There’s a hole in this cake

3 Mar

(Title selected from a great moment in the film: My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

When Phillip and I began to unpack some of his mom’s things during our first months of marriage, I discovered that our kitchen would now house two identical yellow antique bundt cake pans.  They are the ones with ridges that look like sandcastle molds you take to the beach.  One was Lynda’s in which she and Phillip used to bake their “death by chocolate” cake.  The other belonged to my great grandmother, Annie Lee.

yellowbundtAs a child, I only saw one cake pan with a hole in the center on a regular basis.  It was mom’s stainless steel angel food cake one.  When that pan was on the counter or in the oven, I knew that the light, melt-in-your-mouth dessert with strawberries on top was in my near future.  She often made it for Sunday afternoon dinners.

But, my Granny, Annie Lee, used to make “apple dapple cake” in her yellow pan.  It was much heavier than angel food cake, much richer, and much higher in demand on weekends – especially when it came to bridge meetings in Arab.

She often baked two or three of those cakes a week for bridge, and according to Grandy, undersold them to women who didn’t know how to cook.  “At $12 to $15 a piece, I wouldn’t stand up and make ‘em for that,” Grandy (the family entrepreneur) told her mom.  The recipe called for pecans, which still grow and fall in Annie Lee’s back yard off Guntersville (colloquially pronounced /gunnerz-vul/) Highway, but the flour and apples, that had to be peeled and chopped by hand, were additional costs, of course.  So, as most customers complain at some point, one buyer told Annie Lee that $12 was “too much.”

My Granny clapped back, “Well, you can make it yourself.”

Now that we have moved to Austin, only one of the two yellow pans has come with us; the other is still in storage in our Atlanta basement, and I’m no longer sure whose is whose.  But because of that, now every time I reach for it, I think of all these women and all the cakes that have been enjoyed.

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One Response to “There’s a hole in this cake”

  1. Sharon March 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Loved the story, more please:)

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