Category Archives: food blog, recipes, dating, relationships, romance, love, women’s interests, food memoir

Banana Pecan Bread

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Banana Pecan Bread

In addition to its delectable taste, I love the aroma that wafts through my house when banana bread is in the oven—the smell is so homey and comforting. Sometimes I swap the nuts with a 6 ounce bag of chocolate chips; sometimes, I keep the nuts and add a hand full of chocolate chips…or peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips.

¾ cups (1-½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1-¼ cups fine granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
1-½ cups sifted, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup coarsely-chopped, toasted pecans (you can use walnuts, if that’s what you prefer)
Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf tin. Discard any excess flour. Set the pan aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter and granulated sugar. Beat the mixture until it is creamy and well incorporated. Beat in the large eggs, one at a time, vanilla extract, sour cream, and mashed bananas. Beat the mixture just until it is smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together, the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Fold in the toasted pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top of the batter with a small butter knife. Place the tin in the preheated 350-degree oven. Bake the banana bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until it is cooked through and golden brown. Do not overcook. Take the banana bread out of the oven. Let it rest in the loaf tin for about 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve each slice of bread with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

Makes one 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf of banana bread.

NOTE: Banana bread goes well with hot coffee, tea, or a glass of ice-cold milk. My aunt, Marjell, says banana bread tastes the best when the slices are cut slightly thick. She serves hers when we gather and have our womanly talks. She’s famous for saying, “All women need to talk, and be heard.”


The Base of Mama’s Cooking

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My mother used to tell me that the real success of a woman’s cooking, depended on her cooking techniques. She would tell me that if I wanted my food to shine, I needed to learn how to properly fry, boil, simmer, saute, bake, stir, mince, chop, grill, and reheat.

Most of my mother’s savory dishes—her meats, loaves, stews and soups, gumbos, sauces, and stuffings—stood on the foundation of her southern roots. Her meals had twists and turns, due mostly, to her love of collecting recipes, listening to recipe programs on the radio, and watching cooking shows on television, but underneath it all, she was a Southern cook, whose savory dishes were flavored with smoked meat, chopped onions, fresh garlic, celery, and bell peppers, first, and then seasoned with other things. Mama used to tell me that finely chopped onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper were the key seasoning bases that she relied on to bring her dishes out. Said all good dishes needed an amazing base, and that she couldn’t think of one tastier than that.

When I was learning how to cook, she would tell me that nothing brought out the richness and flavor in a savory dish, like chopped onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper—and that they need to be chopped very fine. Mama’s base seasoning ingredients were the same combination that she’d learned from her mother, who had learned them from her mother.

Since then, I have learned that the cooking women in my family weren’t the only woman to have their own special seasonings. In fact, all around the world, women have cooking secrets that they have inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. Around the world, women have grown up with their country’s cooking “trinities” that add richness and flavor to their dishes…for instance, Mexican women are known for seasoning their dishes with chili peppers, garlic, and onion, Italian women are famous for flavoring theirs with tomatoes, garlic, and basil, and Asian woman have their ginger, soy sauce, and garlic cooking secrets. All women, all cultures, are famous for a mix of vegetables that give their food its color, texture, and marvelous taste.

When you think about it, everybody has a favorite combination of herbs, spices, extracts, or vegetables that they commonly flavor their food with, including their desserts. Someone in the media is always asking me what my favorite dessert is. I used to give them the name of something, like pound cake, or blueberry cobbler, or cheesecake, whatever I seemed to have a passion for at the time. But the truth of the matter is that it’s nearly impossible for me to name a favorite dessert…there are so many. It’s hard for me to name a dessert recipe that I like above the others. I do know that I like desserts that are easy and versatile. I love desserts that taste delicious on weekdays, and just as delicious, after church service, on Sunday. Like my mother, I’m stuck on the southern seasonings that mimic my heritage—chopped onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper—in my savory dishes, but If I just had to name a trinity of seasoning that runs through most of my desserts, a seasoning trio that bodes well with most men, I’d have to say, sugar, pure vanilla extract, and butter. To tell you the truth, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like a little sugar, pure vanilla extract, and real butter in their sweets.


Spice Pound Cake

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My cousin, Michelle Thompson, is a wonderful cook. Like me, she keeps her television set stationed on one of the cooking shows—now that I think about it, we all do. The love of cooking and feeding must be a family trait, because most of us consider ourselves to be bona fide home-cook chefs. When we’re together, we gather over something homemade, and our conversations always turn to food…a new recipe, a new cooking technique, or a culinary memory that takes us back to our childhood…like a familiar stew, someone’s delicious meatloaf, or a delectable pie that we all loved. My cousins and I, especially like to sit in the kitchen with my Aunt Marjell, who is eighty-eight now, and the matriarch of our family. When she’s lost in her paring and chopping and stirring, and telling her charming, old-time stories, it’s easy to become mesmerized—to actually see and hear the people from those times and places, that framed her incredible life.

