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Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 2:15 PM

I first remember Texas Fruitcake (actually made by Texas Grandmothers down in Central Texas in an undisclosed location (Corsicana is one) of the Collin Street Bakery, when as a little boy I actually enjoyed this sweet, nutty cake at Christmastime.

I think my Grandmother (Nannie) Sawyer used to make this, as did my mama.

We have heard the expression, "Nuttier than a fruit cake". I am sure there are other belittlements to this German cuisine wonder. It has a tenacious form once baked, and will stick to any knife that dares slice it. It could be used for wagon wheels.

This fruit cake will withstand an F IV tornado, onslaught by cockroaches, and probably even a nuclear blast. I have never witnessed any form of fungus or mold be able to establish inside or on the outer surface of such a cake. Could this be the final legacy left behind by civilization? A half-eaten fruit cake? As I live and breathe, I also never witnessed anyone take the last piece of such a cake, unless I did.

To all who have missed out on this old standby (maybe more ornament than dessert), you should look up Collin Street Bakery Fruit Cakes, Texas Fruit Cake, etc.

Go ahead, you know you want to order one, just to test it out on your yield strength apparatus. Guaranteed to be entirely made of non-perishable, sustainable ingredients. Will keep and ships anywhere, even to the front lines of your nearest conflict.

Another question: Does candied fruit actually count as a fruit choice on the daily meal planner?

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#1

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 3:04 PM

Coming to a theater video service near you on your device soon, The Giant Fruitcake monster vs The Giant Smog Creature....

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/351632683398861259/

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 3:59 PM

that last pic has more calories (the fast, bad ones) per cubic centimeter than any other substance known in the universe, barring nuclear fuel pellets.

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#2

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 3:33 PM

I used to ADORE Collin Street fruitcake! A company my father did work for used to send us one every year. (A law firm used to send us a country ham and a sleeve of sausage -- that was pretty good too.) I still have one of the cake tins, and I use it every Christmas to store the billion cookies I bake. Thanks for the memory! I never understood all the fruitcake jokes, probably because I grew up on this wonderful stuff.

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#3

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 3:41 PM

Do people eat fruitcake? I thought it was just regifted each year and no new fruitcake had been made since the 1950's.

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#5
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 4:15 PM

True, it is possible, but unlikely if there are little fat boys running around.

I think I should order one tonight, as wifey's children are coming for Christmas, and we would not want to leave empty handed.

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#22
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 3:42 PM

G.A., That is exactly what has gone on in my family. We have a homemade fruitcake that has been passed around since WWII. I think I have received and re-gifted it about 11 times in my 51 year existence. It still looks as good as it did when I first remember seeing it in 1971. I wanted to try it as a kid, but that has passed.

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#23
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 3:49 PM

Isn't there a term for petrified food? Has it become mineralized (yet)?

With a diamond saw, you could probably get a good cross-section of that fruitcake, but by now it has to be a gift-sake.

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#6

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 5:33 PM

Would that be rheological, or radiological?

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#11
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 8:39 AM

Fielder's choice on that. I was thinking about tonsistency (after half a bottle of rum, consistency gets warped into tonsistency).

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#7

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 6:33 PM

Must taste and behave like a Bingham plastic?

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#12
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 8:42 AM

Yes, it (candied fruit) is a Bingham Plastic. It will not melt in your mouth, until saturation with rum takes place, but shear stress will make it yield and "flow".

There is no amount of rum that can conceal what this cake is intended to do.

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#8

Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 8:00 PM

The only way I'd eat that stuff is if rum came pouring out as you sliced it.

I like pecans though.

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#9
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/06/2017 10:52 PM

Wow! was that really your first post after 40,000?

I've always had a hard time understanding all the jokes about fruitcake, 'cause I like almost all of them. My mother always made Stollen every year when I was a kid, and I've made it myself quite a few times. My sweet tooth has since receded significantly, so now I've come to appreciate Panettone, which is a little less sweet. I buy 5 or 6 every Holiday season, and enjoy them every once in a while, all year long. I've been amazed that I've never seen mold on any of them. In fact, just yesterday I finished off the last one purchased about a year ago, and it was just fine!

I commonly find the heavier American style fruitcake at other people's holiday gatherings, and commonly have people commenting: "You actually like that stuff?". When I answer "yes", it's not unusual for them to give me a big chunk to take home, so they don't have so much left over...

