Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lois's Chocolate Pound Cake

Lois Walker Blalock
and her Handwritten Recipe for
Chocolate Pound Cake

The handwritten recipe above and picture of Lois
is part of a small 3-ring binder cookbook prepared and given to some of the family members for a special occasion quite some time ago. This one belongs to my daughter, Gail, who married Lois's grandson, 23-years ago. She treasures the book.
Sometimes I have a perfectly beautiful chocolate pound cake; other times it is as though the oven gremlins are laughing at me behind their oven mitts and aprons as my cake sticks to the bottom of the pan or fails to cook evenly. Recently, as I've gotten used to my new oven, I've had more good luck than bad. Lois's Chocolate Pound Cake is a favorite of the Blalock and Shubert family and has always been one of my go-to recipes when called upon to bring a dessert to any kind of a gathering, even when living back in my home state of Texas.
There are many variations of pound cake found in the New Sharon United Methodist Church Cookbook, Hillsborough, North Carolina. Lois has several recipes found within the pages of her beloved church's cookbooks, but somehow this one slipped through and fell on the editing floor. 


I gather all of the ingredients together, allow the eggs and butter to come to room temperature before I begin to mix the cake.

Turn the oven on to preheat. I find every oven is different. Lois's recipe calls for a 325-degree oven, but I set mine on 350-degrees or it will not get done! Adjust your baking time accordingly. She bakes hers at 325-degrees for 80 minutes; I bake mine at 350-degrees for 85 minutes. Generously grease and lightly flour the tube pan and after the eggs and butter are at room temperature I am ready to prepare the other ingredients. I am giving you her version of the recipe here. I sift and then measure the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and set aside. I pour the milk into a large cup and set aside. 

 Lois's Chocolate Pound Cake

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs or 6 small
3 cups flour (straight)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 T. cocoa (rounded)
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

Cream together butter and shortening. Add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to cream mixture. Bake in 10-inch tube pan at 325-degrees for 80 minutes.

TIP: Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Also run a butter knife around the edges between the cake and the pan to loosen before turning out onto the rack. There won't be much left if you take it to a pot-luck supper. Certainly not this much!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Unfenced Nature

"No yard! but unfenced Nature reaching up to your very sills. A young forest growing up under your windows, and wild sumachs and blackberry vines breaking through into your cellar; sturdy pitch pines rubbing and creaking against the shingles for want of room, their roots reaching quite under the house. Instead of a scuttle or a blind blown off in the gale,—a pine tree snapped off or torn up by the roots behind your house for fuel. Instead of no path to the front-yard gate in the Great Snow,—no gate—no front-yard,—and no path to the civilized world."
by Henry David Thoreau 
(1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854),
in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 142, Houghton Mifflin (1906).

SOURCES:No_yard_but_unfenced_Nature_reaching_up_to. Columbia World of Quotations. Columbia University Press, 1996. (accessed: November 08, 2014).
PHOTOGRAPHS:All photographs taken by and belonging to Judith Richards Shubert 6 November 2014; digital format used.
Copyright 2014: Judith Richards Shubert



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When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

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