A Gift Of Fruitcake

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 21 - A Gift Of Fruitcake - Doodlewash

Probably one of the most debated holiday treats of the season, along the lines of eggnog, is that odd confection known as fruitcake, our prompt for today. Covered in radioactive candied fruits and heavier than a brick, according to polls, more people despise this dessert than love it here in the States. I didn’t grow up with this particular dessert as my family was in the majority. My mother would often quote Johnny Carson saying, “The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” Since a fruitcake can be aged up to 25 years and still be edible, this is actually entirely plausible. While I do enjoy an aged wine, aged cake is not something that sounds quite as appealing. But like ugly sweaters, fruitcake is one of those wonderful bits of the season that appears each year and always makes people smile, even if for very different reasons.

Philippe has mentioned that he likes fruitcake and even considered making some this year. I think the plan has changed, which is a shame, as I might have actually liked his version. The ones found in shops look rather terrifying and unappetizing, like a handful of gummy bears were slaughtered in a battle. Instead, we opt for a Panettone by a local bakery. It still has candied fruits, but they’re far smaller and politely hidden on the inside. We get excited each year to see it arrive and will start checking around Thanksgiving. The earlier the we get one, the faster it will disappear and we can then enjoy at least two each season before the Panettone disappears for the year. I adore these little traditions that mark the season. Even the things I don’t enjoy, I appreciate seeing them arrive each year. It’s a comforting feeling to know that no matter how many things change in the world, there are still things stubbornly remaining.

And I’m now on full countdown mode as there are just a few days left until Christmas Eve! As I’ve mentioned before, we slowly exchange all gifts throughout a prolonged evening of dinner and treats. Candles are lit and the whole house buzzes with holiday cheer. Even Phineas, who’s typically sneezing with disapproval at most things, seems to be caught up in the happy glow. I’ve only wrapped half of the gifts, as I’m rather horrible at wrapping and it takes me far longer than it should. I have a gift from Phineas for Philippe and thought I would wrap it as though the dog did it himself, but wasn’t sure he’d be able to easily spot the difference. But soon all gifts will be concealed and if I place them in just the right direction under the tree they’ll look just like they’ve been wrapped by a sane person. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter how they’re wrapped or if there’s something wonderful or silly inside. It’s the thought that counts, like a gift of fruitcake.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Hansa Yellow Deep, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 21 - A Gift Of Fruitcake - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

32 Comments
  1. June Hadaway 12 months ago

    Oh my gosh, this cake looks so real along with the foil
    baking pan. Just perfect. My mom used to make these in little mini bite sized fruitcakes. They reeked of rum as she started making them in July. A daily dose of rum was poured over each one ending up actually tasting quite delicious by Christmas.

    • Sharon Nolfi 12 months ago

      We used brandy, but same result. See my comment below!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Oh my gosh! What a lovely tradition! Those sound boozy and delicious!! hehe… YUM!

  2. Susan Cuss 12 months ago

    Your fruitcake looks fabulous with its topping of cherries and nuts! I only offer fruitcake as a gift to people who have tasted mine and like it. There is a joke here that fruitcake makes a great doorstop……………lol! Wishing you and yours the Merriest Christmas Ever!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 LOL… a doorstop or a dessert… either way, it’s a lovely gift indeed! Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Sandra Strait 12 months ago

    There is fruitcake and there is fruitcake – there is a city in Texas that specializes in a pecan based version that is incredibly delicious and incredibly expensive. Because of the expensive part, I haven’t had one in years but your painting bring it strongly to mind. I think we must be gift-wrapping twins because I can’t wrap either. I embraced it though, and do these weird constructions with twisted paper soaring into to the air like some kind of inter-dimensional dragon or extra-planetary pirate ship. At least that’s my story. I’m not sure if anyone believes me, but that’s my story.

    • Sanda, do not worry you! I know more like you, haha

    • The metal pot in your painting is trully gorgeous. Plus the red reflection coming from the bow – it looks perfect 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 haha! Glad I’m not alone… your wrapping sounds inventive and fabulous! I would totally believe your story… it sounds fun!!

  4. Liza Gonen 12 months ago

    Charlie, you are amazing!!!
    The metal, it’s so shine,✨
    a moving painting.
    You keep surprising me again and again…👌

  5. Pamela Smith 12 months ago

    Beautiful fruitcake,I love a good fruitcake..

  6. Sharon Nolfi 12 months ago

    My mom aways made fruitcake, and we would wrap it in cheesecloth moistened with brandy, then foil. Every week we would add more brandy. It was delicious by Christmas. Your cherries, metal and bow look shiny and beautiful.

    • June Hadaway 12 months ago

      It may have been brandy my mom used too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon!! 😃💕 Yeah, I’ve never had the real thing I think. Lots of brandy sound lovely! hehe

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 12 months ago

    Gunny bears slaughtered in battle – Phineas’ gift looks as well wrapped as yours and will confuse Phillipe – You’ve made me laugh out loud and I really needed this, as I seem to have been attacked by minor food poisoning. Recovering with guffaws is a great treatment, so thank you.

    And I’m very glad fruit cake is not part of our traditions though your painting makes it seem edible. (But I know it isn’t.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Aww I’m so glad I could make you laugh, especially under those conditions! Oh my! I’m so sorry to hear that Sharon! 😃💕 I hope you feel better very soon!!

      • Sharon Bonin-Pratt 12 months ago

        Of course, I meant guMMy bears – not guNNy bears – mine must have been in a helluva battle. I can’t type well under the best circumstances and I must have been a bit queasier than I thought, but all is well today, thanks.

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

          haha! And here I thought you were just doing a bit of clever wordplay! 😉 Yay to feeling better! I’m so happy to hear that! 😃💕

  8. Kamlesh Tribhuvane 12 months ago

    Beautiful – Very Very Nice

  9. Jennifer McLean 12 months ago

    Hehehe, I almost did a spit-take with my mocha latte with your line about slaughtered gummy bears! You do make me laugh. I’d totally let you hire me (I’d do it for slaughtered gummy bears, the real ones, not the fruitcake) to wrap all your prezzies but I’m guessing there’s fun in the wrapping. If not, see me next year. ;o)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      hehe… glad I could make you laugh! 😃💕 And wow! You work for gummy bears?? Hmmmm… it’s definitely something I would consider. Wrapping is not my thing at all! LOL

  10. Rod Fletcher 12 months ago

    Our Christmas cakes (note the name) have nary a gummy bear in sightt. Instead they are generally iced like wedding cakes (if it’s frosting to you then it’s a hard frosting) but often as though done by a child. What I mean is that the hard icing instead of being smoothed to within an inch of it’s life, is encouraged into little peaks and troughs to resemble snow. When my nan was alive there was a miniature Christmas tree, a snowman and holly leaves (made out of something the nature of which is lost in the mists of time) positioned carefully on top. The sides were bedecked with a frilly ribbon. And having a very small slice several hours after Christmas lunch was a treat not a punishment. My sisters-in-law are arriving today, and a few last minute food items to get in, but I’ll have a go at drawing/painting what I mean, if I can.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 12 months ago

      Oh wow! That sounds like a delicious tradition indeed! I love hearing how people celebrate the holidays. And hope you have time to make that painting, would love to see it! 😃💕

  11. June Hadaway 12 months ago

    Yes, and they could make you get kind of woozy!, haha

  12. Lori Franks 12 months ago

    Cheese cake! Now there’s a cake! Just not fruit cake flavored… 🙂
    Wrapping the present to seem like Phineas wrapped it is very clever, you should definitely give it a try!

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