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#10
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 8:38 AM

At the risk of sounding like a commercial for the Collin Street fruitcake ... instead of filling it with citron and various candied fruits, they use pineapple and real cherries. Makes a huge difference.

In the South fruitcake is a traditional wedding cake. And you can have light or dark fruitcake. My father's mother made light fruitcake every year (so I'm told; she passed away before I was born) and if memory serves my brother and sister-in-law had fruitcake at their wedding. It's quite possible to make palatable fruitcake but the ingredients aren't cheap.

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#14
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 8:47 AM

Does the Collin Street one mold, I have never seen it grow anything other than older.

The ones mom made with the candied fruit from the grocery store, that stuff will outlast a pile of discarded tires.

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#13
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Re: Rheological testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 8:45 AM

True, it will not mold, even in laboratory conditions, but contrary to popular rumor, Vikings never used fruit cake as a weapon, or as a boat anchor.

Floki could have survived in Iceland indefinitely had he brought this with him.

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#15

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 9:43 AM

I think I solved what to bring to the potluck office Christmas party . . . .

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#16
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 10:14 AM

Bring four. That way there will be wheels to cart out the leftovers.

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#18
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 1:59 PM

Rochester from the Jack Benny show used to have a joke that Jack Benny was so tight that he used to put out coconuts as fresh fruit for guests. If they wanted some, they had to bring their own hatchet.

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#21
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 2:48 PM

I heard that he still had the first nickel he ever made and had squeezed it so tight that the Indian was riding the buffalo.

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#17

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 11:02 AM

Here I found a listing of reviewed fruitcakes:

The ten best fruitcakes

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#20
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 2:14 PM

I can't believe Claxton Fruitcake outscored Collin Street Bakery ...

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#19

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/07/2017 2:10 PM

Over the years, I've ordered and eaten lots of fruitcakes from the Collin Street fruitcake folks but at a $ buck plus per ounce, they have priced themselves out of my business. I've managed to find others as tasty but not as pricey. It's hard to beat a piece of good fruitcake and a glass of cold milk.

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#24

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/09/2017 6:42 PM

I've always liked fruitcake. I don't understand why people don't like it. I also like an Italian fruitcake like concoction called panettone bread. It is sold around Christmas and I like it better than the American style fruitcake. It has a more bread like texture than fruitcake. You eat it by tearing off chunks of it, not cutting it. Fruitcake is good when served with a white sauce like with Yorkshire pudding, another similar to fruitcake.

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#25
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/09/2017 8:08 PM

Gosh! Thanks for reminding me about that white sauce! I had forgotten... My parents considered alcohol as a medicine, so mom's white sauce never had the real flavor. Fortunately I visited others who did add brandy or rum - Yum!

Now you got me thinking... To go with that fruitcake, it's time to make a batch of hot buttered rum! The real stuff based on cider, not water, and of course with plenty of good dark rum.

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#26

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 11:52 AM

I have been doing some poking around and there is a surprising lack of hard engineering data on the mechanical properties of fruitcake in general. I would suggest that this group start collecting and publishing that essential data for the general good. After all, what would be the impact if the fat little nut-ball rocket guy launches an attack on Guam with kiloton fruitcakes? I would suggest starting with specific gravity, compressive and tensile strengths initially and move from there to impact toughness properties. Standard testing protocol suggestions would also be in order when it gets turned over to ASTM.

Speaking of essential physical data, I have noticed the elemental Bacon (Bn) tee shirt lacks half life data. How long does half of your Bacon survive on the plate? I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW about the decay products. Elemental physicists need to know!

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#27
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 2:49 PM

Bacon has a half-life of less than three bites for three half slices. That would be six bites for three full slices. On my plate, or rather bowl of berries and oatmeal, bacon last for a full fifteen seconds, ten of which are spent, doling out tidbits to the canine crowd around me. Sorry, it is a bad habit, but I cannot resist the utterances they make when bacon is in play.

By the way, Texas fruitcake might be the only part of NK rocket boy's missile that can survive re-entry. I would hate to be the one getting caught selling Texas fruitcake to that nut case.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 3:07 PM

Is he nutty as a fruitcake of pursuing a deliberate course of action? Sorry, couldn't resist.

