"The Social Network of the South"
I live in the land of peaches. Supposedly my county produced more peaches than the entire state of Georgia at one time, and it is the home of the famous Peach Festival. With that being the case, it was only fitting for me to bake a Fresh Peach Pound Cake for the Fourth of July. I remember seeing a recipe for a beautiful cake that I thought would be delicious, so I started looking for it. After spending quite a bit of time finding that it was not saved anywhere on my computer or in any of the blog posts I regularly read, I remembered that it was in that Southern magazine that I receive that always has the beautiful pictures and great recipes.
I pulled it out and started reading the ingredients. Peach schnapps! That would mean a trip to the liquor store. Now, being raised Southern Baptist, that is a hard thing for me to do. Since a friend was coming over later, I called and asked him if he minded stopping by and picking it up since it was on his way. “Of course,” he said, “I don’t mind stopping by the liquor store an hour before closing on the eve of Fourth of July.” Gotta love that man!
After a full day of outdoor work, I decided that I needed to get on down to the local Wally World to get all the other ingredients so that I would be ready first thing tomorrow to bake my wonderful cake. A pound of flour, a pound of butter, yada, yada. Since the evening was moving on, I grabbed a quick shower and headed out the door, my curly hair dripping wet. Upon arrival, a quick glance in the mirror told me that my still wet hair had decided that after 50something years it no longer wanted to be curly, but just frizzy. Oh well, maybe I wouldn’t see anyone I know…yeah, right! I went in and quickly grabbed everything I needed, and was out the door in record time. Note to self: If you go to Wallyworld looking like crap, you’ll not look anybody in the eye and get out in record time.
Now it is getting late in the evening and I’m tired from a busy day and tomorrow will be no different. I head to a local fast food, grab a sandwich, head home, and have one of those, “OH SNAP” moments. I forgot the PEACHES. Turn around and back to the local fruit stand. Now rumor has it that peaches are late this year and not as good. After squeezing a few (yes, you squeeze to make sure they are the right degree of ripe), I finally settle on a small container, put my money in the honor box (remember by now it is 9:00 p.m.), and make my way home with the peaches.
When I get home, I get all my ingredients out and look up in the cabinet for my pan. Where it is? I know that I recently gave Sweetest Daughter the wonderful $6 famous stoneware bunpp pan (yeah, I know but I get into copyright issues) that I got at the thrift store. No problem….I have an old one…somewhere and then there is always my mother’s angel food cake pan. None of them are to be found. So I grab the only thing available…a $3.00 pan that I picked up at some dollar store years ago with the peeling non-stick surface.
On Fourth of July morning, I arise before daylight to get my pan in the oven as it has to cook an hour and a half. I PEEL these small, hard peaches that sting my hands. I STACK the ingredients in the bowl just like the recipe says. Since I don’t have that expensive mixer that the recipe suggests, I use my mom’s old stand mixer and wish she was here cooking with me. Beautiful! It fits into my pan perfectly and into the oven it goes. While it bakes, I search out my wire rack as this one is going to be perfect. Every so often, I peak into the oven and it is beautiful…rising to just the right height and browning like it should. Finally the buzzer goes off, and I insert a straw from that little broom that I have hanging in my kitchen that was bought just for this purpose. It comes out clean as a whistle. I put it on the rack and set the time for ten minutes….just like the recipe says….wait a minute…it says “twenty” so when the buzzer sounds, I add ten more.
After a twenty minute wait and an aroma that is captivating, it moment of truth has almost arrived. I loosen the cake around the edges and turn it out onto my most beautiful cake stand. As the pan slips off and I view my cake….oh, no….where is the other half??? Still stuck in the pan!!! All that work and all that excitement and my cake is a mess. My friend suggests that I make a trifle, but no, we are going to EAT CAKE!!!
So on the Fourth of July, I sliced the good parts, dabbed it with whipped topping, sprinkled a few homegrown blueberries, and you know what? Everybody came back for seconds and everybody complimented me. At the end of the day, there was only a tiny wedge about big enough for my breakfast.
My family doesn’t care that if is not beautiful or will never be pictured in a magazine. They care that it tastes good, was baked with love and that I cared enough to do it for them. And you know what, next year for the Fourth of July, I’m DOING SOMETHING SIMPLE!!!