My girl and I made the Carrot Cake to take with us on our vacation. We wound up dividing it between us and bringing our half home, because the guests expected didn't arrive until after we left. But when we got home and DEVOURED our half - I can only say HOLY CRAP Pioneer Woman!!!! That was the sweetest, moistest (is that really a word???), most heavenly carrot cake I've ever eaten. I don't normally like carrot cake... but this one, this one I fell in love with. I even tinted the frosting with a bit of my Wilton frosting colors, in orange, for the holiday! The cake was simply to die for.
Then yesterday... ahhhh yesterday, in a chocolate craving fit I started digging through PW's cookbook because I KNEW that I'd seen a cake in there I wanted to try... So last night I found all my ingredients, except buttermilk, which I was able to fix with a tip from PW; and I baked the Best. Chocolate. Sheetcake. EVER! Ok, I've said it before... I will say it again - HOLY CRAP Pioneer Woman!
This cake is totally the best cake I've ever made. It filled me with pride as the family sunk their teeth into the chocolate decadence on their plates. It also filled me with a deep nostalgia... for this woman:
Yes, the lady there in the glasses, holding a smiling mischievous baby? That my friends is my grandmother... She was a constant in my life from birth. My grandparents stoically followed my mother everywhere. I know now that it was more a case of my grandmother could not possibly live anywhere my mother wasn't... so she dragged my grandfather with her wherever we moved. It started out the other way around... in the early days of their marriage, and my mother's youth my grandfather was a Shrimp Boat Captain. In fact, I am named after his favorite Shrimp Boat, the Elizabeth Ann... Yep, I'm named after a boat! Meh... anyway - my grandmother stayed home when mom was young.. then when mom and dad married, and daddy started shrimping with grandpa, we followed them. From Fort Myers, FL to Corpus Christi, Texas. Stopping for a while here and there in towns like Mobile, Alabama and Cameron , Louisiana.
Grandma was there from day one, and if I wasn't with mom and dad, I was with her. She was such a wonderful soul, and she died an unfair and tragic death... and I miss her horribly. But I remember the food!
Grandma made this very same cake when I was a kid... I don't know how PW got it perfect, but she did... and for that I say a hearty THANK YOU Pioneer Woman - you awoke one of my fondest memories with this cake... It makes you truly understand the power of food in our lives!
From the kitchen of a mom, with lots of love!