Friday, March 4, 2011

National Pound Cake Day

I was surprised to learn today is National Pound Cake Day.
Thank goodness I have plenty of eggs, butter and flour on hand. I can whip up one of my Gran's signature pound cakes. We (all of us cousins) simply call it "Gran's Pound Cake." It does have a slightly different flavor than most pound cakes and the secret ingredient is "mace" (the spice not the personal security device). I've shared this recipe here before but in honor of this special day, here it is again:

(A Hazel Sibley Standard!)

1 lb. (2 cups) butter
3 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. mace
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. vanilla
10 eggs
4 cups flour

In mixer bowl, cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add mace, salt, vanilla and 8 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour, a little at a time; add the remaining eggs. Combine and mix well.

Lightly grease and lightly flour bottom and sides of pans. Pour into 2 4-qt. tube pans or 6 loaf pans. Bake at 300° for 1 ½ hours or until done. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.

***Best if made 3-4 weeks or more ahead of holidays; wrap in plastic wrap and then in heavy foil. Place in freezer. Get out of freezer and thaw to room temperature for 1 hour before serving. The freezing intensifies the flavor and slightly changes the consistency and texture of the cake.

To serve, cut into slices. Good served topped with ice cream or fruit such as strawberries.

**I never said it was diet friendly!!!

Now, about that mace ....
The Big Guy and I had been out to dinner one night and were on our way home when he asked the standard question: "Is there anything we need, want or desire before going home?" In other words, "Do we need to stop at the store?"
I knew I was going to make Gran's pound cake the next day for a family event and knew it called for mace. Our ensuing conversation went something like this:

Me: I should probably stop and get a can of mace.
Him: Mace?
Me: I'm not sure I have an open can in the cupboard.
Him: I guess not!
Me: I don't want to have to run out for it first thing in the morning.
Him: Yeah!
Me: I really do need it. I'm just going to go ahead and pick up a can. (With this statement, I pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store.)

Now, since I was driving, I had not seen his facial expressions throughout this talk. Now, he stared at me in disbelief, shaking his head and saying, "You've GOT to be kidding, right?"
It was then, I realized he only knew mace to be a weapon! He had absolutely no idea it was a cooking spice!! (Just what did he think I expected to happen at my family's dinner?)You do know, mace is a spice made from the bright red covering that partly encloses the nutmeg kernel, don't you?

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