Dec 23

Merry Christmas + A bit of fruitcake wisdom.

in Family

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“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” ~Burton Hillis

The Christmas TreeIt has been an interesting week.  On Sunday, Bug threw up all over the place in the middle of church.  By Monday afternoon she was doing a lot better, but still running a low fever.  On Tuesday I thought we were out of the woods.  I got the girls up in the morning and was carrying Squirrel downstairs when she proceeded to throw up all over me.  The positive side was that it was literally all over me and not the carpet.  On Monday morning Mr. Fuji’s car wouldn’t start, so after jump starting it with my car, he drove it in to get a new battery.  Then when we were looking at the tires on my car to make sure they were okay for our drive to Salt Lake City to visit family for Christmas, we realized that a couple of them were looking pretty bad.  So we went and got 2 new tires.  On Tuesday Mr. Fuji realized we hadn’t gotten the mail in a couple of days.  Our community has the big super mail boxes, and so our mail box is down the street and around the corner from our house.  When he went to get the mail, there wasn’t any.  We knew something was up, because we never go a day without at least getting some junk mail.  Mr. Fuji called the post office and someone informed him that our mailboxes had all been broken into Monday night and everything was stolen.  They also informed us that they would not be resuming postal service until our association fixed the mailboxes.  Of course, when Mr. Fuji called the association, they had no idea that the boxes had even been broken into.  On top of all that, Southern California has been getting record breaking amounts of rain, causing flooding, accidents, and general unpleasant conditions.

Tuesday night as I was starting to pack everything up for our trip, I realized that I still needed to make fruit cake to take with us.  It’s a tradition I started a couple of years ago after the death of Mr. Fuji’s grandma, who used to be the one to make it every year.  I was tired and grouchy, but there was no way that I was going to show up without fruit cake!  So I pulled out the pans and fruit and got to work.  When I finished the batter I knew something wasn’t right, but I was so tired that I could hardly think straight.  I figured at that point that the fruit cake wasn’t going to turn out, but I had nothing to  lose by baking the loaves anyways.  So into the oven they went.  When they were finally done a little after midnight, I pulled them out of the oven to cool and fell into bed exhausted.  In the morning when I wrapped the loaves in tinfoil, I looked at my recipe again and realized what I had done.  In my bleary eyed state I had read the cup measurement as the weight measurement, adding 2 pounds of raisins and 2 pounds of candied fruit, instead of 1 pound of each.  It’s no wonder things didn’t look right—I had added two whole pounds of extra fruit to the batter.

VERY Fruity Fruitcake

At that point I sat down on the kitchen floor, frustrated, tired, and feeling like I was about to cry.  After sick kids, car repairs, stolen mail, and bad weather, the fruitcake felt like the last straw.  Then I took another look at the two loaves of fruitcake and I started to laugh.  They looked so funny, and my mistake was such a big and brainless one (I mean really, two pounds?), that all of the sudden I saw the humor in the situation, and laughed until my sides hurt.  This fruitcake really did seem indestructible—like the fruitcakes that are the subject of many jokes. (“Fruitcakes make ideal gifts because the Postal Service has been unable to find a way to damage them.” — Dave Barry)  Just one of those loaves weighed at least 3 pounds.  After that, I pulled myself together, and somehow we got everything loaded into the car and out the door.  We escaped rainy California and arrived all in one piece at my MIL’s house last night.

This afternoon as I was remaking the fruitcake, I thought back over the frustrations of the past few days, and then looked over at Squirrel, who was playing contentedly with some toys, and I decided that I was grateful for fruitcake.  My fruitcake disaster broke through my clouds of frustration, helping me to laugh and reminding me about what is most important—my family.  No matter what has happened, we still have each other, and nothing is better than that.

Bug checking out the Christmas tree

May your holidays be filled with those that are most important to you.  Oh, and a bit of advice? Don’t make fruitcake when you’re tired!

