Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tru's Aunt Marie

"Imagine a morning in late November.
A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature;but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal's fruitcake weather" from A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

As a young boy Truman lived with his Aunt Marie and cousin Sook. "A Christmas Memory" tells the story of a boy and his best friend, his "slow" 60 year old cousin in depression era Alabama preparing for the coming of Christmas. A large part of the story is focused on baking 31 fruitcakes on which they spend all the money they saved throughout the year, and then gave as gifts to those who had befriended them.

Aunt Marie became a writer. Her 2000 book "Fruitcake: Memories of Truman Capote and Sook" is a collection of 19th and early 20th century country fruitcake recipes. When word of its publication hit Jay Leno people Aunt Marie was invited onto The Tonight Show, after which she became known as the Fruitcake Lady. She appeared as a demure old country lady, but Jay's audience soon learned the old gal had a saucy mouth and quick wit.

That led to further appearances and finally a semi regular guest spot in a segment known as "Ask the Fruitcake Lady" during which she would answer audience questions on any subject allowed by the censors.

The following exchange is typical:
Viewer: My husband wants a new tool set for Christmas, but I know he won't use it and it'll just be a waste of money. What else can I give him that will make him happy?

Rudisill: Well, I should say it'd be to your benefit to give him sex. It'd be a lot cheaper for you to do that. I mean, why not? You -- I would, because even if you give him the other thing, then he's still going to come back for sex, you see. So just give him sex to begin with, and you don't have to buy the other thing. Go with the sex.

It's fruitcake weather in Mayberry. I'm late, but with Aunt Marie's tome in hand cakes will soon appear. I love fruitcake, I love fruitcake season.


1 comment:

Patsy said...

I do not believe I have ever eaten a piece of fruitcake. Perhaps this will be the year!

I know I would have enjoyed hanging out in that kitchen, though.