Happy Holidays From All Of Us
December 8, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is that time of year again, when I am surrounded by fruitcakes that are slurping up kirschwasser like hungry babies, turning them into full-blown, holy day, celebratory, and damned near incendiary, bricks to commemorate the ending of one year and, if need be, to be used as food or fuel in an uncertain New Year.
I mean, that is what fruitcake is all about. Living through an uncertain and possibly dark time to make it through to the spring and the renewed Earth. And when you think about all of that wonderful dried fruit, the four different kinds of alcohol–red wine, Jack Daniels, and vanilla in the batter, and the cherry brandy bath after the bake–the dozens of eggs and dozens of sticks of butter, all surrounded by a thick layer of fondant, you can’t help but think of these as being anything but festive batteries, awesome human power sources. You could burn it for heat, I suspect, and the one thing I know is this: The fruitcake, when done properly, is meant to last a long time so when hard times do come, you have something to eat. All the better if, like me, you actually like fruitcake, and if not, well, you just might starve. The one thing you never have to worry about is bacteria. They just can’t live in a high sucrose environment with lots of alcohol. We actually sliced a cake open that was 18 months old and while the fondant coating was a bit tough, the cake had not changed a bit. Yes, that was strange, considering it had no refrigeration or other kind of preservative. But we ate it and didn’t die, so it works.
So as I write this I am 22 cakes in with eight more to go, and the office where I have a kitchenette and do my baking as I write smells wonderful. People wander in from the lobby just to see what I am up to, and the answer is, well, more peculiar than they expect unless they know my holiday ways.
For a lot of complicated reasons, I didn’t have time to bake the cakes last year, and that was not a good thing. I need to brew my beer and I need to bake my Christmas fruitcakes. We all need to do the things we do to be who we are. Those are a few of my things, as is writing for The Four Hundred, in one form or another, for the past two and a half decades. This is a job I love and for which I am very grateful. In many ways, it has shaped and defined me, and all of us here at IT Jungle, though we came to it from different directions, love this community that we serve.
And so, as we begin this holiday season, we want to thank our sponsors, who pay the bills around this joint and who make it possible for us to work on behalf of the IBM i community. It takes all of us â€“ IBM i shops, Big Blue, and the vendors of various hardware, software, and services â€“ to make this a real community, and we like being the bumblebees that pollenate across the different parts of that community, making connections between people who are trying to get real work done with this sophisticated and still amazing system we knew as the AS/400 and now call the IBM i.
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to serving you all in 2015!