Today is a big birthday for me – AARP is after me now! I’m okay with this, but wanted the day kept low key. My girls insisted on making me one of my favorite cakes – from scratch! – one which I have not made in ages. And that reminds me of the importance of passing on favorite recipes.
It’s easy to assume our parents and grandparents will be around forever to cook our favorite foods, and how many people write to the newspapers or cooking magazines asking if others know a recipe like their dear mom used to make. My mom was a good cook in her day, before dementia stole her abilities. As kids my sister and I drooled over her meaty enchiladas, golden sweet potato tempura, wontons like you’ve never had in any restaurant, her angel food cake concoctions. My mom-in-law makes such hearty, lip-smacking, southern-style meals that people hire her to cater their special events. My step-mom, too, can lay a spread for a crowd like nobody’s business, including her yum dilly potato salad. For my own little family, I am waiting for the day my husband goes off his seemingly perpetual diet and the kids grow up enough to be less picky. Meanwhile, I have collected my favorite mom recipes for that someday time.
Heaven forbid we lose our favorite mom recipes. And imagine how treasured they would be if in Mom’s own handwriting! It’s a good idea to watch your favorite food being made so you’ve had some experience with it and can ask questions, because you know there can be finer nuances accompanying a written recipe. I’m so glad my mom taught me how to fold those wontons, I’m so glad my mom-in-law showed me how to make the dumplings just right in chicken and dumplings. And what better way to make memories and bond with someone than by cooking together!
Angel Apricot Nectar Cake
One angel food cake, baked from mix
1qt 14oz can apricot nectar
2 c sugar
½ c cornstarch
Large tub whipped cream (Cool Whip)
Tear up cake into medium size chunks, place in bottom of 13”x9” cake pan. In large bowl stir together sugar and cornstarch, add 1 cup nectar and mix well. Pour remaining nectar into a medium size saucepan and simmer until thick. Pour over the cake pieces. Cool, then cover with whipped cream and refrigerate. Beautiful when made into a trifle in glass bowl(s).