Food and family have a way of going together. When added together they equal fun for my clan. Holidays, birthdays, new babies we have yet to see, or visits from our beloved out of town members are all valid reasons to have one. Actually no reason other than we haven’t seen each other in a while is necessary.
Everyone brings a favorite or specialty dish. Sometimes even more than one thing is carried in while folks try to guess what it is. Followed by yums and ooohs, the side or dessert is carried to the kitchen or designated area. The hosts normally provide the meat, breads, and drinks (coffee, iced tea and lemonade) while the rest of us fill in the other places. It is so much fun and food! Our family is blessed.
We always begin by counting off in a circle holding hands. After grace is said by Dad before he says “amen” we go around the circle again squeezing the person’s hand to our right. When it gets back to Dad, he says “and all God’s children said…” That’s when everyone joins in together with a big hearty Amen! After that the little kids jump and clap like something spectacular has happened. Actually it has.
Our family has managed to still lovingly get together long after my grandparents went to Heaven. They built a strong Christian foundation for their family. My cousins are as close as siblings. I know I can count on them for anything and vice versa. Their children are like nieces and nephews to me and are dearly loved. I pray for each one of them daily.
I am writing this nostalgic post today because I miss my Aunt Kathleen. She was my Mother’s older sister. At birthday gatherings and Christmas, Aunt Kathleen she would bring her famous Red Velvet cake to our family gatherings. It was legendary. The recipe is below, but as I wrote in my cookbook, “this is often made but never duplicated.” No one could make it quite like she did. Today I could use a piece of that cake and a cup of tea with her. We talked often, and I could use her ear today. I know she’s waiting in Heaven so we can catch up there later.
I hope you treasure your family as much as I do mine. Cherish the days you have with them. Make memories that will be happy stories to tell your children. Thank God for the family He has given you. Each person was especially placed there for you.
Aunt Kathleen’s Red Velvet Cake
|Ingredients:||½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. sugar
2 oz. red food coloring
1 T. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
2 ¼ c. flour
1 T. vinegar
1 tsp. soda
|Directions:||For Cake: Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, make a paste with food coloring and cocoa. Put into creamed mixture. Add salt, flour, buttermilk and vanilla alternately. Do not beat hard. Just blend. Lastly, add in soda with vinegar mixed in.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes in two 8 inch pans. Let cool and then split each layer into 2, making 4 layers in all.
¼ c. flour , ¼ tsp. salt, 1 c. milk, 1 c. Crisco, 1 c. sugar, 1tsp. vanilla
In the top of a double boiler, combine flour and salt. Blend a little milk into it before adding remaining milk. Cook over double boiler until thick, stirring constantly. Cool well.
Cream Crisco and sugar until fluffy. Add cooled flour mixture. Mix well. Add vanilla. Spread evenly between layer, on sides, and top of cake. May add coconut if desired.