By Rhonda Woods
I hope you, your family and friends have had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was hectic, as usual, but odd at the same time. We all knew something was missing, yet went through all the motions for our family, especially the children who did not notice our loss of happiness. I have tried to recall last Christmas, but it is pretty much is a blur.
By the time this is posted, we will have reached one year since the passing of my sweet husband on January 4. So much has happened in a year. Through the good and bad times, trials and blessings, the one thing that remains unwavering is God. He has never left me. He has let me pour my heart out to Him on innumerable days and nights. He has answered my prayers, allowed me rest and calmed my anxiety. I know the emptiness and uncertainty I have felt almost daily will part slowly like dark clouds that reveal the beauty of bright days ahead. God has a plan for my life and I am looking forward to opening my eyes and heart to His will. My faith and hope is for many changes, a new start, a new chapter and happiness.
Food brings happiness to many. Sometimes it is a particular food that comforts us. I like to think of the feeling you get from eating a comfort food as your “Ratatouille” moment. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s the moment the food critic take a bite of the dish, Ratatouille, commonly know as a peasant dish made of root vegetables, was served. One bite and he reminisced of his childhood and a version of this favorite dish made by his mother to comfort him. One of my comfort foods is Pound Cake, Chocolate Pound Cake, to be exact. My great-grandmother “Doodle” made the best pound cake. The texture was smooth and dense. Lemon, AKA “Wemen” Pound Cake, as my grandson would say as a young child, (one of my favorite pictures of him). It is still is his favorite. We will celebrate his birthday in January with a family meal, most likely Nana’s Big Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread and, of course Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing Drizzle.
I have used several pound cake recipes using all butter, half butter and half Butter Flavored Crisco, and all Butter Flavored Crisco. When I baked wedding cakes, pound cake was used for sturdy stacking of the decorated tiers. All butter will result in a shorter cake due to the amount of water in butter, while more height can be achieved with all Butter Flavored Crisco. Pound Cake was named due to the ingredients being weighed by the pound. The three pound cake recipes I have made the most are South American Pound Cake that uses all Butter Flavored Crisco, Lemon, Orange and Vanilla Extracts, Chocolate Pound Cake, and most recently, Million Dollar Pound Cake. Now don’t think I left out an ingredient when you read this recipe. I thought so, myself the first time I made it. It uses no chemical leavener; baking powder or baking soda. The leaving comes from the half dozen eggs, a natural leavener. The amount of milk is not a misprint either.. Go ahead and try this one and you’ll add it to your favorite recipes, also.
As your start the new year and resolve to lose weight by dieting, just remember, “It’s not what you eat, but how much of what your eat!”.
May God bless you and your family as he continues to bless ours,
Million Dollar Pound Cake
1-10″ Tube Pan
4 c.plain flour
3 c. sugar
1 lb. butter, room temperature
2 t. Lemon Extract (or your favorite flavor)
6 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. milk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.,
Prepare the tube pan by greasing, flouring and lining the bottom with parchment or waxed paper (I call this” insurance”, as it insures the cake will come out of the pan!”
Sift flour and set aside.
Cream sugar, butter and extract until light and fluffy. This will take 3-5 minutes and when a small amount is rubbed between your fingers, does not feel grainy because the sugar has been dissolved in the fat (butter).
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each one.
Add sifted flour and milk, alternately, and then mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
Spoon and spread he cake batter evenly into the prepared tube pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the cake tests done.
Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
Store the completely cooled cake at room temperature in an airtight container or the cake may be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.