Saturday, May 18, 2013

Leader Enterprise - May 15, 2013 - Mother's Day and an Anniversary Celebration




We have certainly welcomed this improved May weather with open arms, haven't we? The sunshine has been glorious. May your flowers and gardens bloom and grow bountifully.

To commemorate my 4th anniversary writing this column for the Leader, I thought I would share a little bit of what I wrote in my first column, published May 20, 2009. And just in case you have missed the story of why I call myself the "Better" Baker-read on.

But first of all, I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last 4 years. It is always a joy to see you somewhere in public, and hear that you've tried one of my recipes or that you are a faithful reader. I was very excited recently to meet a self-proclaimed "Biggest Fan of All" of my column. Hello Darlene! You are all my inspiration and I do appreciate your support more than words can express. 

"We've decided to name this column as such, because whenever folks have told me that I'm a good cook, I love to reply with "But I'm a better Baker" and I love opportunities to live up to my name. (I love teasing my husband that I had to humble myself to get married. I went from being a "King" to a "Baker".)

Since this is Mother's Day month, I want to share a few things about my own dear mother, Marie King, from Kunkle. I recently saw a friend of hers, whom I hadn't seen for nearly 40 years. When she realized who I was, she proclaimed to me "I ADORED your mother!" I hear that often and couldn't be more pleased when anyone tells me I'm like my mom.

Without reservation, her grandchildren have declared her to be a saint. And probably just about anyone else who ever knew her would agree. My mom passed away when she was only 64 years old. I have kept a jar of macaroni that I recovered from her kitchen cupboard soon after she died to remind me of the brevity of life.

Oftentimes, I love to share a quote by author Barbara Johnson. "If being a mother was going to be an easy job, it wouldn't begin with something called labor". Isn't that the truth?

So Happy Belated Mother's Day to all you Moms!
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his."—Oscar Wilde
I decided to share two recipes from my mom's recipe box. This was her favorite cake. I love the simplicity of mixing it by hand in one bowl. It's delicious and moist.
GRANNY CAKE
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 (20ozs) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" X 13"baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and eggs together. Add pineapple and blend well.  Pour into prepared pan. Combine brown sugar and nuts; sprinkle over top before baking. Bake about 30-40 minutes.

TOPPING:
1/4 c. sugar
1 stick margarine (1/2 c.)
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk; bring to a boil, then add vanilla. Pour over hot cake and let stand. Serve warm or cold.

I remember very well enjoying this special jello treat as a kid. It was one of the dishes I made to impress folks when I first got married. It makes a big batch too. Recipe can easily be halved for smaller families.

JELLO DESSERT
16 large marshmallows
1 c. milk
1 (6 ozs) box dry red jello
1 (8 ozs) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (20 ozs) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 pt. whipping cream, whipped
(or use 8 ozs.Cool Whip)
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Place marshmallows and milk in double boiler (or microwave) and melt. In large bowl, pour mixture over dry jello and stir until blended. Beat in cream cheese until smooth. Add pineapple; cool. Add whipping cream and mayonnaise. Let stand until firm.
I don't believe it's ever too early to think about Memorial Day. I appreciate this quote from Ronald Reagan: 'If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth". My husband, Ron, will be speaking for the Pioneer Memorial Day ceremony at Floral Grove cemetery. Please support those who have, or who are currently serving, and remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!