Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grandma's Cake

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Electrolux.

My Grandma K grew up in a large family with limited resources.

She spent her adulthood working in a factory and I know she and my Grandfather struggled a bit financially, but they made do.

One of the earliest memories I have of her is the sound her dentures made going clickety clack when she talked and the image of them sitting in a cup on the edge of her bathroom sink at night.
My Grandma K was, in some ways, a stereotype – almost a caricature.

She loved to remember when bread cost only five cents at the A&P.

[This was among her favorite topics of conversation.]

Near the end of her life, Grandma K liked to crochet while watching soap operas.

She made bedspread after bedspread as the world turned.

She suffered from various aches, pains and ailments.

[And this was her other favorite topic of conversation.]

Her back was especially troubling to her unless she spotted a spare coin on the ground.

She became a human pogo stick at the sight of a spare coin.

I always check myself when I make fun of my Grandma K’s sudden agility at the sight of spare change though.

As her wedding gift, she gave each of her five grandchildren a gift of five hundred dollars -- all of which she collected one penny at a time and saved in a jar on the shelf of her bedroom closet.

She was a broad, heavy-set woman with an impossibly big bosom.

I remember her having a lap that was fabulously soft to sit in.

She would envelope me in her softness and I would be safe there.

If she stayed with us when my parents were out of town, she would wake me by stroking my head and gently calling my name.

[Unlike my father, her son, who would YANK the covers from the bed and cause me great trauma.]

Throughout my childhood and my father’s before me, Grandma K made a wonderful, lemony pound cake.

Growing up we simply called it Grandma’s Cake, so if it ever had a more proper name I don’t know it.

It is a good cake because there is nothing chocolate about it and yet I still recognize it as dessert.

[Which is rare and amazing.]

Though Grandma K has been gone many years now, my father still makes the cake.

I’ve never made it for my family, but my Dad e-mailed me the recipe this week.

I’m going to make it.

“Try this,” I’ll say to my kids. “It’s Grandma’s Cake.”

Grandma’s Cake

Start with a yellow cake mix and follow the directions on the back.

[Make sure you use vegetable oil and milk and that you don’t use any water.]

Mix cake ingredients as directed on the box and then add:

1 cup of chopped walnuts;

1 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract; and

1 package of instant Lemon Pudding.

Bake in a Bundt pan according to the instructions on the cake mix box.

When the cake is cooled, sprinkle it with powdered sugar.

This post was written as part of Kelly Ripa's Cakery for a Cause Campaign, supporting Ovarian Cancer Research.

Visit Kelly’s Cakery at http://www.kelly-confidential.com/ to decorate and send a special virtual cake to a friend, family member or loved one. For every cake sent, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Everyone who sends a virtual cake will be automatically entered for a chance to win a new Induction Range from Electrolux.

Check out all the other stories and cake recipes at the BlogHer.com special offers page.