Aunt Sue’s Butternut Pound Cake, Pecan Pie and Caramel Corn
This week I am continuing my series of my dad’s sisters, who were fabulous cooks. My aunt Sue Lankford and her husband Earl Lankford lived in Attalla for many years, and she was known for her fabulous cakes. I have never seen anyone who could make a fruit ring for a punch bowl like my Aunt Sue. In fact, I spent a morning with her trying to learn how she mastered it. She was such a fancy cook and she would make little baskets with handles out of pastry. After baking them, she would fill them with the best homemade chicken salad that you have ever eaten. She would then place them on silver trays and serve them at wedding receptions and teas. On a beautifully decorated table, her silver punch bowl would have that gorgeous fruit ring surrounded by the sweetest and best punch that you have ever had. I wish I had been old enough to work and learn from her. I feel so honored to have a lot of her favorite recipes.
My dad’s other two sisters were Hazel Stevenson, who owned and operated Child’s Art Studio. The other sister was the best nurse in Etowah County, Julia Whittington. My Aunt Julia could give you a shot and you never knew that you had been given one. All of dad’s sisters worked hard and used their talents wisely.
Aunt Sue’s Butternut Pound Cake
1 cup Crisco shortening
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 box powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
For cake, cream sugar and Crisco at high speed for five minutes. Add eggs and beat well. Add one cup flour and beat at medium speed for one minute. Add remaining flour and milk a little at a time. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 325 degrees for one hour.
For icing, mix ingredients and frost cake.
Andy’s Note: This cake is so good and so pretty. Even though this butternut flavoring is difficult to find, it is well worth the hunt. My aunt made this cake a lot and the color of the butternut flavoring just makes this cake look so pretty.
Aunt Sue’s Pecan Pie
2 egg whites, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped pecans
Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in the sugar and baking powder. Stir in the crumbs and pecans. Pour into a greased pie plate and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve topped with whip cream.
Andy’s Note: This pie is real different but so easy. Be sure and top with real sweetened whipping cream. This is an old recipe.
Aunt Sue’s Caramel Corn
8 quarts of popped corn
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix brown sugar, margarine and Karo syrup. Boil for five minutes and add salt, soda and vanilla. Pour over popped corn and then pour out on a cookie sheet. Bake one hour at 200 degrees. Break in small pieces and lay on wax paper. Store in tight container.
Andy’s Note: When I make this, I always buy my popped corn already popped. They sell huge bags at Walmart, usually close to the Subway. This is also easy and good.
Family recipes will be continued next week.
“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.