Merry Christmas from the Fujis!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

kat December 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm

what a week! hope your holidays will be nice and all your mail gets returned! hugs :)


Paula - bell'alimento December 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm

You always know just what to say! Merry CHRISTmas Fuji’s! Lurve you ALL! xoxo


Liz the Chef December 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Even though I have seen most of your recent tweets, I burst out laughing all over again reading your post! Hoping Santa rewards you – safe journey and Happy Christmas!


[email protected] December 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Love to all the Fujis from down in Baja California Sur!


Maria December 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Wow, what a week! I hope you can relax now and enjoy the holiday! Can’t wait to see you guys! Merry Christmas!


Fuji Nana December 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Great story. It reminds me a bit of the Christmas many years ago when you made a Buche de Noel that had some cataclysmic crack and had to be remade at the last minute. Those kinds of things always happen at inopportune moments, don’t they? The best response really IS laughter because, in the end, it’s people who matter, not things.


Christine @ Fresh Local and Best December 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

What an awfully busy week! I hope the next few days are much slower, so that you can enjoy this wonderful holiday with your family. Merry Christmas!


Tracy December 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Sorry to hear about your crazy week. My girls are now 14 and 16 but I remember how they seemed to never be sick except over the holidays when they were little. They become a lot more self sufficient as they get older, it really does get better.
I was thinking too about your fruitcake dilemma. If I were you I wouldn’t dispose of the over-fruited ones. How about wrapping them to season and later playing with making them into fruitcake truffles (Godiva has carrot cake truffles to die for). Maybe you could use a bit of hard sauce to bind. Just a thought.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.


Rossella December 24, 2010 at 3:13 am

Your last days seems pretty similar to mine. Luckely I took holiday just to make Xmas cookies without hurry. But one of the Xmas parcel I send returned back with the incredible justification “error in the address”. And now my Panettone won’t rise up.
I’ve just took a great break, alone in Campo dei Fiori with a Cappuccino. Now everything is better.

An happy Xmas with your family, squirels included :)


rashmi December 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

Beautiful story.. love it. Merry christmas…


EMK December 24, 2010 at 10:10 am

Great story! I’m sorry to hear that you had a crazy week but glad that it ended with a good laugh! I’m sure you will think about it every Chrismas and laugh again! I wish you a merry Chrismas!


Kathy Gori December 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Whatta week! Glad you got through it and safely to SLC. Maybe the extra stuff would be an improvement???? I know nothing of fruitcake, being Italian we have Pannetone which always gives me heartburn. Either way, hope you had a great Christmas and that the kiddoes are feeling better.


Elizabeth E. December 27, 2010 at 6:28 am

Merry Christmas to the woman who makes tragedy and chaos into a great story. I love the photo of your daughter with your Mom–truly expressing some of the magic of Christmas.

Hope everyone is better now, and that you are past the post-holiday let-down.


[email protected] December 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Oh Fuji Mama.. this could easily be my story.. I remember when my boys were little and illness seemed to be our constant companion!! I am so glad that all of your troubles didn’t get in the way of having a wonderful holiday!!


Daydreamer Desserts December 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I can just picture you sitting on the floor of your kitchen, feeling frustrated and tired… the a second later totally laughing in disbelief. I’m glad you had a safe trip up, and thank you for being the poster child & reminding us of what the holidays are all about. Family. XO


Ava April 29, 2021 at 11:32 pm

Marrying a woman at Christmas who causes tragedy and chaos. I love the picture of your daughter with your mother – which really expresses some of the magic of Christmas. It reminds you a little bit of Christmas many years ago when you made the Christmas log with some catastrophic cracks and had to rebuild it at the last minute. I have seen most of your recent tweets, I read your post and laughed again! Wishing you a safe journey and a Merry Christmas – Santa.


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Merry Christmas to the woman who makes tragedy and chaos into a great story. I love the photo of your daughter with your Mom–truly expressing some of the magic of Christmas.


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