This morning I was trying to find my grandmother’s fresh apple cake recipe. I found the cookbook but it was time to leave for work by then, so I left that chore for this afternoon. I had no sooner got the cookbook down this afternoon, one from her family reunion almost 25 years ago, hoping that recipe was in there so I could post it here, when the UPS truck stopped at the curb.
I just knew that the box was one of my many Cyber Monday deals and rushed in my bedroom to open it. One glance at the Simon and Schuster box told me that this was not a gift, at least not one I had ordered with a credit card.
My story about my grandmother and grandfather that was published came in the mail today. I expected it in several weeks, not even close to now.
My grandmother, while not your typical grandmother, was one of the best cooks I’ve ever known. There was always something to eat at their house, and people came by on a regular basis for coffee and whatever was leftover from a previous meal. Many people came by at lunchtime, and there was always plenty to eat. Of course, everything was fried. Deep fried. I don’t know how she did it because she never had an ounce of fat on her. My grandmother was a believer in Crisco and yet my grandfather’s cholesterol was always low. None of the rest of us inherited these amazing genetic traits, but I digress. Really the fact that she was tiny and he had better cholesterol than a teenager is unreal considering she made chicken fried steaks at least 4 times per week, along with homemade mashed potatoes dripping in butter, and gravy.
Cooking was truly her gift. She not only was excellent at it, it was what bonded her to her family and friends. She never drove a car and her skills at cooking brought people to her. This was the last picture taken of her. She was wearing no make-up, and we laughed about her prison uniform sweater. She didn’t want a picture that day, but I am so thankful that I did go ahead and snap it. I have another of her sitting in my grandfather’s lap, both of them laughing.
My grandmother was faithful to do massive baking at Christmas. My story that was published by Chicken Soup for The Soul was about her Christmas baking, and how much we missed it the first Christmas without her. It has been 16 Christmas seasons without her fruitcakes, fresh apple cakes, or orange slice cakes and we still talk about them.
Really, this is the point of our website. The stories behind the recipe. Or better yet, the person behind the story.
We have many funny memories of our little grandmother, and often laugh about her or something she did or said. Most of all, we treasure the fact that she did what she did best to take care of her family.
Fresh Apple Cake
- 2c sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c flour
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 c fresh apples, chopped
- 1 small jar maraschino cherries
- 3/4 c Crisco, melted
Bake in a greased and floured pan at 300° for one hour.
Rarely was she a woman of few words, but it looks she was with recipes. Today, I’m thankful I got a present that was better than anything I can buy online. My story about my grandparents (and their wackiness) was published. I’m sure if she could read it now, she would be mad at some portion of it. It’s just how she did things.