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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family Recipes

Dear Mom,

My trusty RFM Cookbook is already coming in handy this winter! Adam's version of Judy Gregory's apple cake was a hit at Quincyfest -- on Facebook and in real life -- so I've posted the much-requested recipe below.

As you know, the cookbook was published around 1990, and it was practically the cooking bible when we first moved to Highland Avenue. Leigh Ann and I couldn't drive, and Ranie would often come down to help us make supper. We'd have to make do with whatever we had on hand in the pantry. So, we discovered a lot of new recipes! Somebody's cheesy rice with mushrooms and somebody's honey curry chicken are two that come to mind.

Va actually took your cookbook, since it's now out of print. I guess they are a hot commodity! I'm glad you got us each one when they were reprinted a few years back. I offered to swap out my clean one for Va, as Ranie and I had slopped batter all over yours, but she said she didn't mind.

It may be a "vintage" product now, but the cookbook is still starting new traditions. In recent years, Grandmama's Velvet Waffles became one of Ranie's family favorites for weekend breakfast! Now, this is somewhat hilarious because no one in the Snipes family even remembers Nina making waffles...though she did have an old waffle iron, which y'all toted to Goodwill when you cleaned out her house. Anyway, Ranie tried out a number of waffle recipes and says Nina's are the very best!

I was so impressed with the results when I borrowed her waffle iron in Quincy the week before Christmas (and Cookie and Matt agreed...Cookie gave it her highest compliment: "Lynsley! You put your foot in this!") that I decided to get my own waffle iron when I returned to NYC.

IMHO the Hamilton Beach version is not as good as Ranie's GE, but I couldn't find hers on Amazon. At $25, it was a pretty inexpensive experiment. I figure if I use it a handful of times, I'll spend less than I would on brunch at a restaurant, where I tend to run up the bill by ordering myself multiple brunch beverages...

Here's the first batch, which I considered a success last Sunday morning before church. Adam gnawed on one before he started the apple cake.
But back to Ranie ("Clarice") and her waffles. You would have LOVED what she posted on Facebook the morning of your service. It was this adorable picture of the boys, with the most clever caption ever.
Grateful that the boys will always have special memories of "Miss Cheryld" just as I will. They are having their own little celebration of her life this morning. In true CSS fashion, see how many reminders of CSS you can find.

Miss Betty answered five, but Ranie called that the "B answer," because she did not include the details, which I supplied: 

Toasting flutes were your wedding present, Spanish book probably Benjamin's baby shower (because we know no one showers second children), velvet waffles from Nina's recipe, trick or treat bag, the traditional Thanksgiving menorah...what are we missing? Do the candles count separately?

Her response:
Ok, so that is the A answer for including the details. The extra credit is really hard. The boys are drinking chocolate milk which was always an option at your house on Saturday morning, but was a runner-up to strawberry milk. I don't think they make that crap anymore.

That Clarice is just too clever! (Incidentally, she said the week after the funeral, Benjamin asked if he could please have his hot chocolate "in that cup Miss Cheryl gave you when you got married." She said he got a big no on that one!

But hopefully Benjamin, William and Andrew will have at least some recollection of the way you would make the whole month of October so special for them, by hiding them a treat each week in the terra cotta pumpkin on your stoop. 
Miss Betty ended up with the pumpkin, so the tradition will continue somehow. "Something old, something new..." right?  

Oh -- and on that note -- Ranie brought over the Tiffany flutes for a toast on my last night in your house (using the Trader Joe's bubbly from the Wimberly sisters), and we agreed our next toast will be a celebratory engagement toast (with Veuve or Dom, natch)! Time for me to amp up the dating life... 

All rightie, I guess that is enough rambling for a Saturday morning. I've been drinking coffee and watching the snow fall as I've written this. Now here's the apple cake recipe! 



Apple Cake
by Judy Gregory, via RFM Cookbook, Circa 1990

1 1/4 c. Wesson oil
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 c. cake flour
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. chopped apples
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts

Beat oil, sugar and eggs well. Sift flour with soda and salt; add to mixture. Add vanilla. Beat in chopped apples and nuts. Bake in 3 (9 inch) pans at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. 

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter; add sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Cool in pan of water; add vanilla as you beat.

(Might I humbly suggest that if you enjoy this recipe, you send a little contribution to RFM, in memory of both Mom and Judy's mother, Julia Munroe Woodward, who was such a generous supporter of our little school? Robert F. Munroe Day School, 91 Old Mount Pleasant Road, Quincy, Florida, 32352. GO BOBCATS!) 

P.S. Did I post a photo of the cute napkins Julia brought me on Sunday? I'm getting such a kick out of them! It's funny to me that Patsy likes to keep Jules supplied with party napkins, just like you used to do for us. Do you think she buys her random serving pieces (silver ice cream scoop...silver coffee scoop...silver pie server...etc.) like you did?  

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