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Archives for : November1955

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Shortening
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/3 cups hot water

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 13- x 9-inch pan.2. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla at medium-high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer about 3 minutes or until mixture is very light brown and ribbons form when beater is lifted. Add mayonnaise, and beat at low speed until combined.3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with hot water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).

Let Us Eat Cake

Usually at this time of year, I am dreaming of pie. With Thanksgiving looming large, pumpkin pie is constantly on my mind. My piecrust gives me major anxiety and is never as flaky as Steve’s mother’s crust. But today I woke up with chocolate cake on my mind. Steve’s birthday is today and I had been planning a special dessert for him. If brownies filled my mind throughout the summer months, chocolate cake was my winter friend. I was determined to make a dark cake that would bring a smile to Steve’s face. He wasn’t big on frosting, so the top would need a light layer of chocolate icing.

After Steve’s birthday dinner, the children gave him cards they made for him while I lit the candles. I turned off the dining room light and brought the cake to the table. The kids sang, laughed at Steve as his paused too long to make his wish and then hugged him after he blew the candles out. It was a sweet moment as they stood by his side. Daisy, now getting taller and more little-girl-like and Junior, as tall as his dad when seated, clapped with joy. Times like these are what I hope I remember in my old age. I tried hard to take a picture for my memory. And then we ate cake. It can’t get any better!

Early Snow

The air felt different. A prickly cold had arrived during the night and by sunrise, three inches of snow had already covered everything outside. Stevie Junior was super excited and woke up Daisy with his squealing. Even Steve decided not to go to work after hearing the radio broadcast the expected incoming 6 more inches. I made a hearty weekend type breakfast of oatmeal, pancakes, sausage and orange slices. It was nice to eat together as a family midweek.

Steve promised to dig the sled out for the kids and shovel while they played. I dressed the kids in so many layers that they would bounce if they fell. I watched from the kitchen window as they all played together. Steve would let Daisy sneak up on him to hit him with her little snow balls and Stevie was old enough to take a few snowball hits from Steve without crying.

When they trooped in for lunch, I took their wet belongings and dried them near the heater vent. We had a warm lunch with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Their cheeks were rosy and they regaled me with tales of their adventures. Later that afternoon, we all went out to the front yard to make a snow man. Steve and Stevie rolled large balls of packed snow until they reached a good size. I carefully snow walked in the back yard to steal a carrot from the fridge and Steve found some sticks for arms and pebbles for eyes. The final flourish was the addition of Steve’s scarf and tweed hat. It was a fashionable snow man.

Groups of families were outside playing together and there were snow people up and down the block. It was a fun day and when the snow stopped falling, the walks were all shoveled so that everyone could return to work the next day. I was thankful for the snow day. It stopped our daily routine for a day and let us play together. I wondered if people who lived in snowier climates had fun like this every day.