I could spend hours on the phone sharing recipes and talking about cooking methods with my cousin, Michelle. To me, there’s nothing better than having a friend who shares your passions, whether it’s power walking, stamp collecting, exchanging recipes, or cooking. My grandmother used to say, “Women sharpen women.” I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve looked at another woman and copied her hairstyle, or nail polish color, or dressing manner. When I was younger, I even tried to mimic the sauciness that I thought the other woman possessed. Even though my mother used to tell me, “You can be yourself, much better than you can be someone else,” women really do sharpen—influence—each other; even women who take our men.
This spice cake recipe comes from Michelle’s recipe files. The crumb on the cake is buttery, tender, and gently spiced. The cake is quite adaptable—it works as a delicious morning cake, and just as well, as a wonderful finish to any meal.

NOTE: The sour cream in Michelle’s cake recipe adds to the richness of the cake—it’s a cake that men love. My grandmother used to tell us that we couldn’t keep a man from running around, if he was fixed on, running around, but I am also convinced, that men love a well-kept house, and the spice and richness in this cake. And that a clean house and a succession of delicious home cooked meals, gives a wandering man something to think about.

For The Spice Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

For The Cream Cheese Glaze

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, or more or less, as needed for the consistency that you desire
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more or less, depending on your taste for sweetness
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube or Bundt pan. Tap out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
To make the spice cake, in a large bowl, beat together the unsalted butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until the ingredients are light and fluffy. Beat in the large eggs, one at a time, until they are incorporated into the mixture. Thoroughly mix in the vanilla extract. Do not overbeat.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. Mix well. Beat the flour mixture into the unsalted butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Start and end with the flour mixture. Beat just until all of the ingredients in the batter are well-combined. Softly spoon the spice cake batter, scraping down the sides, into the prepared cake pan. Tap the pan gently on the surface of your work station to release any air bubbles that might have formed. Smooth the top of the batter evenly with a butter knife.
Place the cake in the preheated 350 degree oven. Let it bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of it comes out clean. (Everybody’s oven is different; my cousin Michelle says she starts checking her cakes for doneness at about 65 minutes; she says, sometimes her cakes require an additional 5 minutes of baking time). When the cake is done, take it out of the oven. Let it cool in the cake pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cake to loosen and dislodge it. Invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely, before glazing it. Meanwhile, while the cake is cooling completely, make the glaze.
To make the cream cheese glaze, in a medium-sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese, unsalted melted butter, salt, and milk. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat in the pure vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and the drizzling consistency that you want.
Turn the cooled cake right-side-up. Carefully move the cake to a pretty serving platter. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the glaze over the cake. If you prefer, use a tiny cake brush to brush the glaze over the cake. Before serving, let the cake stand undisturbed for about 30 minutes, or until the glaze sets.

Makes 1 10-inch sized tube or Bundt pan glazed spice cake


Aunt Zaida’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I was a child, once a year I would travel with my parents to Paris, Tennessee, where my father was born. At least two or three times during our stay, my father’s diminutive aunt, Zaida, would invite us out to her sprawling farmhouse. There we would enjoy one of her memorable country meals; cranberry-glazed ham, skillet-fried corn, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and her famously-good oatmeal cookies, are some of the dishes I remember the most.

Aunt Zaida served all of her meals—including her weekday meals—on beautiful pieces of China and porcelain. She was a wonderful cook, but knowing what I now know about the influence that a proper presentation has on an eating experience, I’m sure Aunt Zaida’s fine China and porcelain place settings enhanced the flavor of her food. And lifted her husband’s mood. I once heard her say, “Don’t save all of your best—whether it be smiles or compliments—for company and strangers. Put some of that consideration to the side, and give it to your husband.”

Uncle Wallace, a tall and heavily-built man, was Aunt Zaida‘s husband. Uncle Wallace was so powerfully made, he resembled Paul Bunyan when he walked through the screen door after she’d called him in to supper. In contrast with Aunt Zaida‘s delicate table settings, big and tall Uncle Wallace looked out of place sitting at the table. His hands and arms were large and muscular; I knew it was just a matter of time before he knocked something over, the way you’d expect a bull in a China shop to do. But it never happened. He accepted and passed the delicate dishes around the table with the grace of a ballerina. My mother used to tell me, “All men have a soft spot. Sometimes you have to help them find it.”

