Grandma Ford's 7-up cake

Dear Friend,
Well it’s Friday my heavy duty cleaning day and hopefully the last day I’ll be cleaning out these kitchen cabinets. If I don’t get the kitchen done today then I’m gonna put the rest of this stuff in a box and get back to it next month. I have to keep telling myself, by the inch is a cinch by the yard is hard. I didn’t get in this mess over night and I won’t get out of it over night either.

I put spaghetti sauce in the crock pot this morning on low. I like to put stuff in the crock pot to cook while I clean so I have something to eat when I’m done with the days work. I’m not a fancy cook and find I’m more and more drawn to the cooking style of my mom and grandmothers. We’re all very southern and poor southern at that. Daddy always made the spaghetti and cookies in our house and mom did the fried chicken and corn bread. Most of our cooking was as needed and what was either in season or cheep. Being a navy family it was the latter most of the time.

You know I’ve never really been a good cook. I just had too much other stuff going on in my brain to worry about cooking. Yes even blondes have stuff going on in there heads. The joke in our family has always been that I make the prettiest food you’ve ever seen; just don’t try to eat it.

I made a lemon meringue pie one time. It was so pretty the peeks on the meringue were so high and the meringue perfectly brown. It was truly beautiful and when you cut into it the lemon filling was the most perfect color of yellow. It made your mouth water just to look at it. My family ranted and raved about how delicious it looked and no one could wait to eat it, but oh to eat it ………instead of sugar I had put cups and cups of salt. Yeap! You heard it salt. Everyone took a big bite at the same time and spit it out. To this day if I mention pie everyone runs in the other direction. I also hold the title of being the only person to have ever burnt water. So you see my cooking ability has never been that great. I’ve always been a bad cook. I call my cooking chunk and dump. I chunk it in the oven and dump it in the pan.

Last night I did the chunk and dump thing and made a 7-up cake from my grandmother Fords recipe. I did learn one thing though; never try a new recipe while listening to your mp3 player at one o’clock in the morning. I was concentrating on the recipe, listening to my mp3 player when DH taped me on the shoulder. I had a real Freddy Kruger moment, and jumped straight out of my skin. One minute I was standing in my kitchen having a real June Clever moment; the next moment I’m having to change my underwear. The smoke detector was going off and I never heard a thing. I guess I’ll put that on my list of things to do next month when I’m back in the kitchen. That list keeps getting longer and longer.

Here's the recipe for my Grandma Ford’s 7-up cake.

Grandma Ford’s 7-up cake

• 1 stick butter ( don’t get caught up in butter or margarine I use margarine)
• 1 cup Crisco ( take a large measuring cup fill it to the cup line with cool water and add Crisco one teaspoon at a time till the water level is at 2 cups)
• 5 eggs ( yeap I said 5 eggs)
• 21/2 cups of sugar. ( use the cheep store brand and don’t even take the salt out of the cupboard, mater of fact hide it till your done)
• 3 cups plain flour ( all purpose flour, I learned the hard way one time that my grandmother didn’t know that there were more than 2 types of flour)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( I have home made vanilla extract but you can use the imitation vanilla extract)
• 1 cup 7-up (I freaked out the first time I made this. I didn’t know how the cake was gonna rise. The 7-up makes the cake rise)
Before I start baking I always start my oven so it’ll be at the right temperature when I go to put the cake in. If I don’t I’ll be waiting for the oven to heat to the right temperature or I’ll start the oven at the same time I’m ready to put the cake in. That‘s caused more than one cake to come out a little crispy on the bottom. So I have to remind myself to………

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told you I’m a dump recipe type of person so I dump the sugar in a large bowl putting the cups of sugar in separate piles so you don’t loose track of how much you have put in. Also it makes it easier to see that you’re putting sugar in the bowl as apposed to salt. LOL !!!!! Dump in the butter and Crisco. Mix well with a hand mixer. After I’ve mixed the sugar combination together I start dumping the eggs in one at a time.

I take a separate bowl and dump the flour into a sifter and sift it one time. Once I’ve sifted the flour I dump the flour into the sugar mix and continue to mix with my hand mixer. After about half of the flour is in the sugar mix I dump the vanilla in the mixture. Last but not least I dump the 7-up in the mixture.
The first time I made this cake I freaked out when I put the 7-up in the batter and it fizzed up. Momma said that you can add a little bit of lemon juice to the cup of 7-up to make it more lemony. This cake is a bit heavier than most cakes and is more like a pound cake than birthday cake. I’m not really a birthday cake type of person so I always loved it.

I know everyone has there own opinion about what’s the best way to bake a cake and the best type of pan to use etc. Me I combed every yard sale looking for old pans like my grandmother had. She had a Bundt cake pan that was dark on the inside and very heavy. I looked at every yard sale and estate sale in town till I found one. Of course I wasn’t gonna pay more than .25 for it and I didn’t. I also know some people say that it’s better to grease the inside of the pan than it is to spray it with Pam or the likes.

If you spray the inside of the pan you won’t get as much of the crusty effect that I like in a Bundt cake or pound cake. That’s what made my grandmothers Bundt and pound cake so good; the slightly crusty outside. To keep it simple this time I sprayed the inside of the pan with Pam after all it was almost 1:00 am when I decided to make this cake. I dumped the cake mix in the Bundt pan and discovered that I had too much batter for my pan. So I got out a loaf pan and dumped the rest in it. Once the batter was poured in the pan I dropped it on the counter several times to level it out and stuck it in the oven.

Now baking a Bundt cake isn’t really an exact science. I kept an eye on it, in between dancing around the kitchen to old Elvis Presley tunes. I turned on the light and watched it rise and as soon as I thought it looked done I took a tooth pick and poked it down in the middle of the cake and pulled it out. If the toothpick comes out clean, no wet batter on the tooth pick, it’s done. I placed the cake upside down on my make shift cooling rack. (I punched holes in an aluminum pan bottom and turned it up side down) I let it cool there for a little while.
While the cakes were cooling I made a glaze to put on the cake.

Glaze for 7-up cake or any Bundt or pound cake

• 4 tablespoons of butter
• 2 cups of powdered sugar
• Dash of vanilla
• 1 teaspoon of 7-up
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Last night when I was making this glaze I melted the butter in a sauce pan on the stove. This morning I realized that I could have dumped the butter in a glass bowl and melted it in the microwave oven just as good. Oh well, hind sight is 20/20. Once I melted the butter I dumped the powdered sugar in and stirred it with a whisk. The fancy cook books say this is whipping. Then I dumped the dash of vanilla, 7-up and the lemon juice in with the powdered sugar mix. Momma says that you can make a plain glaze with milk instead of the 7-up and lemon juice. I continued to stir until the mix was smooth. It was kind of thin, and I was a bit worried that it was too thin. I continued on with it anyways. I took a teaspoon and poured it over top of the 2 cakes. I got kind of fancy and went back and forth like I’ve seen on some of those fancy TV cooking shows.

I was so proud of myself. DH got out of bed a couple more times. I think he thought I’d lost my mind. I was just restless and in the mood to do something domestic. I was also a little anxious to work in my newly organized kitchen. It’s neither perfect nor fancy, but it’s starting to come together.
Maybe once the weather breaks and I can open the windows; I’ll paint the kitchen cabinets. There goes that to do list again. It seems to be getting longer and longer.

For now I’m just a S.H.E. trying to FLY. Since the stroke I’ve had to re-learn so much and this is tangible proof that I can do it. By the inch is a cinch by the yard is hard.………….

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