’Cause it’s fruit …ain’t it?

Published 6:45 pm Friday, December 1, 2023

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Cold weather made an appearance the other morning. As I stood at the kitchen window, I said aloud, “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!”

Truman Capote’s short story, “A Christmas Memory” is one of my Christmas stories. For me, those few words, “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather,” bring a flood memories of food and family and times that will never be again.”

Christmas brought forth all kinds of sweet things –cakes, candies, cookies, muffins, pies and tarts. And other things to “rot your teeth out, my granny would say and stick out her false teeth as evidence.”

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In my child’s mind, I could imagine how it would be without my teeth. I couldn’t eat pulley bones or chew bubble gum or sugar cane. I couldn’t eat watermelon and spit the seeds.  I couldn’t eat corn on the cob.  I couldn’t even eat a popsicle or an ice cream cone. I needed my teeth.

But, come Christmas time, sugar must have lost its power to rot your teeth out. The grownups put all Kinds of sweet things out on a table in easy reach of children. And, even if our faces were smeared with chocolate, not one grown-up person said a word about our teeth falling out.

My grandmother’s sister, Byrd made sweet things. Her kitchen table would sag with all the sweets. We, children, would slip in and snitch something sweet and good. After we ate it, we would go outside and wash our mouths out at the water faucet and spit over in Aunt Byrd’s worm bed.

One Christmas, I overheard my granny and Aunt Byrd talking about fruit cakes. My granny said she hadn’t heard of anybody puttin’ peaches in a fruit cake.

“We’ll, they’re fruit ain’t they,” Aunt Bryd said.

All of a sudden, the realization came to me. Peaches are fruits and we ate peaches from the volunteer trees all the time, — plums, blackberries, bullices, apples, crabapples and. Billy goat grass and we sipped nectar from the honey suckle. Fruit!

At that moment of childlike realization, that fruit cakes come from fruit and they will not rot your teeth out. The fruit cake became my choice of Christmas goodies.

Fruit cake is good for your teeth …. “cause, it’s fruit ain’t it?”