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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

The best Fourth of July fireworks
ever?  Disneyland!  We spent
Independence Day 2005 there
and it was just about the happiest
place on earth!
The fourth of July is almost upon us, and that means that there's a lot to do at the Dapper and Dreamy house!  In addition to our 19th anniversary on the third, there are all the fun things that come with a day geared toward patriotism, family-togetherness, fireworks and, of course, food.

What will you do this year?  Are you opting for a traditional menu of all-American cuisine?  Hamburgers, hot dogs or, my own favorite, fried chicken?  What about the side dishes?  Potato salad?  Macaroni salad?  Baked beans?  Whatever you do, you mustn't forget potato chips - BBQ, please.  And dessert?  I've heard of some people that consider watermelon to be adequate.  Personally, I think that falls into the "snack" category.  I'd suggest some kind (or kinds) of fabulous fruit pie (it's raspberry season here in Oregon!), a good old-fashioned layer cake (remember that HUGE yellow cake with chocolate icing in Pollyanna?) and, to go along with your personal pyrotechnic display, S'mores!  You'll note that I didn't list those things as if you should choose only one...  It's the Fourth of July, afterall!

In the spirit of the celebrating our nation's birthday, here's a recipe for the very best, all-American layer cake that I've ever made, or eaten.  It's heftier than your standard boxed cake, and it's much moister than most from scratch yellow cakes that I've made.  The timing isn't exactly precise, but I copied this recipe from somewhere years ago (I really have no idea where), and some of the instructions have disappeared from the oil and vanilla soaked scrap of paper on which it resides.

Pollyanna cake!  The biggest layer cakes
I'll leave the chocolate icing to you...  my favorite includes raw egg yolks but, due to an abundance of caution and my dear wife's complete and total revulsion at the idea of raw eggs, I never make it...

The Best Yellow Cake

2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
3 eggs
1 stick butter, softened

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dry ingredients.  There is no need to sift.
3.  In a glass measuring cup, measure milk.  Add enough oil to make 1 1/3 c. liquid.  Add vanilla.
4.  Add softened butter and liquid to flour mixture and beat on low for about 1 minute.  Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Add eggs, beating after each addition.
5.  Pour batter into two greased and floured 8 or 9 inch cake pans or a 9 x 13 inch oblong pan.
6.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending on size of pans.
7.  Frost with chocolate icing (OK, you could use something else...  But why?)

And now...  Just a little patriotic jingle written by George M. Cohan, sung by James Cagney...  

1 comment:

  1. Please share the recipe for the raw egg icing!! :)