LUCY BURDETTE: When it came time to pick a pen name for my new Key West food critic series, I didn't hesitate. I chose my maternal grandmother's name, Lucille Burdette, AKA Lucy.
Actually, I don't know if she was ever called Lucy as she died when I was only five or six. Sadly, I don't know much about her--I have a few oil paintings that she did and a few memories of her as a sweet, warm grandmother. This is a photo of her with husband, Frank, a grandfather who I never met as he died even younger. All that tragedy makes the paintings she left more precious.
I could imagine that she might have been a good cook, as my mother and both of her sisters loved to get together for dinners and holiday meals. And recently, when sorting madly through my messy (ulp!) drawer of recipes, I found a recipe for chocolate cake from Nana, AKA Lucille Burdette. Now I do already have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that is in much demand in my family. But I definitely wanted to try Lucy's version. Here's how it went...
1/2 cup Crisco (I am not a fan, so I used a stick of butter:)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/2 cup sour milk (or sweet, with one TBSP vinegar added)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
The instructions were as follows: Put all ingredients into bowl and mix. Bake as usual. Hmmmm...not much detail there.
So I added my interpretation:). Beat softened butter and sugar until well combined. Then add the other ingredients one at a time, mixing after each. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan, add the batter, and bake for about 30 minutes until cake springs back when touched. Cool for ten minutes and then invert onto a cake plate.
Sift powdered sugar over the top when completely cool and serve with ice cream!
I tried the cake out on two confirmed chocoholics. They both had seconds. So for an easy, tasty cake that uses ingredients you are likely to have on hand, we recommend it!
And while you are snacking, I will remind you that DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, the second Key West food critic mystery, will be out on September 4! You can find pre-order links right here. And stay tuned for all book and food news by following Lucy on Twitter or facebook.
And since my wordpress website is driving me bonkers lately, here are some direct links for ordering:
Barnes and Noble