I told you last week I would be reliving the past a little this month. Last week was my Grandfather’s birthday and tomorrow is my Granny’s! My Granny could smooth burn up a kitchen. She was an amazing cook, good old comfort food was her specialty. It was just the food of her day. As a child I remember her always in the kitchen. I don’t really remember her in any other room of her own house. Unless the backyard garden counts. She had an amazing garden. It sprawled down the slightly sloping hill in the rich sandy soil out behind her house. It was always a special treat to hunt through the rows, spying for ripe produce. My favorite was digging up potatoes or snapping snap peas for dinner. Fresh cucumber salad was always on the table and you never had a better tomato sandwich in your life. Her kitchen was the gathering spot of her small home. Whiffs of a tasty meal were always hanging in the breeze. Friends would stop by with buckets of oysters straight out of the ocean, salty and fresh. Steamed clams and chocolate fudge layer cake, yes please. The best meal of all was her homemade chicken and pie bread, or dumplings as most people would know it. I’m a dessert girl so it is no surprise that I always gravitate to the sweet treats. This Coconut Cake is a family recipe that is simple, moist, sweet and delicious. I can remember making it once with my grandmother and a distant cousin in her matchbox kitchen. Today, I made it in her tiny little kitchen with my daughter. Who is named after my grandmother. On her original Harvest Gold stove. Sounds about perfect doesn’t it? I had to put it on her thin Corelle plates. The ones I can picture my dad and granddaddy eating a soupy mess of supper from. Granny is proof that nothing has to be fancy to be good. I loved to sit on my Granny’s warm lap while she would bring me in for a big hug with her soft wrinkly hands. She smelled like Oil Of Olay. Granny was a tough lady but her heart was so deep. Her eyes would often well with tears when she stopped to tell you how much she loved you. She loved her children through thick and thin, no matter the depths of darkness some of them went. She served her husband for over fifty years and when he passed she feed his brother and looked after him. All her friends were family and all of her family were friends. I get jealous sometimes thinking of the small town, simpler way of life this island lived. The stories are epic. It’s funny, my dad couldn’t wait to get away from here and I can’t wait to get back. When I think about my Granny, who has been gone for 12 years now, I am the most sad that she never got to meet my children. I wish she were the one teaching my daughter to cook. I wish the boys could spend just one day harvesting the garden rows with her. She would be so in love with my kids. And they would love her right back.
1 box Butter Yellow Cake Mix 1 8oz. sour cream 4 eggs 1/2 Cup Crisco Oil 1/4 Cup sugar 1/4 Cup water Mix all together. ***Save a cooking spoon full of batter for the frosting*** What is a cooking spoon you might ask? It’s the kind of big spoon everyone has in their kitchen to stir and cook with. There is one in the picture up top and below! Divide batter into four thin layers. Cook at 375 ° for recommended time on box. (about 15-17 minutes) You will need to reduce suggested box cooking time for the thinner layers. (note: I only had three pans, so I only made three layers. Do what you want, but trust me…it is best with four layers to get it moist and a good frosting/cake ratio) Frosting: 1 large can evaporated milk 3/4 Cup sugar 1 cooking spoonful of cake batter 1 1/2 Cup sweetened shredded coconut Cook over med heat until thick and bubbly. Stir regularly. Add: 2 Tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla Cook a little more if needed. I frost the cake slightly warm so it all soaks in. If you are going for looks, you might let the cake cool completely first. Remember, I am not a food blogger, so I go for yum over picture worthy. Enjoy!
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