Volume 7 Issue 2 Fall-Winter 2020
By Sara McCoy
aking is in my blood. When I’m stressed, I bake. When I’m happy, I bake. When I’m (fill in the blank with any given mood), I bake--you get the picture. One of my earliest memories is of my first birthday cake. To this day, when I taste anything like the little Mickey Mouse shaped vanilla dessert, I can pinpoint it to my one-year-old birthday specifically. When Christmas comes each December, I bust out all the cookie cutters I own to make sugar cookies for the neighborhood, because that is what my parents and I did every Christmas season growing up. I find that many of my memories are related to the tastes, smells and experiences of baking…but the one I hold most dear is baking with my granny.
My granny, Fronie, and I were always very close. From a very early age, I would stand in a chair next to her at the kitchen counter and we would bake a cake (now THE cake that is my go-to for any given occasion). While the product of our baking was meant to be eaten after dinner, by the time it rolled around we usually weren’t all that hungry because we had eaten so much of the batter and frosting! My summers visiting Fronie were filled with love and laughter around the kitchen table, no matter what meal we were sharing together.
When I was in fifth grade, Fronie passed away. As my Mom and her siblings went through all her belongings, I asked if I could keep her collection of salt and pepper shakers that had lined the kitchen window in her house. Whenever we would bake together, I remember thinking the salt and pepper pairs all watched us, wishing they too could lick the beaters when the cake mixing was complete; wishing they too could have a granny as wonderful as mine. I keep them in my kitchen to this day, in hopes that they watch the memories being created in the kitchen my husband and I share.
Cream softened butter, sugar, and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Take turns adding milk and dry ingredients to the batter in 5 steps, ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and pour into a well-greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until fully set. Always lick the beaters before cleaning up!
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