
For a girl who can't stand the taste and texture of candied fruit, fruit cake is my worst nightmare.
And somehow fruit cake is a phenomenon in Mr. KK's family.
It started with his grandmother Helen (in whose house we currently live) and the recipe was passed down to his mother to carry on the tradition.
That's right: homemade fruit cake.
The funny thing is that during the holiday season, fruit cakes sell for like $40 a pop. My mother-in-law makes fruit cakes like they're going out of style. And they are SO much better than the ones in the store. So at $40 a piece, I'm thinking we can find a way for this Mommy to stay home come January.
And while I don't eat fruit cake, Mr. KK LOVES it, so Max and I spent the day at my mother-in-law's learning the ins and outs of the holiday's famed dessert.
It's usually a two-day affair, because so many fruit cakes need to be made, and the cooking time is long.
The recipe – which is a family secret that I absolutely can't disclose on this blog – dates back to 1957. It was originally written in Mr. KK's grandmother's handwriting, but has since been typed up for posterity (and probably so it can be passed down to me to continue the tradition).
My mother-in-law whipping up a batch of fruit cakes. I think her mixer is also from 1957.
Combining the batter and the
yucky candied fruit.
Mixing that together was probably the best workout I've had on maternity leave.
Ready for the pans!
These cakes bake for about two hours!
Cooked to a golden brown.
Next step: soaking them with vermouth.
Meanwhile, Vito and Dino were keeping tabs on everyone. And Dino was conveniently using Vito as a pillow. I guess that's what best friends are for.
It's a big to-do when the fruit cakes get handed out. Every member of Mr. KK's family gets a fruit cake (or at least a piece of one). Not to mention friends who, over the years, have heard about the fruit cakes and who are now on the fruit cake distribution list.
This list is more exclusive than a guest list at a red carpet event.
And, apparently, fruit cake can last FOREVER. Maybe it's the alcohol soak at the end. I'm not sure, but there have been times family members are still cutting slivers of fruit cake WELL into the spring.
So I guess that part of the fruit cake lore is true.
And after 14 years of being around Mr. KK's family, I am yet to even try a piece of fruit cake. It's the candied fruit…I just…can't.
But I'm in the minority!
To quote 'We Need a Little Christmas' song lyrics: slice up the fruit cake. It's Christmas in the KK household.