I used my Collin Street fruitcake tin to bring my cookie-swap cookies into the office today. The tin is long-lived, too; this one is probably 50 years old.

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#29
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 3:19 PM

I have one of those in a bureau somewhere with pen derelicts, a pair of dice, missing one of the pair, mostly likely, the odd paper clip, a whet stone, unchewed pencils, golf tees, and other flotsam. However, I discarded all jetsam a long time ago.

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#30
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 3:29 PM

You jettisoned the jetsam? Flotsam's probably better anyway.

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#31
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 3:36 PM

Gotta keep it light and real.

I had a too large helping of prime rib for dinner yesterday, and let's just say it did not sit well.

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#35
In reply to #28

Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 7:19 PM

Wow! That tin brings back memories! A tin with that exact print was what my mom kept all her extra buttons in.

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#38
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/12/2017 9:23 PM

We always had a fruitcake every year in NYC. It was made by a local NY company (can't recall the name) and it came in a similar tin. The first thing we would do would be to wrap it in cheese cloth and douse it with brandy. The older it got, the better it tasted. That and a dollop of hard sauce and you knew it was Christmas.

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#32
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 3:44 PM

This does point out that the fire resistance, insulating and ablative properties are also part of the technical need to know. Do you shoot anvils in your neck of the woods? If so, adding fruitcake to the shoot could yield some important ballistic information on fruitcake. Please advise.

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#33
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 4:07 PM

I have heard of it, but I do not participate in such rivalries, no matter the degree of festive atmosphere. More anvil shooters live south of the border these days.

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#34
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/11/2017 5:19 PM

Outsourced?

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#36
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/12/2017 9:00 AM

yep - OSHA won't allow anvil shooting in any of our facilities. It keeps the bathrooms tidier that way.

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#37
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/12/2017 9:13 PM

I like so many others are bacon lovers. The bacon I love in Mississippi is a brand that comes from Alabama, called Conecuh. It is thick sliced and hickory smoked. It doesn't have an overpowering salty taste like many other bacons. I cook it on a wire rack in the oven.

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#39
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 10:10 AM

Have you ever tried rolling the bacon up, and standing it on a plate, then microwaving?

I call that bacon roses.

We have "Wright" bacon here that I like, just the right amount of salt flavor, available in hickory smoked, apple wood smoked, and maple (not my favorite). The apple wood smoked bacon cooks up best, IMHO.

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#40
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 11:25 AM

Does it affect the half life of bacon?

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#41
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 11:34 AM

Shortens half-life it due to proximity effect. There is some sort of flux associated with bacon, perhaps a molecular particle wafted on the breeze.

Shelf-life is not affected however, as raw bacon just is not radiating molecules (at least not the right ones in the right numbers to stimulate bacon annihilation reaction.

If bacon is cooked flat and stored on top of cooked hamburger patties, that also shortens half-life by a factor of √2.

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#42
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 11:46 AM

So you are saying that the mass configuration of Bacon may be causing a secondary radiological activity leading to accelerated decay? Could this chain react, leading to a Bacon Bomb? Potential reaction rates at the MegaPorker level? Oh the Pigmanity!

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#43
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 12:46 PM

There is a mathematically analogous phenomenon seen in the fluorescence of triplet state organic molecules, where the absorbed photon is a higher energy, but this relaxes to a triplet state that radiates with lifetime τ normally of the order of hundreds of milliseconds, but when the intensity of the light is such that a population inversion into the triplet state is produced, these organic molecular excited states have a high probability of collision-induced flourescence to the ground state, where the intensity of the longer wavelength radiation increases, while the duration is markedly decreased.

There could be some restaurants in the MidWest (and few other locations) where the bacon phenomenon may be witnessed even for strip bacon to be disappearing from observation at a critical rate. We suspect that transport of sides of bacon into these reactors must be on a truly massive scale, but we do not expect the reaction to produce an uncontrolled implosion of bacon that would or could ever far exceed criticality. I think we are safe from the bacon bomb. I believe the reaction rates are confined just to the threshold of MegaPorker level. It would take an entire fleet of exercise bicycles parked outside the establishment in order to harness the energy release. It might help reduce the Pigmanity.

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#44
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Re: Rheological Testing of Texas Fruitcake

12/13/2017 2:45 PM

Sounds good. I'll have to give it a try.

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