For Ann and Ken Fredericks, celebrating their wedding anniversary gets sweeter each year — and no, that's not just because they're approaching a greater milestone together.
Every time Aug. 19 rolls around, Ann, 82, grabs a coffee tin out of the cupboard, and together with her 86-year-old husband, they break off a tiny piece of dark fruitcake from their 1955 wedding.
"It dries out so we have found over the years that if we just pour Brandy over what we’re about to eat, it tastes just fine," Ann Fredericks told TODAY. "It has the consistency it had from the very beginning."
And according to her, it's not even close to spoiling. But for some reason, her children are never as keen on the idea of tasting a bite.
"None of them will touch it! We offer every year and they turn us down every time. That’s fine by me because we haven't got that much left!"
Fredericks says the remaining piece is roughly 4 inches long by 3 inches wide. They take quarter-sized bites, which they're hoping will make the cake last another four years.
"We eat very little, just enough to carry out the tradition. Each time we take it out, I think, 'the good Lord willing, we’ll outlive it.'"
Celebrating a wedding with dark fruitcake was a family tradition back in the day, but Fredericks says her family no longer adheres to it.
"The cake is not what today is a typical wedding cake," she said. "It’s a dark fruitcake, which my grandmother made at my request. Over the years, it has darkened. I wont say it looks appetizing, but it doesn’t taste that much different!"
It's never made the pair sick, either. It's an act Fredericks describes as "natural" and far from being "out of the ordinary."
The happy couple met at Syracuse University, and later relocated to Satellite Beach, Florida, where they still live in the first and only house they've ever owned.
Fredericks spent 27 years as a nurse, and for 35 years, her husband was an instrumental music teacher.
"It just is something that keeps us close, and it’s not the cake alone — it’s everything," she said. "We’ve always done everything together. We’re a family that has strong values and we’re continuing that tradition."
Lucky for this couple, they can have their cake and eat it, too — even after 61 years.