Happy New Year and welcome to 2013!
The holidays always include plenty of sharing and spending extra time with family and friends at the farm.
For Christmas Eve, in addition to our midnight mass tradition, we decided to do a joint late supper down the road with our family farm friends The Scamerhorns.
Since we observe not eating meat on Christmas Eve, Joann Scamerhorn made a pot of her homemade clam chowder and we brought a brimming pot of savory oyster stew made with our recipe from Aunt Patty, my mom's twin sister.
And we had an extra special surprise for Joann.
While in Florida last month near Sarasota to visit dad's sisters Aunt Lottie, 89, and Aunt Loretta, 85, Aunt Lottie gave us a start from Grandma Potempa's original aloe vera plant for my dad to replant for Joann. The original aloe vera plant, with its extra broad, spiked dark green fronds, is more than 50 years old.
And in exchange, Joann shared a special gift with us.
For dessert after supper, in addition to serving the tray of Spritz Butter Christmas Cookies my mom baked, Joann also served her classic Thrifty Pound Cake recipe from her own mom's file. I spotted the original yellowed and tattered recipe card near the window over the kitchen sink.
Like our family's aloe vera plant, this pound cake recipe is also more than five decades old. And if desired, flecks of chopped maraschino cherries can be included in the cake batter to create a confetti effect to add a splash of color to each slice.
Joann's mom, who we called Granny Wojdula, loved to bake. The start of the new year always reminds our family of Granny's cooking, baking and canning, since she passed away at age 80 on Jan. 1, 1999.
With her recipe being featured today, Granny's memory, along with her wonderful recipe, continues to live on with Times readers for many future generations to enjoy.
Thrifty Poundcake with Confetti Flecks
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (no substitution)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Powdered sugar (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green maraschino cherries
1/4 cup chopped red maraschino cherries (don't use candied cherries)
DIRECTIONS: Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. If opting to use cherries in the batter to create confetti effect, reserve 2 tablespoons of this flour mixture to set aside for later. Cream butter with sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Add the sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately in small amounts, beating well after each addition, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Drain the chopped cherries on a paper towel. Mix the reserved 2 tablespoons of the dry ingredients with the cherries in order to avoid fruit from sinking to the bottom of the pan. Fold the prepared cherries into the batter. Pour batter into greased-and-floured tube pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake for 10 minutes in pan; remove from and cool completely on a wire rack. Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 10 slices.