This afternoon we were having ice-cream with our grandsons at Jt’s. When we stood up to leave a woman came up to me and said she couldn’t stop watching me as I reminded her of her mother- the same sun hat, hair and facial expressions. She kept saying thank you, thank you over and over- you have brought back so many happy memories. As we were driving home I thought about what reminds me of my lost loved ones and for me it’s remembering family time and recipes. I have so many happy memories surrounding food, family meals and how we made it.
This morning I was trying to think of a good dessert for our afternoon tea. With it being so hot this past week it’s always a challenge to serve food that is refreshing and light. I landed on an old recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake as we had some sour cream left over from our family Mexican feast over the weekend. As the cake was cooling I had a flood of memories come over me, and I felt like my mother was standing beside me telling me how perfect this cake came out. It was perfectly browned, had cracks on the top and fell out of the pan perfectly. I could feel her love and smile- almost like she was embracing me.
This family recipe comes with a little story. When I was growing up back in South Egremont (western Massachusetts) we had dear friends that lived just across the field from us. We would mow a little path each week as we were all going back and forth numerous times a day to see each other. Truth be told I had a little crush on one of their sons. My mom was very close to the mom- Gloria, and they did everything together, including testing and sharing recipes. This is Gloria’s recipe and she always said that it was a perfect family gathering dessert. We made it for picnics, we made it for birthdays and we made it for funerals. It was just that easy go to recipe that always tasted good and was the hit of the dessert table. My Mom was a little bit of a perfectionist- OK, she was actually a real perfectionist. She was one of those people that had a perfectly clean house and when she made anything she followed the recipe exactly. Here comes daughter Donna who is not a perfectionist. My baking usually comes out well but every time it didn’t my mom would say- “You are just like your dad- always in a rush” I guess it’s true that I don’t have to have everything perfect- life just seems too short to worry about that – but when I saw our perfectly prepared pound cake today I just could not stop thinking about my mom. And while her comments about being just like my Dad use to bother me- now it just makes me smile. Here’s to you Nanna. Some of your perfection skills did wear off on me:) I love and miss you every day.
Here’s our family recipe- it’s a perfect choice for strawberry shortcake too!
- 2¾ cups white sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- zest of a lemon
- In an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. In a separate bowl sift flour, salt and baking soda together. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with sour cream. Mix well. Use either a 10" tube pan or two smaller loaf pans that are well greased and floured. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top should be lightly brown and when a toothpick is inserted in the center it should come up clean.
and enjoy a refreshing swim in our salt water pool.
and savor our delicious breakfasts-
Enjoy your summer with lots of Sour Cream Pound Cake.