I guess, serving him his meals—even his weekday meals—on fine China, was Aunt Zaida’s way of helping Uncle Wallace find his.

My friend, Harris, isn’t as big and brawny as Uncle Wallace was. But he’s not a prissy little guy either. Like any manly man, at times he can be a little rough around the edges. When I want to tap into his soft side, now and then I’ll ask him to hold something sweet and ladylike of mine…a little evening bag, a pair of soft leather gloves, or a flimsy apron, while I wash my hands at the sink. Or I’ll serve him something on one of my pretty dishes. It’s one of those intimate little maneuvers that I do to remind him that I’m not one of the fellas he occasionally whoops around with; I am a woman.

Aunt Zaida’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The toasted oats in Aunt Zaida‘s recipe give the cookies a nutty flavor that men like. If they didn’t, why would Harris tell me the other day, “The next time you make your Aunt Zaida’s cookies, I hope you’ll make a bigger batch.”

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Spread the oats on a baking tin. Toast in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden; Take the oats out of the oven and set them aside to cool.
To bake the cookies, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream the butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract, beating well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; add to the creamed mixture, blending well. Stir in the toasted oats and the raisins. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough, about 2 to
2-½ inches apart, onto ungreased baking tins. Flatten the tops with the bottom-side of a water glass. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies; 10 to 11 minutes for a crunchier cookie. Do not over-bake. Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on the cookie tins for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: If you make Aunt Zaida’s cookies for your husband or your boyfriend, of course you can let him serve himself from the cookie jar, but if you’re looking for a subtle way to create a little kitchen-table closeness, I’d serve his portion on one of my sexiest little saucers, if I were you.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


Miss Lillian’s Bowl Of Corn Flakes

Miss Lillian was a neighbor to my grandmother. Listening to the stories that
My My—that’s what we called my grandmother—told, it was easy to imagine that Miss Lillian had studied her wife-artistry at some old-world school of housewifery etiquette. Even back in the sixties when I was growing up, her way of tending to her husband’s needs, made other good wives say she was an old-style wife—what her husband Logan said, went, and what he needed, Miss Lillian provided. They say, she was so aware of Mr. Logan’s needs, she could feel them coming on way before he could; say, she would hand him his back scratcher or his plastic toothpick or a fresh handkerchief, minutes before he himself actually felt a need to request those things. When Logan came in—around three in the morning—from his General Motor’s job, Miss Lillian would rise and pour him a bowl of cereal flakes.

One Saturday afternoon, Miss Lillian sat on my grandmother’s porch and casually mentioned that she had to mosey on to the grocery store to buy a box of corn flakes, and then, to the drugstore to pick up a bottle of peppermint oil. “What cha makin’ that’s callin’ for oil and flakes?” My My asked. She was always looking out for a new recipe to add to her files.

“Oh, no, Sister Thompson, it ain’t for no recipe that I need these things. I clip Logan’s toenails and rub his feet with peppermint oil every Sunday morning before we get dressed for church. I’m runnin’ low on foot oil and corn flakes; You know how Logan expects me to set him out a bowl of flakes every morning.”

Though they were friends, the extent that Miss Lillian was willing to go to fulfill her wifely duties grated on my grandmother’s nerves. My My used to say, “If a man loves you, he won’t let you do all of the work to keep him.” Truth told, My My was on the spoiled side. While she would indulge my grandfather, Pop, with little niceties, like a Sunday-like supper on a weeknight or a surprise platter of his favorite gingersnap cookies, she was not the kind of woman who would clip a man’s toenails, or oil his feet, or get out of bed in the middle of the night and break her sleep, just to fix him a bowl of cereal. “You have to draw the line somewhere,” she used to say. “Cause some men’ll work the sap out of you if you don’t.”

My mother, who was wise in the ways of womanhood, once told me, “there’s nothing wrong with a woman babying her husband. Especially, if he’s a good man—hardworking and sweet.” Concerning Miss Lillian, Mama said, “I see nothing wrong with getting up in the middle of the night to fix your husband a bowl of flakes when he comes in from work…but I’d draw the line when it comes to clipping his toenails and oiling his feet.”

She did say however, that it was up to every woman to set her own standard of wifely familiarity—and wifely leniencies and pleasures. Said, where she wouldn’t clip her husband’s toes and oil his feet, said it was perfectly plausible if another wife saw where it was fit.

On that, I agreed with Mama. Where one woman “won’t” another one “will”.

