Ms. Alice’s Wonderland, Part 3

09 Jan

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.

A pound cake.

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.

If you’ve never had Creme Drops, you’re missing out. Seriously.

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!



Posted by on January 9, 2011 in food


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7 responses to “Ms. Alice’s Wonderland, Part 3

  1. gigi

    January 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Stephen, yes Mrs. Alice made tea cakes but the ones I had did not have sugar on them. She would make them and send some home with you and Trey and so nicely, you would share one with me. To this day, I have never tried to make tea cakes; my pound cake is usually quite good and so simple to make, but as yet I have not made one that tasted like Mrs. Alice’s pound cake – according to you…
    Nor, remember, can I make (boil) potatoes and have them taste like Poppy’s did. They just don’t have that special taste….

    • enamouredslave

      January 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Are you sure you’ve never made tea cakes? The recipe’s in the cook book. I think you may have made some but forgotten that you did. My cousin Julie’s recipe is in the What’s Cookin’ book, so I’m going to post it on here tomorrow.

  2. gigi

    January 10, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Nope. Surely have not – even tho they are one of my favorites as they are just not so very sweet….We may just try these one day…They are simple and do not have all that many ingredients…..Is my name listed as the one who submitted the recipe? There were several in there that I did NOT turn in that has my name on them…..

    • Alicia

      January 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

      You are right. The “tea cake” is far less sweet tasting but does have plenty of sugar in it. 🙂 They are ultimately the best coming straight from the oven and grow harder over the next few days. However, with that “straight black coffee”, they still melt in your mouth just as the pound cake does.

      • enamouredslave

        January 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        I love tea cakes- I can’t wait to make some!

  3. The Onyx Plate

    January 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Maybe Ms. Alice knew my Mawmaw…there really isn’t anything like a piece of warm fresh out of the oven pound cake! It was my Pawpaws favorite. My grandparents always had orange slices around the house…that ooey gooey gummy candy in the shape of petite oranges coated in SUGAR! The perfect thing for kids to have before heading home to Mom!

    I have a lot of private celebrations as well…I have an enthusiasm for life that’s hard to celebrate with others. I completely understand….

    • enamouredslave

      January 11, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Oh, yes! That enthusiasm for life is a wonderful thing to have. It’s easy to see in me with some things, like receiving gifts, for instance- it takes relatively little and nonspecific things to excite me, but it was way more pronounced when I was a kid.

      Since you mentioned orange slices: my mom actually makes a cake around the holidays called Orange Slice Cake. It’s really, really, good, but it’s better to eat with coffee that has cream in it instead of black coffee. The Orange Slice Cake’s recipe will be featured in a future blog.


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