Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings

I have always loved the idea of the favorite. Everyone has a favorite flavor (vanilla or chocolate is one of the first distinctions we’re asked to make as children) or a favorite color, sometimes a favorite book or song or poem. It’s the most simple, basic way we define ourselves.

I especially like the favorite birthday cake, because it is longstanding and personal and sentimental. Will you please make me my favorite birthday cake this year?

I joined my old friend to celebrate her birthday and her mother made her longtime request: angel food cake with a custard filling and warm chocolate sauce poured over the top.

Basically an improved Boston Cream Pie. This piece has tumbled over slightly but you can see how luscious it is.

In my family we have a favorite, too: Strawberry Cake. It comes from my Tennessee grandmother’s collection of recipes, and visually and taste-wise is a shock to the senses.

Secret Ingredient: Jello

Strawberry Cake

One package white cake mix

One tablespoon flour

One package strawberry gelatin

Three-fourths cup vegetable oil

One half cup water

One half cup frozen strawberries, thawed til mushy

Mix cake mix, flour and jello. Add oil, water and strawberries. Lastly, add one at a time four eggs, beating after each addition.

Divide batter into two nine inch pans, well greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

For the icing, blend one-fourth pound butter (or margarine, in my grandmother’s recipe), one box confectioners sugar and one half cup thawed, mashed up strawberries.

Some of your guests will demand seconds. Others will run away from the table. Your teeth will ache and you will fall over with sugar shock. It is the most artificial looking cake in the world, and the most delicious.

That is, if it’s your favorite.

5 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Jean Zimmerman

5 responses to “Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings

  1. Zimmerman Betty and Steve

    The above comment was from Betty Z.

  2. Anonymous

    Actually, the strawberry cake was Auntie’s recipe, but lots of people in Tenn. baked it at that time, in the 50’s.

  3. Nora Balaban

    Yes, I remember Goo Goo Clusters being a favorite of Pete Z, and I remember them coming back in bulk!

  4. A southern treat also, chocolate and peanuts and I think marshmallow fluff. I remember bringing Goo Goo Clusters back from Tennessee in bulk.

  5. Nora Balaban

    What a yummy page this is! So glad you could join in my cake passion .. Wasn’t another Zimmerman favorite, goo goo clusters?

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