I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
In the Midwest, we take our cooking seriously. The first thing I think of when I see a woman that’s skinny is: “I bet she can’t cook.” and “She eats like I want to be fat.” I wouldn’t trade my muffin top for a life without cake. I’ve got two words for you. Tunic. Tops. Don’t even get me started on Kale. You’ve got as much of a chance of seeing me eat that, as you do spotting me at a Yoga class. Or driving a Prius.
My fondest memories from my childhood took place in my Grandmother’s kitchen. Usually frying something with bacon grease we kept in a jar by the stove. The first time my Grandma Audrey served me Chicken Fried Steak I knew my life…and my cholesterol…would never be the same. I fell in love with food.
It is well-known fact around our small town that our family has been blessed with some very, very good cooks. Sadly, my mother was not one of them. It was a source of shame for me. As a child, I fanned the smoke alarms more times than I can count. I’m convinced she thought they were cheering her on. I wish they wouldn’t have. Pictured above is one of Mom’s creations “Momloaf.” No, we didn’t eat that after I photographed it.
One of the shining stars of our family was Auntie Mildred–one of the best cooks I’ve ever known. She even owned her own restaurant for many years in our hometown of Kellyville, Oklahoma, called The Denham Steakhouse. The first time I went as a child, I think I licked my plate clean. It was Midwestern cooking at its finest. And the pies! My God, the pies!
My cousin Shannon (Mildred’s Granddaughter) sent me this recipe from Mildred. It was passed down from her Mom, Phyllis (Denham) Holcomb. I was confused by the name at first. Sheath cake? But I did some research and read that “Sheath Cake” is another name for “Sheet Cake.” It doesn’t matter to me. A Chocolate Sheet Cake by any other name is still as sweet:D
- For Cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 sticks oleo
- 1 cup of water
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon (baking) soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick oleo
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Step 1. Mix 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar well.
- Step 2. Bring 4 tablespoons cocoa, 2 sticks oleo, and 1 cup of water to a boil and add to first mixture.
- Step 3. Add 2 eggs, slightly beaten, ½ cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon (baking) soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the other mixture. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
- When cake is half baked start your frosting. When cake comes out of the oven put the frosting on.
- For Icing:
- Melt 1 stick oleo. Add 4 tablespoons cocoa, 6 tablespoons milk, 1 box powdered sugar, and 1 cup chopped pecans.