Monday, January 4, 2010


"That's our old scrambled egg bowl!" exclaimed my sister as she wandered into my kitchen.
I cringed. I had brought the bowl home when my mother pulled everything out of her kitchen cabinets when doing a remodel last year. Take it, she had said, I've got new ones. The other two bowls were long broken.
Obviously, both my sister and I were more sentimental than our mom. In that bowl, we mixed up eggs we had just gathered just about every single morning, at least during the summer. At one time, Dad had 5,000 chickens in what today would be oh-so-politically-incorrect-above ground cages. We kids "got up eggs" twice a day during the summer. Each chicken laid an egg just about every day. Believe me, that's a lot of eggs to mess with. Once, both my sister and brother were fighting and turned the egg cart over, destroying 50 dozens. They had to pay Dad back, forfeiting their 50 cent per week allowance for almost a year. It's a wonder we ever ate any eggs, but we did, every day.
Fresh and local? You bet. Maybe not as "green" as today, but still some were warm, their yolks golden and perky.
So scrambling eggs means something to us. The second time that Amy picked up that bowl in my kitchen and starting remembering eggs and mornings, I guiltily told her to take it home.
This Christmas, she drew my name. And she went to eBay and bid on a set just like ours from Hall China with blue glaze on the bowls' outside, with a delicate rose pattern inside, just like the ones Mom received as a wedding present in 1950.
Wasn't that the sweetest, most sentimental Christmas present? I loved it.

So here's a recipe that can be mixed up in that sentimental bowl. Ubiquitous in the South, this recipe is the pound of butter, pound of lard, pound of sugar, pound of flour, pound of eggs . . . that our grandmother made. Our grandfather would come into the kitchen and jump up and down in front of the oven to make the cake "fall" for that sweet, dense streak of love in the middle of the cooked cake.
Pound cake is great by itself, with berries and cream, or soaked with apple brandy.

3 cups flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco or vegetable shortening, softened
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 small (6-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon flavoring

1. Grease and flour a round tube baking pan.
2. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream sugar, butter, and Crisco together. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour evaporated milk into a 1-cup measuring cup; fill empty milk can with water, swirl to rinse sides, and add that to measuring cup until you have a total of 1 cup liquid.
4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk and water, and when blended add vanilla and lemon flavoring. Pour into prepared tube pan.
5. Place in a cold oven, set oven temperature at 300 degrees, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Do not open the oven door until that time; then check to see if cake is pulling away from sides of pan, which means the cake is done. If not, allow to bake longer.
6. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.


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