Back to the Future With Fruitcake

The Christmas holidays have passed. Do you have leftover fruitcake? Thinking of chunking it? Not so fast! Freeze it instead. We are sharing this guest post by Stan Szymanski of Encouraging Angels. Who knew fruitcake was a superb survival food? Thanks, Stan.

The price of ‘survival food’ (like the traditional Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bar) has gone up like everything else due to central bank money printing and the now advance demand for the food that will not be on store shelves next year. Identified as ‘Amazon’s Choice’ the Datrex 2 pack currently costs $27.99. That is expensive when you talk about having to have extra when the days of economy and prudence truly take hold.

The calories needed to keep an active military age male fighting effectively in the field can range  anywhere between 3,000 to an almost unbelievable 4,600 calories daily. While many of us are not as young, nor as fit as those military personnel, the fact remains that we will have vastly higher caloric requirements when the lights go out. We will have to do many things (like splitting wood and walking/riding bikes to get around as well as potentially spending a lot of time outside watching/defending our homes/neighborhood) to physically rise to the challenge of a more austere life.

If you have to drive somewhere, gas is necessary for your car. And if you have to hike for two days for an essential need or person you need gas for you. That gas is known as calories.

The ancient warriors of Rome knew this. They were an early adopter of the use of fruitcake to use as a ration (the Egyptians were first to use it as part of the burial process -that- is some long term storage!).

…’In Roman times, soldiers would bring fruitcake like bars – called ‘satura‘ – into battle. They used barley mash as the base and studded it with pine nuts, raisins, and pomegranate seeds. These cakes were incredibly portable and would last a long time without spoiling. Satura may be an early ancestor of the fruitcake, but it also has a claim on a modern energy bar!’…(courtesy of ‘Many Eats’)

So you see, this food we speak of has been used and tested in the field of battle which means that it is suitable (check with your doctor-this is not medical advice) for our use in times of stress and need of higher caloric content foods. It has also was famously enjoyed by soldiers during World War I. I am providing the link to a great ‘Trench Cake’ that I have personally made thanks to the  recipe and accompanying story from James Rawles ‘Survival Blog’:

…’The following recipe for Trench Fuitcake kindly comes to us from SurvivalBlog reader Allie E. This recipe dates to World War I, when English and Scottish families often mailed parcels with fruit cakes to their sons, grandsons, husbands, and nephews serving in the trenches of France and Belgium. Hence, the name: “Trench Fruitcake” or just “Trench Cake.”  This makes a great storage food treat, to break up the monotony of other stored foods. Some tinned fruitcakes have been eaten after 10 years of storage with no significant change in flavor or consistency — although of course their nutritive value diminishes, over time.’…(Survival Blog Trench Cake Recipe/story 8/16/21)

Most food ration bars (like a Datrex et. al.) only claims 5 years of basic effective use. I have recently eaten some ‘Datrex-like’ bars that were 7 years old (and 2 years out of date) and they were just fine. Great with a cup of coffee. Apparently, fruitcakes according the Survival Blog post, have been found to have been good upwards of 10 years! Your mileage may vary.

Over the long term, most of us will not have the luxury of a large stockpile of Datrex-type bars because it would be cost prohibitive.  Therefore, we need to be able to adapt and make our own fruitcake rations with the available wherewithal that we have on hand. One person may have a lot of currants and no bags of dried mixed fruits. One can still use the basic recipe and make adjustments and still have a high calorie, long lasting item that is able to be replenished if one has access to fruit and nut tress in the area. One person may only have an apple tree. That person would have to most likely have to dry some apples in order to use them in the fruitcake if it is to last. We really have to use our minds and ask God to reveal the assets in food that may be available to us if we just knew where to look or who to ask. Having the mind of God in your life that is available through concerted Bible reading, prayer and obedience to the commands, word and will of He who made us is a far greater intelligence we can access than any earthly knowledge.

Photo Credit: Stan Szymanski

I was at Sam’s Club last week and when I turned down the candy aisle (don’t judge me) angels (good ones) started to sing when I spotted the ‘World Famous Old Fashion Claxton Fruit Cake’. Everyone who knows knows that Claxton is the holy grail of fruitcake. On Amazon, the holiday pack currently costs $22.48. When I was at Sam’s last week I only had to pay 8 and a half bucks! Online it is $10.48 at other Sam’s Club stores (for a limited time). At $10.48 divided by 3 cakes is $3.50 per cake for 1600 calories. Another way to look at it is that is $10.48 for 4,800 calories (1600 x 3 cakes). That is affordable when compared to the Datrex bars as it is only 75% of the cost of one Datrex bar and you get 133% of the calories of a Datrex bar.

IMHO, as we go deeper into the darkness of the current and unfolding world Geo-Political situation, it makes sense to take care of what we can effect for ourselves and families and leave the stuff we can’t up to The Lord Jesus.

After David brought back the Ark of the Covenant, he blessed all his people:

…’and distributed to all the people, the entire multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to each a [ring-shaped] loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.’…(2 Samuel 6:19 New Amplified Bible)

A loaf of bread. A cake of dates. A cake of raisins. Sure sounds like the makings of fruitcake for God’s people.

Perhaps today we should desire like David, to have the presence of God in our midst. And if we do desire His presence and obey His commands, we will also be blessed. A great blessing is having enough to eat. A simple fruitcake has been used to take men into battle and God’s people into blessing. Prepare your heart today for God’s presence by accepting His son Jesus Christ. Jesus came to this earth to live the perfect life none of us have ever lived so that He could the the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for our sins, which payed our sin debt. Jesus rise again to eternal life and now offers us eternal life if we put our full faith and heart into Him and repent of or sins and ask our Heavenly Father for forgiveness.

Read about Jesus for yourself in the Gospel of John and see if Jesus is who He said He is-God.

Print out on paper the fruitcake recipe and try the ‘Trench Cake’ (TC) for yourself. Buy extra of the ingredients so you can make it again and again. Have a way to cook without natural gas or electricity. When the lights go out you will be happy that you did as you head out to stand watch with a big piece of TC in your pocket and a thermos full of coffee.


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Stan Szymanski (or Encouraging Angels) is not a medical doctor. This is not medical advice. In all matters pertaining to the health and care of a human being consult a medical doctor. This is not legal, financial or personal advice. Consult appropriate professionals in those fields for that type of advice.

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Written by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO. Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.