Have you ever tasted something and the minute it hits your lips it brings you back to the past? That is what certain foods do for me. My grandmother, Opal, was a great cook. I have some of her recipes and an old cookbook that she had with notes all in it. She was an avid note taker, her bible is filled with dates of family births, snows (which didn’t happen very often so were noteworthy I guess!), and other things she thought were important and her cookbook is no different. I stayed after school at my grandparent’s house and while my grandmother worked second shift as an LPN I would stay with my grandfather, but once my grandmother retired she would cook supper quite regularly and oh it was good.
There are several things that I cook regularly that she cooked and I can almost get to taste like hers, except for her scrambled eggs, I do have those mastered. She would fix homemade macaroni and cheese and up until a few years ago I tried and tried to duplicate it and couldn’t. She didn’t have the recipe written down anywhere I don’t think, it was one of those that she kept in her head and I should have had the good sense to ask her how she made certain things before she passed away, but I didn’t. I was cooking something new one day and it called for a cheese sauce, with butter, flour, milk and cheese and when I tasted it I almost fell over because it was the exact cheese sauce that she used to fix for her macaroni and cheese. It was one of those of AH HA moments! She also cooked meatloaf on top of the stove, don’t ask me how, I wished I had paid more attention, but I can get close to what hers tasted like in the oven. But the one thing above all else that was my favorite was her pound cake. I do have the recipe for it thank goodness. It makes a beautiful, delicious and BIG cake and every time I make it, it brings me back to my childhood and sitting at Granny Opal’s table with a big ole slice! Of course hers was perfect each and every time and I still don’t make it perfect every time. I have called my mama more than once wondering how in the world the cake stuck to the pan like it did and I had followed the directions to the letter! I fixed pound cake to take to a party one time and when I went to release it onto a plate it stuck and fell apart and I didn’t have time to fix anything else….so I sliced it up and put it on a plate and served it that way. It was all gone by the end of the night if my memory serves me correctly, so pretty or not I guess it was good! I will add that I bake her pound cake in her tube pan; I inherited it when she passed away, and for that reason it shouldn’t stick!
I miss all four of my grandparents very much. I wish I could sit down with each one of them just one more time and ask all the questions that roll around in my head that I didn’t ask before they passed away. They do live on in me in different ways and I have tried to pass those things down to my kids and these would include my grandmother’s recipes that I hope to share with my daughters, daughter-in-laws and hopefully daughter-in-law to be one day.
So, in the spirit of my grandmother, I wanted to share her pound cake recipe. I hope you will try it. It does make a big and heavy cake, but it is well worth it and hopefully you will have better luck than I do sometimes with getting it out of the pan in one piece! My grandmother sometimes iced it with homemade chocolate icing but most of the time just served it plain.
Granny Opal’s pound cake
1 lb of butter (not margarine)
3 cups of sugar
3 cups of sifted plain flour
10 whole eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of lemon flavoring (optional)
Butter should be at room temperature. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar together. Sift the flour. Add eggs alternately with the flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Add vanilla and lemon flavoring (optional). Batter will be thick. Thoroughly grease and flour a tube pan (or Bundt) and pour batter into pan. Bake approximately 1 ½ hours at 325 degrees. Let cool and turn upside down on a plate or cake platter to release.