Man, if folks are having a hard time finding something just let Farm Press readers know about it.
Take fruitcakes, for instance. As some of you will recall, a few months back I lamented the fact that good fruitcakes are just hard to come by these days, what with all the negative press and so on. Well I discovered that I'm not alone. I suspect millions of closet fruitcake connoisseurs feel similar frustrations. And many responded. One even sent a fruitcake. I ate it. It was delicious.
A good number of Texas folk recommended the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana as an ideal place to order fruitcakes. As a mater of fact, the cake I received in the mail was baked at that location. It was the “Supreme” model, as I recall. I consumed it too rapidly to allow for proper pre-treatment with a good cheap red wine, but it was, nonetheless, quite nice. I ate the whole thing.
Other readers also recommended Collin Street Bakery, but, regrettably, none sent samples.
Jack Dubose of Gonzalez, Texas, wrote: “I read 15 Jan. weird appetite story and wondered why you had not heard of Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and its Deluxe Fruitcake, made since 1896.”
“The next time you are over here, I am going to take you to Mary of Puddin Hill so you can stock up on fruitcakes. As far as fruitcakes go, they makesome of the best.”
That's from Jim Swart, an IPM agent in Commerce, Texas.
Jim Sullins, a California fruitcake eater, responded at length: “Ron, Being at an even greater risk perhaps than yourself by admitting a fondness for fruitcake, especially being in California, which is continually held up as the ‘fruitcake’ capital, I have to thank you for your article.
“I suppose I have been slightly sheltered from the implications of fruitcake and although not completely unaware, I have been at least somewhat naive. This is probably due to my upbringing in a home where anything that did not move, could and should be considered food. (Eeeeewww. Editor's note.)
“Nevertheless, this holiday season, being the first in our new neighborhood, I was caught quite by surprise when on Christmas Eve one neighbor after another started showing up bearing little gifts of foods and treats. Not to be known as the only Scrooge on the block, at 5:00PM on Christmas Eve, here I went to find what may remain, and behold Hickory Farms had fruitcakes, lots of fruitcakes.
“The looks on my neighbors faces as I delivered fruitcakes was interesting to say the least. Of course as I returned home and sat down to the TV between bowl games, what is aired, a special on ‘Why Fruitcakes are Hated.’”
Another farm journalist, Joe Bryant, retired now, wrote from Branson, Missouri: “Ron, I always knew we had a lot in common…even to often being recognized as ‘Nutty as a‥…’ I know just how you feel…and so eloquently expressed in your column. I too, love fruitcake. My all-time favorite is the Claxton fruitcake, although the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana also makes a great one.”
Virginia Burton also emerged from the closet. “Dear Mr. Smith, I receive the SW Farm Press publication and was impressed by your recent article described above. Since I too, am a fruitcake lover I felt compelled to share with you what I am confident is the best fruitcake available. Here is the information for attaining this special fruitcake. It is the Deluxe one baked by the Collin Street Bakery located in Corsicana, Texas”
And it's not just fruitcakes. Remember I also whined about not being able to find a decent barbershop anymore. You know, one without that awful smell of ladies' perms assaulting your nostrils.
Mrs. Lyndon Solomon, spelled just like King Solomon, she says, called from Colorado City, Texas, to let me know that the town has two working barbershops, complete with candy-striped barber poles.
She said next time I get a bit fuzzy on the back of the neck I need to just drive over and get me a good old-fashioned haircut. She also said if I'd let her know in time she might fix up a pecan pie. She and her husband have been in the pecan business for 27 years, following a long stretch raising cotton, grain and cattle. They are retiring this spring and plan to head out in their RV to see a bit of the world.
I suspect I might take Mrs. Solomon up on her offer, next time I need a trim and a pecan pie. And if she needs to know where to pick up a fruitcake on her way out of the state, I can help her out.
And thanks to all of you for responding to my whines. My wife thanks you, too.