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Cake Wars, Return of the Butter, and Other Baking Adventures, plus a FREE recipe

My great grandma Pearl, bless her, she was a great cook and an even greater baker. If you happened to her house certain times of the year, you could count on seeing cake, after cake, after cake sitting on the dining room table. Coconut cake, pound cake, chocolate cake, you name it great-grandma could bake it.

Then, my dearest grandmother received the baking gene. Visit at any given time you could go into the freezer and thaw out an apple pie, cherry pie, pound cake, or carrot cake. All made by her hands and with love.

My grandmother had 3 daughters, plus me. Of course, I was birthed by my mother, not by grandmother, but my grandmother is like my mother, so I'm her daughter, too. Are you keeping up? Even though we all have baker ancestors, sometimes skills aren't passed along to the same degree. Here's why I say that.

It was VSU's (Virginia State University's ) Homecoming 2005. My father does the biggest tailgate of the day. He asked me to make a cake for homecoming. I was happy to do so. I told him I'd make an applesauce cake. He said he was hoping I'd say that. I was glad to oblige.

Then he asked me to ask my aunt, my grandmother's youngest daughter to make a cake, too. I was a little hesistant, telling him I didn't think my aunt baked, but I'd ask. When I asked she said she didn't bake, but she'd make a cake for the occasion. My mother and her other sister were also asked to make a cake. They gladly agreed to contribute to the festivities of the day.

The day before leaving for my trip, I pulled out the flour and the applesauce cake recipe and started to make it. I started putting together the ingredients, then lo and behold, I didn't have any eggs. As hard as I tried to make the recipe work without eggs, I couldn't see how it would work. So off the store I went to buy eggs. Did I finish the cake? Yep. And I carried from California to Maryland on the plane in my carryon bag. I was fearful of crushing it, but it arrived in tact. Whew!

At homecoming, my mother told us of her experience in making her cake. It was late in the evening and she was quite tired, but she wanted to get it done. She started putting together her ingredients for a pound cake, and lo and behold, she didn't have any butter. She was too tired to go to the store that night, so she left the ingredients on the counter until the next day when she was able to go to the store and buy butter. The next day after getting some butter, though still tired, she got it done. She wasn't too sure how it would taste, but it got done.

In continuing with the cake tales, my aunt made a lovely gingerbread cake. This was her first time trying this recipe and she was looking forward to see how it tasted. Our mouths were all watering for it, too. Later, when she went to the car to take the cake out, she realized she had left it at home. Opps! She figured she must have forgotten it as she took things back and forth from the house to the car. She was worried because she said probably left it outside on the porch. Which meant the dogs and wolves and bears would probably sniff it out and lap it up. One cake is naught.

I suggested to my other aunt to make a 7-Up cake for it was an easy recipe. She decided she would make it at her mother's house, so she would have a supervisor. Her mother, my grandmother, left out all the ingredients and the recipe, then she left to go to the store. She returned to find my aunt in near tears. My aunt followed the recipe, kind of. Well, you know with a cake you typically beat the sugar and butter together, um, well, the recipe used the word "cream" instead of beat. She didn't know what cream was, and instead of putting the sugar and butter together she read the recipe going across instead of down. So the ingredients were added in a well, haphazard sort of way. And she also put an extra whole stick of butter in it. That's another story. Well, needless to say the cake was edible, but...She made another 7-Up cake but this time with her mother watching her every step. It was good. The second one, that is.

I wonder did my grandmother and great grand ever have go through experiences like this. Something tells me not. Preparing the sweets for homecoming was a real battle. In the end we all won, sort of.

By the way, my aunt who left the cake at home, when she got back she found the cake was actually in the house on the counter. Saved from the wolves.

Here is a tried and true recipe for Peach Cobbler. I got this recipe from A. and A. Warwick in Watts. However, I added a few little changes to suit my taste.

1 frozen pie crust package (contains to 2 pie crusts, 9 inch prefered, thaw them)
2- 15 oz cans of peaches (drain off the juice)
1/2 - 1 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you want your pie)
1 tsp cinnamin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 stick of butter or margarine (cut in slices)

Place (pressing down in bowl) one thawed pie crust in the bottom of a pyrex dish. Add one can of the drained peaches in the bowl on top of the pie crust. Sprinkle half of your sugar on top of the peaches. Place half of the cut butter on top of the peaches. Add the other can of peaches on top of the peaches/butter. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar, cinnamin, nutmeg, cloves, almond and vanilla extract and the butter on top. Take your second pie crust and place it on top of the mixture. It doesn't need to fit perfectly, for the juices will bubble up anyways. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until crust is brown. Serve warm with ice cream. Yum, Yum. Feel free to make any adjustment to the ingredients to suit your taste. I like it with the almond, and cloves, it gives it a nice flavor.

Enjoy and let me know how you like it.

If you would like to receive some more FREE Recipes. Send a self-address, postage paid envelope (one stamp) to:

c/o P. Lonergan
2245 E. Colorado Boulevard
No. 104 PMB 243
Pasadena, CA 91107

Copyright 2005 Paula Lonergan.
All rights reserved.