Once again, college conference realignment has blown up another one of our treasured academically-focused university unions. The Big East has finally turned on itself and imploded, as we'd all been expecting each year since Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech left. This week, it was the basketball-only schools that pushed the giant red History Eraser Button.
So who loses out on this? UConn, Cincinnati, and South Florida are left trying to clean up the flaming wreckage of the derpiest BCS Conference in the land. Let's help them with a holiday gift, shall we? How about a fruitcake?
(Note: At this point I want to let you know that I intentionally left UConn out of the rest of this article, because it didn't really seem appropriate to joke about Connecticut culture or life after last week's events. Thanks.)
STEP 1: The first step in any fruitcake is a good cake base. I've shown you how to make cake from scratch before, but it's the holiday season, and maybe you don't have time to deep fry the eggs and chop up enough pickles for the batter. So we'll use a box mix for this meal. The holidays are about happiness, so find the happiest mix you can.
STEP 2: Look at how happy and colorful that looks! Place this into a mixing bowl. We're giving the blender the day off because I've put a bit too much ham into it lately and the motor is beginning to grind a bit. And smoke. And catch on fire. Next on the list is candied fruits and nuts. This should be easy to find, right?
FOODTIP: It is always best to eat fruit that shares preparation methods with sheet metal.
STEP 3: Unwrap the Fruit Rollups and wad them into little balls. Then mix them with the circus peanuts and cake mix.
STEP 4: Poor USF. Joins a BCS Conference. Gets to #2 that one time. Falls off the face of the earth because USF. Now they're nearly homeless. Let's put some food from Tampa into our fruitcake to cheer them up.
STEP 5: In my research, I ran across Deviled Crabs, which to me, looks like a Cuban version of a crabcake. In Spillylanguage, that just means it's spicy. We'll add Internet Paste to some crabmeat and throw it in our cake.
STEP 6: Next up is Cincinnati. I've been wanting to do a Cincinnati food for a long time because of Skyline Chili. If, for some reason, you don't know what Skyline Chili is, it's chili, on spaghetti, piled with cheese. Lots of cheese. It's really just a heaping mound of fat. Let's make our own!
STEP 7: Beefaroni solves two of the ingredients for the chili - the tomatomeat and pasta. Look! "25% MORE Meat*". Place this into a bowl.
STEP 8: I opened my fridge, and I didn't have any cheese. I was completely out, and started to panic. I began to think, "What is cheese, really?" Instantly, it came to me. We could substitute something in that is exactly the same.
STEP 9: Crisco is perfect for Skyline Chili! But we can't just slap a brick of fat into it, we'll need to dress it up a little. Luckily, I had mine chilled, so it's a perfect consistency for the cheese grater.
BEHOLD! LARD SHARDS!
STEP 10: With your Skyline Chili done, we'll need to add it right into the fruitcake with the rest, so dump the bowl directly into the mix.
STEP 11: Once it's good and mixed, you'll need to put this into a cake pan. Be especially careful that the shredded Crisco is evenly distributed so it doesn't melt into giant bubbling greasepools upon baking.
STEP 12: Next, bake the fruitcake. I had trouble with this, as I put it into the oven and promptly snapped off the temperature switch by accident. So I took a wrench and turned it some. Whatever temperature that was at is what you should bake it at. Aim for a 1/3rd turn. When it comes out, it should look like this:
STEP 13: When you try cutting the cake, you may find it's a tad...soggy. Oh well. As long as it doesn't ooze off of the plate, it's still a net win. As usual, garnish with a Tangball and some holiday mint candy leaves. Promptly box this up and give to your nearest Big East fan.
Lastly, I wanted to be serious for just a moment. This past week, I set up a charity food drive to help the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. In 3 days, we've already met our goal of $1,500, but we're aiming higher now. It means a great deal to me to be able to give back, especially in a way that directly helps the hungry families that live here. If you'd like to see the Real Spilly, and maybe get a Tangball of your own, I encourage you to check it out at http://www.indiegogo.com/spilly/. Also, we'll be posting some of the winning meals from the charity drive when it's over. There's also sure to be new stretch goals, and of course, my fulfillment on my promise to film myself eating a Spillymeal for reaching our goal.
Thank you, Internet.