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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015


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Dec 2, 2012
Why are some traditions so difficult to let go? We’d often rather lop off an arm than part with deeply held family traditions. Especially when it comes to our holiday comfort food. More than one family brawl at the holidays has resulted from an errant comment about Grandma’s dry-as-toast turkey or Aunt Martha’s triple-bounce cranberry salad mold.

Take the Christmas fruitcake. Please. Take it. Nobody actually eats that thing anyway. Yet all across our country are thousands – dare we even consider tens of thousands – of ovens being cleaned in preparation to keep this holiday tradition alive. Some die-hard fruitcakers have theirs already baked and aging – a thought that chills the fruitcake-adverse among us.

In case anyone of Scandinavian descent missed the memo, we now have refrigeration. I mean really, pickled fish? “Here Johnny, have a candy cane and one of Grandpa’s pickled herrings to go with it.” I’m convinced you have to be born Scandinavian, or at least first generation, to appreciate a holiday platter of pickled fish staring back at you.

Then there is the haggis from Scotland. Loosely explained, so as not to frighten the children, a haggis is a type of sausage made from the parts of a sheep not likely to be found in the meat department of a grocery store. It’s then boiled for about 72 hours and served with mashed turnips and potatoes. It’s just my guess, but I’d be willing to bet more people eat the turnips and potatoes than actually eat the haggis.

Times change and taste buds change. Deep fried Twinkies are no more, and some other gastronomical traditions may need to go that same route. Happy eating this holiday season and pass the haggis. . .right out the window.


Melissa said...


My mom makes fruitcake cookies that will change your mind. YUM! Her fruitcake is to die for as well. ;) You must not be soaking it in enough rum. :P

by Pegg Thomas said...

You're making my point. Nobody can get those fruitcakes down without a considerable amount of rum. At least enough so you can't taste the fruitcake anymore! ;)

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I love fruitcake. no rum in it and don't drink it with it, lol! There is a company, Claxton, that makes moist fruitcake in little logs and you can slice off just as much as you want! My mother made fruitcake and I was brought up with that tradition and I enjoy it. I find most people who try to cook it themselves have no clue and most commercially prepared, other than Claxton's, tastes nasty. Cute article, Pegg!

by Pegg Thomas said...

I choose to remain stoically unconvinced of the digestibility of fruitcake, ladies. But keep trying!