Presents are great, and so are singing and kissing and being merry, but the holidays also rely majorly on food. There are delicious birds and roasted nuts being served while your grandmother drunkenly yells above the various arguments going around the table to pass the fruitcake, which could be also be taken as a veiled reference to your Uncle Sammy's "friend" Nigel. But that's a whole other fight. She's probably referring to the most famous of disgusting holiday foods. The one that is amazingly still brought to Christmas parties around the world, despite the fact that no one knows anyone who actually likes it. So to gear up for the coming holiday season, we found some new alternatives with which to poison your family members and got to cooking. After this taste test and the ensuing dishwashing, we'll bring the fucking fruitcake ourselves.
Kwanzaa Cake Ingredients: premade angel food cake, vanilla frosting, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, apple-pie filling, CornNuts, pumpkin seeds, popcorn
Sandra Lee of the Food Network, a white lady who I'm guessing has never celebrated Kwanzaa, made this aberration of a cake famous. There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to this recipe: Why would you use a premade cake? Why would you buy vanilla frosting and then turn it into chocolate frosting? Who told her these were Kwanzaa-related ingredients? Our bet is on a five-year-old who was asked to list his favorite foods. But Kwanzaa is kind of a made-up holiday anyway, right? So who's to say that one of the most hated Food Network personalities can't go ahead and decide on her own what people should celebrate it with?
Beyond the doubts stated above, there's really nothing wrong with the ingredients themselves, except for maybe the CornNuts, which Lee mysteriously calls "acorns." It's when we started combining everything that things got a bit barf-inducing. First, cutting the cake was a bit of a disaster. As soon as the knife went into the fluffy cake, it fell apart, much like my stomach was starting to do at the prospect of eating the results of our experiments. Luckily, we had enough converted chocolate frosting to glue the pieces back together. After that, it took about five minutes to dump all the components onto the kindergarten-cooking-class mess we had made and one minute to have two bites and decide we didn't want to risk losing a molar thanks to an errant CornNut. All told, the texture wasn't too bad otherwise; it was the completely random blend of flavors that prompted us to dump this in the garbage bag we had so smartly prepared before getting started.
Billy Can Pudding Ingredients: soda crackers, raisins, sugar, mixed spices, cinnamon, flour, bicarbonate of soda, tea
This seems to be a big Australian Christmas food. Not only did we learn about what happens to things left out overnight, we also got a history lesson! Apparently, a billy can is a tin with handles that was used to carry water in the Australian bush during the 19th century. We used a tin cooking pot. Big deal. Personally, I don't like pudding unless it comes in a little plastic cup, or raisins for that matter, so I knew this one was going to get me. But just like the Kwanzaa cake, there was nothing particularly offensive about the ingredients on their own. In this case, it was the idea of letting them sit and coagulate for 24 hours before digging in.
As soon as we started stirring everything together, there were some dry heaves. There was something about the coloring that just didn't look OK to put into your stomach, and the more we kept adding things, the worse it got. Eventually, everything was mixed enough that it was satisfyingly goopy and we put it aside, trying to forget that we would have to come back to it the next day. None of the recipes we found specified whether we should put it in the fridge or just leave it on the counter, but we figured the people of the bush didn't rely on modern conveniences like electricity, so we left it out.
The next day, the predictable film on the top had arisen, and not wanting to torture ourselves too much, we fought the bile and scooped it off. Again, a few bites into it and we were done. The phrase "baby diarrhea" was uttered twice, once during the stirring process, and again in horror after the first swallow. And to add to the repulsion, the concoction had stuck itself to the sides of the pan, making for an equally vomitous cleaning experience. In the end we tossed the entire thing out.
Mincemeat Pie Ingredients: mincemeat (you don't want to know), apples, lemon juice, piecrust
If the last two recipes didn't send you running to your chosen comfort food, this is where things actually get bad. Any dish containing meat that is billed as dessert should already be raising red flags. We think British people eat this during Christmas, but really, only people who have lost their senses of taste, smell, vision, and touch in a horrific accident should.
First we had to make the mincemeat ourselves, which led to the photographer making the observation that the things in the pan shouldn't smell the way they did once they had been mixed together. Again we found ourselves with foods that weren't revolting on their own, until some culinary retard decided to play "kitchen" like I did when I was four. Once the meat and various fruits and spices had cooked, we were left with a pile of… something. We ignored the fact that we'd be using it to stuff a pie and then stuff ourselves, and soldiered on, adding more fruit and some fresh lemon juice, before pouring it into the crust and popping it in the oven. The next 45 minutes filled my kitchen with an odor that I'm still working on getting rid of. When we took it out and let it cool, it didn't look too bad, though. That was probably due to the fact that all pies look the same on the outside anyway.
Biting into it is a sense memory I will try my hardest to forget but never will. It was gloopy and chunky and a little gritty all at the same time, and as for the taste, it simply tasted like shit. There just isn't another way to describe it. Once we both established it was the worst trash we had ever spit out, it was promptly hurled into the garbage bag and taken outside to rot and die some more.