In Response to The First Bounce Is The Best Bounce:
I come from a long line of bakers and wonderful cooks so it was important to my grandmother that I continued the tradition of homemade goodness. On one of grandma's visits to our house she encouraged me to make a cake. She dug out a cookbook from my mothers recipe drawer and asked her which cake she enjoyed making. They went right to a page which was spattered with cake dried up cake batter, and right by the title of the cake was written, "Excellent and Quick". I remember my mom stepping aside and allowing my grandmother the privilege of walking me through my first cake. As she wrapped a dish towel around my waist she guided me through this experience. She told me to always set out all of my ingredients, always to set up my cookbook so that I could see and always pay attention only to the most important thing - the recipe. I learned how to measure ingredients that day, as well as how to mix and how long. Grandma shared warnings and signs to look for to ensure a good cake. I did everything the recipe said and I listened as grandma shared her wisdom and experience; I wanted to be just like her! I waited anxiously for the cake to be done and my brother came in just as I was removing the beautifully browned masterpiece from the oven. He was excited to see a cake being removed from the oven because we very seldom waited for icing to go onto the cake; it was the warm plain cake with an ice cold glass of milk that made us the happiest. Grandma walked me throught the process of turning out the cake and shared that cutting the cake while hot was best done with a very sharp knife or a string. My brother, the ogre waited, taunting me and teasing that the cake was going to be a disaster; but still he waited. The cake was cut and the first piece was given to me. I tasted it, but it didn't look like my mom's. I didn't say anything because I didn't want my brother to make fun of my first cake. The next piece went to him; he bit into it then threw it on the floor, saying, "Watch, I think this cake will bounce." Sure enough, with a drop to the floor, my cake bounced with only a few crumbs leaving the main piece. Needless to say, I got rave reviews from my brother and he asked if I could make another one so that he could use it the next day in his basketball game. It was grandma that saved the day - She made my brother leave the kitchen, then began a new lesson on cooking. I remember her patience and her gentleness as she made me walk back through the recipe; she made me tell her exactly how much of each ingredient I had used. It was at this time that we found the answer to the rubbery consistency; I had looked at the recipe below and had put too much milk. Grandma did something then that I have never forgotten; she cut herself a piece of cake, bit into it and said, "Mmm, what a wonderful sponge cake, it's so good." Grandma ate my mistake and made me feel like I hadn't made a mistake at all. I'm 50 now and I am still reminded of my first cake, but it's always after my brother has eaten the light and fluffy cakes that I now pull out of my oven, warm and without icing.
Posted by Lesia C
I almost didn't read this because it was so long, but I am glad that I did! What a wonderful story, memories of grandma, your first cake, and love.