Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Dorcas Annette Walker
Here is another recipe from scratch, which reminds me of the story about a newlywed, who asked the storekeeper where he kept the “scratch” because that’s what her husband said his mother made everything from. This Oatmeal Cake recipe is as old as the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I got this recipe from a young hill mother. We were from opposite ways of life, but became close friends. Mae had a daughter close to the same time as mine, but instead of a ruffled bassinet her baby bed was a plastic wash basket on the floor beside their bed. Her husband, Wade, came from a family of sixteen- it took a five gallon bucket of potatoes every meal. When we met them they already had eight children. With my first child I hemorrhaged, had to spend time in the hospital, was given blood, went down to ninety pounds, and it took me a full year to recover while Mae had babies every other year like she was fixing up a pan of cornbread.
Wade and Mae moved from a two-bedroom trailer to a small house perched on the side of a hill with rickety narrow wooden planks over a stream halfway to their house that I was scared to drive across. One morning partway across the “bridge” to get Mae to take her to the store carrying my nine-month-old daughter and a large diaper bag, I looked down to see a snake stretched out right under my feet. I screamed, took one flying leap, and ran the rest of the way up the hill not stopping until I reached the front porch where I collapsed. The kids were quite enthralled and spent the morning trying to find the snake while I endeavored to get my shattered nerves under control. We never did make it to the store that day.
After moving they bought a jersey cow for milk. One day Wade called. The cow had eaten some kind of weed and the vet said that it would probably go dry. Nothing daunted, my husband prayed over the cow reminding the Lord how much Wade and Mae needed milk for all their young’uns and how they shared their milk with us. The Lord answered prayer and instead of going dry the cow doubled its output to four gallons a day. Despite abject poverty the cow and young’uns thrived and the last we heard several years after moving from the area was that Wade and Mae’s children numbered eleven.
This Oatmeal Cake is a filling dessert ideal as a snack with a hot beverage. I added applesauce to the original recipe and you could add raisins as well. The cooked frosting sets this plain cake off. Preparation time for the Oatmeal Cake is forty-five minutes (not counting baking time) and this recipe serves twelve.
In a large bowl mix together, cover, and le set for twenty minutes: 1¼ c boiling water and 1 c quick oatmeal.
1 c br sugar
1 c sugar
1 c applesauce
½ c shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir in and beat thoroughly:
2 c self-rising flour
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes.
1 c br sugar
1 stick margarine
1 c cocoanut
3 tb milk
½ c chopped pecans
Bring to a rolling boil in a small saucepan, let simmer for ten minutes, and then spread over the warm cake!
Weekly tip: When needing to measure shortening or thick liquids, first spray the measuring cup with a cooking spray, measure the ingredient, and then pour out!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.webs.com