Ms. Alice made the best pound cakes. I think she also made tea cakes, but I can’t remember. Tea cakes, for those of you who have never heard of them, are more commonly called sugar cookies.
The pound cakes were interesting not just because of how they tasted, but because I was able to watch the process of their being made, of Ms. Alice sifting flour, combining ingredients, and cracking eggs. Because she lived on a farm, her eggs were as fresh as they could be.
I learned at an early age that eggs came in different colors. There isn’t really any difference in taste, because it’s just the shell that’s a different color- but as a child, eggs of different colors was another thing about the world to celebrate, about which to be excited.
I think it’s really funny to imagine myself at age three or four being ecstatic out of my mind over the fact that eggs came in different colors, but that’s how life was for me.
Also, when I was happy, I became very loud in my attempt to share the joy.
But you learn early on that no matter how loudly you share your own joy, some people aren’t interested in it- and you learn to have private celebrations, which is also okay!
I have a lot of private celebrations these days.
The mixer was always interesting to me- watching how the cake batter rippled and tossed back on itself. Then Ms. Alice would pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake it. I can’t remember if she let us lick the detachable mixers or not.
If you’ve never eaten raw cake batter off of a mixer, I suggest you go do that right now. You’ll understand why I mentioned it.
It was mind-blowing to a three-year-old how the strange, gooey batter would transform into a beautiful cake, complete with browned crust. The crust of a pound cake was always my favorite part, and that still holds true today.
Allow me to emphasize how much I loved Ms. Alice’s pound cakes. If it were possible to flog words in way more creative than simply repeating myself over and over again or writing the text in bold, I would do it. To this day I can find no better breakfast for myself than a piece of pound cake and a strong, dark coffee.
My mom makes a mean cream cheese pound cake, but it isn’t Ms. Alice’s. It is, however, good, and I’ll post her recipe in here in an upcoming blog.
Ms. Alice also frequently had other sweets at her house. Donuts from the store were a big treat. These where the kind of donuts that were packed into a box together and had an imprint on them- they have the criss-cross pattern on the side. They’re honestly the best donuts I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve never found donuts that taste quite like those.
I want to say she also kept Creme Drops- I know my grandparents did.
One of the best things I had at her house was frozen strawberry yogurt. I’ve never tasted anything like it. Normal yogurt you get at the store is far creamier than this, and regular strawberry ice cream tastes different. I’m not sure how to explain how unique it tasted.
The frozen strawberry yogurt even had small pieces of actual strawberry in it, something I had never eaten at that age. I can’t remember the brand name or anything, but I vaguely recall the container it came in.
I also remember Ms. Alice making juice. She used the frozen orange juice concentrate. I always though it was fascinating that she could open a can from the freezer, and then mix what looked like frozen orange juice into a pitcher of water, and then we’d suddenly have something to drink, and a lot of it, at that.
At other times, we would have a drink of water. Ms. Alice called this “a swallow of water.” Above the kitchen sink hung a ladle, and she would put water in it and let us drink out of the ladle. The water was always cold and refreshing.
That’s it for this entry, but I have another one coming soon!