A few months before I got married, I started putting together a little journal of man-pleasing recipes and womanish niceties that would make ‘coming home to me’ a nice experience for my husband. Miss Lillian and Mr. Logan came to mind immediately; as I recalled from childhood, Mr. Logan appeared to be a happy husband who was always doing something in and out of their home to make it more pleasant for Miss Lillian. With that in mind, I promptly called Miss Lillian and asked if there was anything that she’d done to Mr. Logan’s bowls of corn flakes to make them special. She said, “No sugah; it was never about the contents in the bowl that pleased him, he could’ve poured his own cereal; it was the fact that when he came home, there was somebody, warm and welcoming, waiting in the kitchen to greet him.”

Miss Lillian’s Corn Flakes

1 Large bowl, deep enough to hold the cereal and the milk—choose one that you suspect
will feel good to a man’s sense of touch.
1 box of cereal flakes (or any dried cereal)—I prefer Kelloggs’ Brand
Milk or cream (Use whole milk or 2%)
1 large spoon
Fruit (optional)
Brown Sugar (optional)
Maple Syrup (optional)

Place the bowl on the table or the countertop. Fill it half-full of cereal. For variety, you can combine two or more cereals. Pour enough milk or cream over the cereal to suit your taste. Garnish with freshly cut fruits like bananas, strawberries, peach slices, kiwi, pineapple slices, or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream .

For hot cereal, add a sprinkle of brown sugar, a drop or two of maple syrup, crushed pineapple, or dried fruits to add flavor and interest. Serve alone, or with a slice or two of bacon, or a couple of links of sausage .

Makes 1 bowl of cereal


A MAN’S HOLIDAY

When I was a little girl, about three or four, there was an old couple in the old neighborhood, named George and Roberta Hayes. Looking back, I imagine they were in their late sixties. Roberta was short and skinny; George was short and fat. Roberta had short thin hair; George was bald. Miss Roberta was soft-spoken and gingerly, while George, who looked as though he’d been born with the fat cigar that was always clenched between his teeth, was loud and energetic. In the summertime, he would sit on his porch with his portable radio blasting ball games or wrestling matches. From across the street, we could hear him yelling obscenities at the radio when the team or fighter he was rooting for fumbled a ball or took a hit.

Sometimes, after Daddy had gone to work, and George was at the skating rink (some years back, our local newspaper actually featured a story—with photos—of George ice skating in the park—I think he was ninety at the time) my mother and I would go across the street and sit with Miss Roberta. Mama was a young woman at the time, still learning how to be a wife; Miss Roberta, who was full of wise wife stories and managed boisterous George like a charm, was Mama’s inspiration. Mama could sit at Miss Roberta’s kitchen table for hours, exchanging recipes and gathering husband-management advice.

While our visits were enlightening and uplifting for my mother, they were miserable for a little girl my age. Miss Roberta was one of those women who always had something sweet and delicious-looking sitting out. Everywhere I looked, there was something tempting—a caramel pound cake, a peach cobbler, a pan of cinnamon rolls—cooling on the counter. Problem was, none of the treats could be disturbed because, according to Miss Roberta, “That’s for George‘s sweet tooth.” A few times, I was so overwhelmed while in the presence of such good-looking food, and not being able to taste even a crumb of it, I actually slid out of my chair and cried. I didn’t understand how Miss Roberta could be so merciless as to seat a little girl in a kitchen surrounded by tantalizing candied jewels, then claim they were for George’s sweet tooth; what about my sweet tooth?

To be fair, I did get a chance to sample some of Miss Roberta’s goodies from time to time. George, who was an avid sports man, would invite Daddy and a few of the other neighborhood men over for Super Bowl Sunday or The World Series or some other major televised sporting event, and when the event was over, Miss Roberta would send Daddy home with a covered plate. Miss Roberta went all out for George’s parties—replete with dishes like southern fried chicken wings, curried meatballs, baked ham, macaroni and cheese, and two or three desserts, like chocolate sheet cake, orange sugar cookies, and cherry cheese pie. Miss Roberta once told Mama, “If you want a man to honor your holidays—anniversaries, your birthday, Valentine’s Day—you have to honor his.”

This year on Super Bowl Sunday, I thought about what Miss Roberta said. And how most men actually see that day as a special day…a “holiday” if you will. I called all of the men in my life—my cousins, my uncles, and my platonic men friends—around town and out of state—and simply said, “I called to wish you a happy Super Bowl Day” I talked to each one for just a minute, asked what he had planned, and so forth. You should have heard their reactions to my acknowledgment of their special day. Every man I called, seemed touched; each one immediately started rattling off his menu and guest list.

