HER “GRAN GRAN’S” SOUR CREAM COCONUT CAKE …

This incredible Coconut Cake Recipe was passed along to me by my cousin and dearest friend, LaWanda Morris Floyd.  Her Gran Gran used to make this cake and I couldn’t get enough of it!  It vanishes at socials and because it’s made with Tropical Isle coconut and sour cream, it isn’t terribly sweet, just absolutely like taking a bite of heaven!

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 8 oz Containers Sour Cream

2 Cups Sugar

2 – 8oz Containers Cool Whip

1 – 12 oz Tropical Isle Frozen Coconut – divide in half

Your Favorite Yellow Cake Mix – enough for two 8 inch pans


METHOD:

(For Cake)

Bake a Yellow Cake according to the package directions   Two 8″ pans works perfectly.

Let the cake cool and cut the layers in half so you have four round layers

================

(For Coconut Frosting)

Mix Sugar and Sour Cream until sugar is dissolved.

Add the Cool Whip and only half the coconut … mix well and stick the bowl in your freezer for about ten minutes to thicken up a bit.

Once it’s chilled, heavily frost the top of each layer and stack them as you go.

Then heavily frost the sides of the entire cake and sprinkle the remaining 8 oz’s of coconut on the top and to the sides.

Let your Coconut Cake sit in the refrigerator for a few days before serving.  SO worth the wait!!!

ENJOY!

YOU MAY NOT USE ALL THE FROSTING.  THAT’S OKAY … I FREEZE IT IN A CONTAINER AND USE IT AS PUDDING OR JELLO TOPPINGS.

How My Career as a Child Outlaw Began …

In my basement there is a cardboard box filled to the brim with Blue Willow china. Place settings for ALMOST sixteen are wrapped in newspapers dated September 13, 1995 … almost two weeks to the day after Mom passed away. 


Now before you stop reading, thinking “here comes a depressing piece, written by a down-in-the-dumps writer”, I need to tell you that this is anything BUT a depressing piece, and I am anything BUT down in the dumps.


This little tale begins around fifty years ago in 1966 when I was a mere six years old.

We, meaning my Mom, my Dad, and myself, were wrapping that Blue Willow china for our move from Macon to Savannah, Georgia. Dad was unpacking the china cabinet and handing the beautiful blue plates to me and mother, and we would wrap them in newspaper and stack them in a cardboard box. At the time, there were sixteen place settings along with assorted matching bowls, pitchers, and tea-sets. Mom was desperately proud of that Blue Willow set, because she had saved up Octagon Soap coupons and ordered the entire set through the mail.


I know this because every time we used that china, Mom would regale us in how she purchased that Octagon Soap for everyone she knew, just so she could earn enough coupons for the set. In other words, if you had a birthday coming up, more than likely you would get a bar of soap … well, a bar of soap along with a half of a pound cake or maybe a coconut cake.

Mom would tell this story with a lot of pride, and when she got to the part where she sent off the “bulging packet of Octagon Soap coupons“, she would ALWAYS be laughing at the idea that she bought soap every week for nearly two years, just to get that set of Blue Willow china. My Aunt Ruth would chime in, “The people at that grocery store must have thought you lived with the filthiest bunch of people!”

It was was her favorite “hard times” story to tell, and truthfully, I loved hearing it even though I didn’t have a CLUE what Octagon Soap was. 

So anyway, there we were … wrapping her china, when Dad suggested that he and Mom have a cup of coffee. They vanished into the kitchen and I was left at the dining room table wrapping plates.

Don’t ask me how it happened … what strange event happened to cause the Earth to shift and yank the plate from my hand … I haven’t a clue.

But whatever it was that happened in that split second turned me from a cherub into an outlaw.

When I looked down and realized that the plate was broken almost perfectly in half, my heart plummeted like an elevator down to my toes. Since Mom and Dad were in the kitchen, I did what any normal six year old would do … I wrapped both pieces in a piece of newspaper, smuggled it down the hall to my bedroom and stuffed it between the mattress and the boxed springs.

Fast forward five more moves and it’s the late 70’s. I’m nineteen years old and Mom was unpacking her Blue Willow dishes and the one she had JUST unwrapped magically fell perfectly into two pieces in her hand. She looked at the plate as if she were wondering what strange event had caused the earth to shift and break one of her plates perfectly in half.

