5/11/2007

Let Them Eat Strawberry Cake...You Too!

Like I told you, the old guys love their strawberries. I promised them a strawberry cake this week, made from berries handpicked by me and my friend, Ellen. We picked the berries from a field the old guys declared grows some of the best strawberries in the county...although this nearly drew blood as the old ones debated with a newcomer resident about the relative merits of Rudd's Farm over The Berry Patch.

I brought in the cake because Benny, the assistant activity director, said they weren't doing anything special on Thursday. "Bring us something sweet," Benny begged.

But the activity room was dressed for a party when I arrived.

No one was there in the room, so I set down the cake on the table next to the other platters and went in search of the old guys and their fearless leaders.

I found them in the dining room playing Nursery Rhyme Trivial Pursuit.

"This old man, he played..." Benny paused, waiting as the others called out "One!"

I sat down at a table with Ruby and Geneva. We rolled our eyes at the questions and made faces when we couldn't remember the answers. I got into a debate with Benny over the fate of Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife. Benny said she ate pumpkin and I said I thought she was a victim of domestic violence.

"Didn't Peter beat her?" I asked Ruby.

"Well, I suppose if she ate all his pumpkin, he had every right," she answered. "I would've. Hey, did you bring us something to eat?"

"Yeah," said Benny, losing interest in the game we'd all lost interest in a long while back. "Is it sweet?"

I tell them I left it in the activity room with the other party food and Benny's eyes widen. "Oh, no! You shouldn't have done that! That's for the nurses' party. They'll get it!"

I had been gone 10 minutes, tops. But when I ran into the activity room, half the pan was empty.

"You made that? Girl," one nurse says, turning to the others. "You got to get you some of that strawberry cake. It taste like my grandma makes."

Oh, this is high praise indeed. I almost hate that I have to take it away from them.

The look on their faces is priceless when I say, "That's not for you. It's for the old guys." They look like I've caught them stealing from the church collection plate. In fact, they are so appalled that they've eaten so much of the cake, I have to spend a couple of minutes reassuring them that I made too much anyway and everything will be fine.

Sure enough. Like the loaves and the fishes, everyone eats cake, even Benny, even the nurses who didn't get a piece the first go round. Even I get a piece.

It's a miracle, especially when you consider that they keep coming from everywhere to eat some "granny" cake.

So, here's the recipe, sanctioned and approved by the old guys...

STRAWBERRY CAKE

1 pkg. white cake mix (Okay, so I was in a hurry...but a cake mix is a good jumping off point)

1 package Dream Whip

1 stick melted butter

1/2 package strawberry jello

4 eggs

1 c. mushed up strawberries and their juice.

1/2c water

Combine cake mix, Dream Whip, jello in mixer bowl; add everything else and beat on low until blended, then on high for 4 mins. Bake at 350 in well greased pans for @ 30 min. or until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove to cool. Ice and chill until serving time.

Frosting for Strawberry Cake

1 stick softened butter
1/2 package strawberry jello
@ 1/3 c. mushed up strawberries
1-1 1/2 lb. confectioner's sugar.

Cream sugar and butter, add the other stuff and mix until it's spreadable.

I am not a scrupulous measurer, so if you need more sugar or strawberries, play with it.

1 comment:

Sam Shuey said...

Yummy! Save a slice for me!