Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies by Frances B. Vick & Kenneth L. Untiedt

Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies by Frances B. Vick & Kenneth L. Untiedt

Author:Frances B. Vick & Kenneth L. Untiedt
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Published: 2015-12-14T16:00:00+00:00

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*Stephan L. Hatch, Texas Almanac, 2014–2015, Elizabeth Cruce Alvarez, editor (Austin: Texas State Historical Association), 115. Used with permission of Texas State Historical Association.

Jane Roberts Wood


by Jane Roberts Wood

Out beyond ideas

Of wrongdoing and right doing

There is a field.

I'll meet you there

Every family has a legendary saint. Our family's was always Mamie. I never knew her, but I knew all her saintly qualities: I knew that when her family left Penzance, England, she was a little girl and told to pack her baby doll along with its clothes in a shoe box. Mamie never married, but her acts of kindness and this recipe came down through four generations so that we felt as if we had known her. One of her greatest gifts was her jam cake recipe, a cake exalted above all others because it's so delicious and so time-consuming to make. It takes a morning to make it and an afternoon to clean up the kitchen. Here's the recipe:


Heat oven to 325. You will need three greased (with butter) and floured cake pans.

Hint: A while before making, set sweet butter out to soften.

Stir one to two teaspoons baking soda into ½ cup buttermilk. Set aside.

Cream together 1 cup sweet butter and two cups sugar.

Add four egg yolks, one at a time.

Measure three cups of sifted flour.

Add ¼ teaspoon salt to measured flour.

Alternating, mix buttermilk with soda and three cups of flour.

Add ½ cup of sweet wine, homemade if possible, although good sherry is fine.

Add one teaspoon each of allspice, cinnamon, and cloves.

Add one teaspoon vanilla.

Beat four egg whites and gently fold into batter, along with one cup chopped pecans.

Divide into 3 layers and bake in greased pans at about 325 for about 30–35 minutes.

Another hint: Don't cook the cake all the way. It will cook some after you take it from the oven.

Filling and Icing:

Use one cup of blackberry jam, with seeds, for the filling. [This is sometimes difficult to find but when I couldn't find the jam with seeds, Isabel Nathaniel found two jars and sent them to me.]

Spread the blackberry jam on the second and third layers.

In a saucepan, place:

3 cups of sugar

1 cup whole milk

Cook sugar and milk until a soft ball forms in cold water. Beat with a spoon for five minutes. Warning: Do not use an automatic beater. Add one lump butter and one teaspoon of vanilla.

If icing becomes too hard, add hot water.

Cover the cake with icing. [I never have enough icing so I just put it on top and let it sort of dribble down the sides. It looks more homey that way.]

This cake will remain fresh for a very long time.


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