It was then that I spilled my guts, and since it was years and years later (and Mom hadn’t even missed the stupid plate), we both shared a good laugh until we had tears streaming down our cheeks.

So where, you might ask, had the Blue Willow plate been all that time?

Well, after unsuccessfully gluing it back together with school paste, I decided to bury the thing in the back yard once we were moved into our new house in Savannah. However, the ground was so hard, I could barely dig a hole big enough to bury a pecan, much less two broken halves of a Blue Willow plate. So, I hid it in the garage in a box of my toys I no longer played with.

During the NEXT move (when talk of a yard sale put the fear of God in me), I decided to try once again to hide the evidence by burying it in the only soft spot in our back yard. Almost a dozen months later a torrential rainstorm washed the dirt from around the buried plate (I was the only kid alive who routinely watched rain in a terrified horror), so I had to bring it back in and hide it once again. It stayed hidden in my Barbie Doll case until 1976.

I was sixteen and a glorious invention called Super Glue saved my life.

Late one night I covertly glued the plate back together and let it dry in the back of my closet.  Several days later, at long last, it was slipped back into the china cabinet when no one was looking.

For thirteen long years that stupid broken plate had followed me around. It had been buried, hidden, smuggled, glued, and stuffed into a Barbie doll case. It had made my life a living nightmare at every dinner Mom decided to use the “good china”.  I held my breath during every move, and once when the box of china slipped out of Dads hands and hit the corner of the table, I PRAYED for a few broken pieces! I surmised that maybe I could somehow slip that stupid broken plate into the box before anyone “outed” the missing one. No such luck. Everything survived.

I was bound for hell.

So, today the box of Blue Willow china is in the basement. On the very top of the stack of plates is a wrapped plate that is very clearly broken exactly in half. On the back, there is a tell-tale line of dirt mixed with school glue from one of my many attempts at repairing the plate … a plate that no longer “haunts” me, but rather comes along for the ride as I tell MY kids the story of that plate …

… that stupid blue willow plate that Mom got with Octagon Soap coupons.

Blog: Day One …

 

Today it began.

This is the day I begin the greatest adventure so far in my life.  I declare myself incapable of failure … for in the end, I will be my own hero.

Currently I live in a noisy suburb of Atlanta.  Behind my house an endless stream of cars whiz along the once quiet road, now a short-cut to avoid interstate traffic.  Airplanes landing and taking off at Atlanta airport fly almost directly over the house a dozen times a day.  By now I’m immune to the sound.  Airplanes have been a part of almost half my life in some way or another, but I know they are there.  Like the squirrels that live in the attic, I know they are there, they just don’t annoy me any more.

It’s how things are here.  However ….

There is, three hours north of where I currently live, a quiet piece of mountain side property with a noisy creek that runs along the foot of it.  Rue Anemone grows along the forest floor alongside fiddle head fern.  Herds of deer cross the old logging trail that crosses my land, and high above my head a hawk makes home in the tallest hemlock.

The first time I saw it, it was covered in a half a foot of snow, but it took my breath away.  I knew from the moment I saw it that it was my destiny.  After all, I’d asked God for a sign and God GAVE me one.  Okay, so it was a Berkshire Hathaway “For Sale” sign … but it was a sign none-the-less.  Four months later I owned a piece of Serenity Mountain in Waynesville, NC.

That was the easy part.

The hard part is giving up my life here in Georgia where I have lived my entire life.  Here, I’m close to friends and family … my veterinarian … my doctors … my hair stylist … the hot tamale place … my favorite deli … the places I hike … and everything else I’ve come to depend on.

My father, who in my opinion was the smartest man I ever knew, once told me that if I want to get from point A to point B smoothly, I may want to consider all the space between them.  In that space lies an infinite number of choices all mine “ripe for the making”.

“Pick your way well,” he said.

That’s what I’m about to do.


MY A to B TO-DO LIST …. starting with “A” ….

  • Spend as much time with friends and family as possible
  • Purge the house of everything I don’t need/want/haven’t laid eyes on in five years
  • Hike at least once a week
  • Bake something and deliver it as a “thank you”
  • Get the house ready to sell
  • Pack and Move
  • Become a feature writer for The Mountaineer in Waynesville, NC
  • Build the new house on Serenity Mountain
  • Keep up with this blog! Be faithful and write at least once a week!
  • Keep my SH** together!!!