"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

I cook and bake a lot so be prepared for recipes to show up. This one is in honor of my dear great-aunt who will be 91 this week and is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease. When I eat this, I'm a kid again sitting at her kitchen table looking out the window at the wildlife that surrounds the home she and my late uncle lived in for many years. I'm writing it down exactly as she wrote it so I'll try to clear up any questions after the recipe.

Pumpkin Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsps soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups pumpkin
1 cup Crisco oil
4 eggs

Mix med 4 min
1.5 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup oleo or or one stick
1 small cream cheese
vanilla 1 tsp

Oven 350 cook about 30 min

Okay, the ingredients above the line are the cake and the ingredients below the line are the frosting.

The "sugar" is the granulated kind and the "flour" is all-purpose. For "Crisco oil" she means vegetable oil. (I usually use canola myself.) When she says "pumpkin" she means the plain canned pumpkin puree not the "pumpkin pie mix" you can buy these days. When she says "soda" she means baking soda. Anyway, place all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them at medium speed for four minutes then pour into a 9x13 baking dish ( you don't need to grease the pan) and bake in the oven on the middle rack for about 30 minutes. Test it with a toothpick and when the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.

"powder sugar"is powered sugar and "oleo" is margarine (I use butter.) "Vanilla" means vanilla extract.I can't remember seeing the 3 oz size "small cream cheese" that she is refering to lately and I normally just buy a 8oz brick and cut it half and save the rest for toast or something. I'm using 1 oz more than she does but, I like it that way. So for the frosting place your softened margarine or butter in a mixing bowl with the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and the vanilla extract and slowly beat that together till it's nice and creamy. WARNING: If you don't mix it slowly your mixer will scatter powdered sugar everywhere, or as my late grandmother would say, "From Hell to breakfast". Trust me you don't want that! *grins*

Let your cake cool and frost. Store uneaten portion in the refrigerator so it will keep better.

****edited to add**** I don't usually grease the cake pan as I don't remove it from the pan after baking. We've also gotten into the habit of scooping out cake with a big spoon and serving it in bowls. We tend to dirty up forks and knives pretty quickly in a normal day in the Hairball household. Because of this, we have adopted the bowl and spoon routine for most desserts that require utensils . If you plan to remove the cake from the pan then you will need to grease and flour your pan. Sorry for any confusion!