Monday, November 24, 2008


We interrupt this Blog to bring you an important commercial announcement from our boss, Ed Asner, the Head Elf at Santa’s Workshop:


In recent years (alright, recent decades) poor Mister Fruitcake has been made the butt of one joke after another. The Fruitcake has been kicked like a dog from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters. It has been battered ‘n’ bruised under spacious skies in amber waves of grain and across purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.

It is unfortunate that Fruitcake has not been duly honored for all it really brings to the table. For one thing, not only are some Fruitcakes absolutely scrumptious, but they are nutritious, too, including in the ingredients all of the major food groups: sugar, butter, cherries, sodium benzoate, red dye #40, and sometimes y.

Even so, as The Declaration Of Independent Fruitcake Bakers sagely observes, “Not all fruitcakes are created equal.” Yaaaz, itz true, some fruitcakes be better’n others. And some are WAY BETTER than others.

I consider myself a Fruitcake Connoisseur and so I’m here - just in time for Christmas - to tell you about the best I’ve ever found. It’s not the famous Collin Street Bakery Deluxe Fruitcake from Corsicana, Texas that you’ve heard so much about.

Yes, that fruitcake (probably the most delicious “looking”) is purchased by all sorts of fancy actors and diplomats and “high on the hog” people like that; and yes, it is a good fruitcake despite the fact that some people believe the only good fruitcake is a dead fruitcake. And fruitcakes are hard to kill; they stay good for years, which I’ll confess is a little unnerving. My Ma (may she rest in Peace) bought the Collin Street Bakery fruitcake for family members for many years, and I still give it to a couple of them at Christmas to honor her memory.

But the very best fruitcake I’ve ever forked, shoved, or shoveled into my mouth is the Assumption Abbey Fruitcake made by those hip Trappist monks in their monastery “nestled in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks.” [] Man do them monks know how to bake! How great is this fruitcake? Well, it’s “heavenly” (sorry, but I just HAD to say it). While I’m eating the Assumption Abbey Fruitcake, I make the same happy little humming noises that Winnie-The-Pooh makes when he’s eating honey, or on his way to eat honey, or just thinking about eating honey.

For years, I was in the habit of trying just about every fruitcake I came across, always in search of that “perfect one.” Well, in about, oh, maybe 2002, I saw the Assumption Abbey Fruitcake advertised in the Leaflet Missal catalog and decided to give it a try, even though I thought it was going to be somewhat dry based on the photo in the catalog. So, I wasn’t really expecting much when I popped that first small slice into my mouth. Try then to imagine the surprise when my mouth just exploded in a rhapsody of fruit, spice, wine and rum.

Uh, yeah, those monks – the sly little devils – include a splash of wine and rum in their fruitcake recipe. Woo!-Hoo! Me an’ Rudolph be catchin’ a glow TONIGHT! (And here you thought Rudy came by that red nose naturally, didn’tcha?)

Well, I’ve been buying the Assumption Abbey Fruitcake exclusively ever since that first bite. I haven’t bothered to even try another brand since then. What’s the point since I’ve found “the perfect one”?

Here’s what the Trappist monks say "ABOUT THE FRUITCAKES":

When Assumption Abbey was first developing its bakery, the monks sought the help of world class chef Jean-Pierre Auge, who at one time served in the royal employ of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Mr. Auge’s assistance, and his generosity in providing the recipe and ideas for production, gave the monks the impetus to go forward with the Assumption Abbey Fruitcakes.

Assumption Abbey Fruitcakes are the dark, rich, traditional style of fruitcake. They are baked slowly and aged under the careful supervision of the monks. Everything, from marinating the fruit, to mixing, to baking, to packaging, to aging, to mailing is done right at the monastery by the monks.

Assumption Abbey is not a commercial enterprise. It is a way of life, and that way of life, combined with the careful work of the bakers, insures a dedication to high quality that makes Assumption Abbey Fruitcakes among this country’s finest.

Now, if that sounded purt dern good to you, then hear this: Ain’t NUTTIN’ wrong with yer ears.

So, until you’ve tried this one, no more beating up on fruitcakes from you, because you’re not just making a bad joke but you’re knocking a whole way of life!

Click here for fruitcake, Fruitcake: here

And now . . . . .


On Tuesday, October 7th of this year, in a message on my “STUFFS” Blog titled FOR THOSE WHO LIKE THEIR “SUDS”, I told you folks a bit about a friend of mine who makes and sells superior soaps and lip-saving lip balms. (One lip balm is Ginger/Peach. Yeah, Ginger WAS a peach, but actually, I’m a Mary-Ann man myself.) The name of her little company is FIREFLY ESSENTIALS.

Well, as with fruitcakes, so with soaps: Not all soaps are created equal. And here’s what my fantabulous friend has to say on the subject:

I became interested in the whole process of soapmaking, and did a lot of research and found that homemade soap is far superior to most of the soaps you buy at your local supermarket.

Did you know that one of the naturally occurring products in soapmaking is glycerin? Most of the 'big' companies extract the glycerin from their soap, and sell it off as a separate product. Glycerin is a great humectant (attracts moisture). Since I began using homemade soap, I don't have to use lotion on my body anymore! It's been wonderful! Our whole family also uses the soap on our hair. We no longer use commercial shampoo. Since using the soap on my hair, I no longer have to use a separate conditioner after washing to be able to run a comb through my hair. If you had told me that I would be able to give up hair conditioner, I would never have believed you, BUT it's the truth! Turns out, glycerin is pretty darn good for your hair too!

Also, there are no added chemicals, or detergents in homemade soap, but you will find these chemicals in many of the soaps you find at the store.

OK.....after doing research, I decided that I would try to make my own homemade soap, since the guy I originally bought the soap from was all the way in Georgia. Once I started, I was absolutely hooked! I kept making more and more soap, and it began piling up around the house. Bill and I decided that we would see if others would love my homemade soap as much as we did. We began to sell our soap at the local Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings. Well, the feedback was WAY better than I could have hoped for! We have had so many people come back and tell us how much they LOVE the soap! We had one lady come back and say she was buying it for her friends in Italy, and another lady who was visiting from England who bought a bunch of bars to take back with her (so we're International, heeheehee).

Drumroll.....Bill has come up with a website, and we have decided to make this our own business called Firefly Essentials. We are a small operation at this point. I make soaps and lip balms.

I wanted to share this with everyone, in the hopes that you will be curious to try out one or two of our soaps to see for yourselves. These soaps also make lovely gifts (and Christmas is right around the corner!)

We have some new limited edition soaps that will be here for the Christmas season:

Frankincense & Myrrh
Balsam Fir

These limited edition soaps are not yet on the website, so I wanted to tell you about them. They are all delicious smelling!

Please check us out at:

I have tried my friend’s Frankincense & Myrrh soap, and I would describe it as a rich and manly scent. Nice stuffs! My friend even raised the “coolness factor” about 33% by adding Gold Mica (along with the standard “Love”) to the soap bar. I’ve been calling it Jesus Soap, for obvious reasons.

If you don’t see it mentioned on her product page, then just click where it says “Contact Us” and inquire about it.

Give Jesus Soap (a.k.a. Frankincense & Myrrh) to someone you love this Christmas, and not only will they get clean as a whistle and smell like a prince, but you’ll make them feel like the King of kings.

Click here for soap, Soap Scum: here

OK, I’ve written in defense of Fruitcakes on this Blog, and as if that wasn’t UN-P.C. enough, I now want to wish each and every one of you . . . . .

. . . a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.”

Wow! How politically incorrect is THAT?!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Blog . . .

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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