“Why she’s just as cute as a speckled pup!”
I took a look at my co-worker, Amaryllis, but to my fresh out of college eyes, I didn’t see cuteness. Of course, the former editor of the small newspaper where we worked was looking within. I saw only the external. He taught me something that day: Don’t just look at the surface level. Dig a little. See what’s underneath. You may be surprised at what you find.
I think of Amaryllis every year around Christmas. You see, way back in the early 80’s (Yes! 80’s!) when we worked together, she brought a cake to share with all of us. It was during the Christmas season. It was the BEST pound cake I had ever tasted.
Amaryllis offered to bring the recipe, and I accepted with glee!
Reading through the ingredients the next day, I saw the one that absolutely MADE the cake (in my humble opinion): Almond extract. I do believe it was the first time I’d had a dessert with the almond flavoring. I loved it!
Reading further, I busted into jolly laughter! The recipe calls for three cups sifted flour. Only Amaryllis had typed “Shifted.” HA! I immediately thought of the football cheer:
Shift to the left, shift to the right, stand up, sit down fight fight fight!
Mama and I made the cake that night. When it was time to sift, I poured the flour and shifted left and right! We had a good laugh about that! Then, after I “shifted” the flour, I tapped it down a bit.
“Darlin’, you’re not supposed to tap it down after you’ve sifted the flour. That defeats the whole purpose of sifting it.”
Well, who knew? Another piece of “shifting” info, according to the inter webs: Does it really matter if you sift your flour before you measure it or after? In a word: Yes. When a recipe calls for “1 cup sifted flour,” the flour should be sifted before measuring; whereas “1 cup flour, sifted” should be sifted after measuring.
Here’s the delicious recipe for you:
Sour Cream Pound Cake (Don’t worry, you won’t taste the sour cream)
3 c. Sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
3 c. SHIFTED plain flour (hee, hee)
1 c. Sour cream
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (Since I love the almond, I tend to get a little heavy handed with this ingredient)
6 eggs separated
Cream the sugar and butter, add yolks one at a time and beat well after each; add baking soda to sour cream and alternate adding flour and sour cream to creamed sugar and butter. (Side note: I asked Mama why we had to add the baking soda to the sour cream. Her answer? “I don’t know, just follow the recipe!”). Add vanilla and almond. Add stiffly beaten egg whites to mixture and beat well until blended. Now, don’t give up on the egg whites when you are beating them. It takes some time to get them stiff, or the consistency of merangue. Maybe five minutes or so.
Pour into a well buttered and floured tube pan (remember this recipe is old, just use butter flavored non-stick spray!). Bake at 300 degrees for 1.5 hours. Check in the last 15 minutes for doneness.
And there you have it! The shifted pound cake from my co-worker who was cuter than a speckled puppy! And if you don’t know what “cuter than a speckled puppy” means, then you ain’t from the South!
Enjoy the recipe this Christmas season. I pray it brings you many memories of great happiness and joy, like the good news of Jesus’ birth brought to the world. (Click here for your copy of Sour Cream Pound Cake)
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (KJV)
PS – This will be my last blog post of the year. I may occasionally share some insights on Facebook. Please join me there! See you in January!
PPS – Photos courtesy of my sweet hubby John!