At the last minute, my friend Harris (I’m not quite ready to call him “my boyfriend” just yet) who is a devoted football fan, asked if he could watch the game at my house. That surprised me; during our first phone conversation he informed me that football Sundays, “are my days with the fellows.” He said it with authority, as though someone from his past had had a problem with letting him go for an entire day. I just looked at the phone and smiled. “That’s wonderful,” I said. “Everybody needs a personal day.” [I’m an old cat, kitten. Don’t play that game with me;)].

Of course I gave him permission to come by. After that, I quickly threw together a little something…southern fried chicken wings, herbed potato wedges, buttered corn on the cob, and cherry cheese pie. I just wanted to add a little of my touch to his special occasion. Harris carried on like a fool over that simple little fare. Mama once told me, “You don’t have to cook gourmet to leave a good taste in a man’s mouth.”

Harris especially liked my cherry cheese pie. He kept saying, “Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts.” Of course I didn’t tell him that it took me all of twenty minutes (or less) to mix it up, or that it wasn’t baked in the oven. There are some things that a man doesn‘t need to know.

Cherry Cheese Pie

1 (9 ounce) ready-made graham cracker pie crust
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) container frozen cool whip, thawed
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set on medium-high, carefully blend the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the thawed cool whip. Again, gently blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour into the ready made pie crust. Use a butter knife to smooth out the top of the pie. Spread the cherry pie filling on top of the pie. Place the pie in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours. Note: Depending on the tartness of the cherries, I often add extra sugar—about a teaspoon at a time—to the pie filling to achieve the sweetness that I want.


BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH

In mythology, Midas, was the king of Pessinus, which was the capitol of Phrygia. Phrygia was a small, wealthy country, located in the eastern part of what is now known as Turkey. According to lore, King Midas was a very kind ruler, who doted on his beloved rose garden. Early every morning, no sooner than he’d listened to (and granted) the requests of his loyal subjects, the good king strolled out to his garden where he stayed for hours, feeding his roses, and speaking words of love to them. One morning, while King Midas was taking his daily morning walk through his prized garden, he and members of his court stumbled upon a drunken satyr named, Silenus. You can imagine how upsetting the sight of a drunken satyr— slobbing at the mouth, talking crazy, and sprawled out on top of your beautiful plants, crushing the life out of them—would be. Silenus, half-goat, half-man, was immediately hauled inside, and at the foot of the royal thrown, he began an attempt to charm his captors with a series of mesmerizing, and woeful tales, designed to save his life.

Of course, King Midas could have had Silenus’ head if he’d wanted it, but the king took pity on the drunkard and let him go without punishment. Sometimes, you just see people and their situations as, “if it wasn’t for the grace of God, that could be me.”

Legend has it, that from above, Dionysus, the god of the forces of life, had watched the whole event as it was taking place. And he was pleased with the kindness that King Midas had shown the old drunk. As a reward, Dionysus offered King Midas, one wish. Told him, “you can have any wish in the world, and I will command it.”

Well, King Midas didn’t think the thing out. He just blurted out, “I wish that whatever I touch turns to gold.” Unfortunately, that was the king’s undoing. Cause, he got exactly what he wished for: everything he touched—his wife, his children, his food, and his beloved roses, everything that he touched—turned a solid gold.

In the story, King Midas found redemption. He begged Dionysus to nullify the wish, and that’s exactly what the good god did; he took away King Midas’ golden touch. Too bad “life” doesn’t always give us a second chance to give back the things we ask for. We see the green grass on the other side of the fence, so we wish we were over there; we see a woman wearing designer clothes, so we wish we had her money; we see a pretty model on the cover of a magazine, so we wish we had her face; we see a fine man driving in a
nice car, so we wish we could be sitting beside him. Things aren’t always what they seem to be, spices. My mother once told me, “You may wish for a handsome husband, but do you really need one?”

Think, before you make a wish. You might get it…and everything that comes with it.

Speaking of gold, my cousin, Dee Dee, gave me the recipe for this extravagantly rich and moist golden pound cake a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve made it several times. It might not be good to the waistline, but it sure is kind to the mouth.

Golden Pound Cake:

1-½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup 7-Up

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a Bundt pan. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and blend until the mixture is creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, the vanilla extract, and the lemon extract. Mix until the ingredients are well-blended. There shouldn’t be any white streaks in the batter. Add 1 cup of the flour, and beat the batter until just combined. Add 1/3 of the 7-Up and beat the batter until just combined. Repeat this step, until the flour and 7-Up are incorporated into the batter. Pour the batter into the greased Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out
clean. Take the pan out of the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto an attractive cake plate.