This past week slowed down a bit by the time the weekend rolled around. My sister and I did a couple of things together, including having supper on Friday, with my niece and her husband. They had to leave early Saturday to return to their home in north Texas and we had a great visit. They had also invited my sister’s daughter and her husband; pizza was the order of the day and it was very good. My sister took fruit salad, her daughter brought a delicious chopped salad, and I took dessert. (Real simple, cake taken out of my freezer!).
Saturday was noodle making time at the Family Center of our church. Our ladies’ group, Catholic Daughters of the Americas is having their annual chicken fried steak fundraiser this coming weekend and we always have a “Country Store”, where we have baked goods, canned goods and homemade noodles. All the bags of noodles always sell quickly, if you are working there and want some, we all know to have them on hold until we can pick them up.
My sister and I with some help this year from others will be making the cole slaw, just as we have done for several years. It’s still hard for her to do some things, as she had neck surgery in November and has to wear her brace for another couple of weeks.
My personal biggest news is that I have a brand-new great-grandson! He was born early Saturday morning in Colorado, and when I spoke with my granddaughter, they had not yet named him!
This week will see me back on the road to Devine for bunco, I didn’t realize how much I missed bunco and seeing my friends until the pandemic hit us and now I think I enjoy it more than ever!
We have talked about baking cakes in the past but hopefully there are a few new readers who will enjoy this weeks column.
When is the last time, or have you ever baked a cake from scratch? When I was growing up, cake mixes didn’t exist. All cakes were baked from scratch. Cake mixes came out after WWII, with Betty Crocker bringing out a Chocolate Cake mix for the first time in 1947. The lady I talked with didn’t have any information as to whether they were the first to come out with a cake mix or not, but, I’d bet a nickel they were. Since I couldn’t find an 800 number for either Duncan Hines or Pillsbury, I couldn’t check any further.
A cake from scratch is not hard to make. It just takes a little longer than a box mix. My two favorite recipes were in my Betty Crocker Cook Book. There were two which Mother had also used and I learned to make them while I was still in school. The recipes in this book give you a choice of two ways to mix the cake, one by creaming the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy, and adding eggs, one at a time and mixing well, then adding the dry ingredients alternately with the milk; and the other by sifting the dry ingredients and then adding the shortening and eggs. Each page also has several variations of each cake, using the main recipe and then adding nuts or fruit to the batter.
The following two recipes are both from the Betty Crocker Cook Book, (ninth printing, first edition), which I received as a shower present before I married. The one is called Light Golden Cake and the other is called Rich Golden Cake, the main difference between them is the amount of eggs used.

Light Golden Cake
2¼ cups sifted Softasilk (cake flour)
1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
1½ teaspoons flavoring
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square cake pans or a 9×13 pan; set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients. Add shortening and a little over half of the milk and flavoring. Beat 2 minutes. Add remaining milk and eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured pans. Bake until cake tests done. Cool. Frost as desired.
Rich Golden Cake
2¼ cups sifted Softasilk (cake flour or 2 1/8 cups Gold Medal flour)
1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
1½ teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square pans or one 13×9 pan.
Sift together the dry ingredients, add shortening and a little over half of the milk and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Add remaining milk and the eggs; beat 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans; bake until cake tests done. Frost as desired.
Easy German Chocolate Cake
1 box German chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup water (scant)
1 carton sour cream (8-oz)
1 can coconut pecan frosting
Mix together cake mix, eggs and water, stir in sour cream. Pour into microwave safe tube pan. Drop frosting by spoons full into the batter. Microwave on High for 15 minutes rotating pan after first 9 minutes (unless you have a turntable). Cool about 3 to 5 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate.
German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake
1 box German Chocolate Cake mix
Eggs, oil, water to make cake
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 lb. powdered sugar
8-oz package cream cheese
1 stick butter
Lightly grease a 9×13 pan. Cut waxed paper to fit pan and grease paper also. Sprinkle pecans and coconut into pan. Mix cake according to directions on package; pour over coconut and pecans. With mixer, mix together powdered sugar, cream cheese and butter. Drop by spoonfuls over cake mix. Bake at 350ºF until cake is done. Cool in pan about 5 minutes, turn onto serving platter. Peel off the waxed paper. Serve either warm or cold.
The following recipe was displayed as part of our hospital décor for fall. I have made it several times, and everyone always enjoys it.
Delicious Apple Pie Cheesecake
2 medium to large Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced
(you may take steps to prevent the apples from darkening, but I do not feel it’s necessary) *
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 package (8-oz) cream cheese at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 prepared graham cracker crust (10-inch) **
1/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal (not instant)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Whisk 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese ¼ cup sugar together in a bowl until smooth, add egg and vanilla and mix until evenly combined.
Place apples in the graham cracker crust, sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over apples, sprinkle oatmeal over sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pour and spread cream cheese mixture overall. Bake in preheated oven until top is just beginning to brown, about 40 minutes. (If it seems to be browning too quickly, turn the heat down to 350ºF). Cool on wire rack for 1 to 2 hours, refrigerate until completely set, 3 to 4 hours. Also, if you rinse the apple slices with lemon juice/water or lemon-lime soda, be sure to drain them well before using. **I haven’t tried it, but I feel that a 9-inch crust would work just fine, because the apples settle a bit as they bake.