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Saturday, Dec 27, 2014
Food & Dining

Houck: Go nuts with fruitcake haiku

In 1951, Mrs. Lucille Harvey entered a white fruitcake in a Tampa Tribune baking contest. The recipe became so beloved that reprinting it each holiday
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Several decades later, her recipe inspired a fruitcake-themed haiku contest. This marks the seventh year we will attempt to piggyback on the popularity of Mrs. Harvey’s holiday treat by inviting readers to send us their poetry.

Last year, Steve Winchell of Sebring won the whole shebang with this lovely poem:

A fan of fruitcake,

I search for a kindred soul.

Alas, fruitlessly.

Kyle Roberts of Tampa took second place by going for the funny, playing off the fiscal cliff the U.S. was headed toward:

The fruitcake cliff nears!

Increase fruit or decrease nuts?

Can’t slice it both ways.

Nice to know that we left all that congressional squabbling in 2012.

Oh. Right. Nevermind.

Other top contenders last year included this one from Esther Sarris Rupp of Seffner:

CAKE? You call this CAKE?

I think it’s a conspiracy

To add fat to thighs.

Janet Watson of Wesley Chapel made us giggle with this ditty:

Sent to a sailor

the cake arrived moldy green

was buried at sea

As in previous years, you are invited to write as many haiku as you care to pen, with the understanding that a perfect snowflake of verse is just as effective as an avalanche.

Perhaps you enjoy writing topical haiku such as:

Sebelius blames

HHS website problems

on fruitcake eating.

Or maybe:

Obama decides

health care act covers fruitcake.

New name: Bidencare.

Another:

Edward Snowdon says

U.S. spied on allies, but

no fruitcake drone strikes.

Perhaps other current world events will be your inspiration:

Russian meteor

exploding in atmosphere

was a fresh fruitcake.

Or:

Vatican voting

elects a frugal pontiff.

First words: Eat fruitcake.

Then again, there’s the world of entertainment:

Hey, Miley Cyrus!

Maybe your big wrecking ball

is full of fruitcake!

Of course, the travails of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem tailor-made for fruitcake metaphors:

Coach Greg Schiano

punishes his quarterbacks

with fruitcake drills.

Injuries, tirades,

MRSA, losses and bad trades

Thank God, no fruitcakes.

To enter this year’s contest, email your haiku to jhouck@tampatrib.com with the subject line “Fruitcake Haiku.” Or mail them to Fruitcake Haiku, c/o Jeff Houck, 202 S. Parker St., Tampa, FL 33606 All entries must be received by Dec. 11. Winners will be announced Dec. 22 in Baylife.

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