Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom's in the Kitchen

(Edited with added links at the bottom!)

I saw a plaque in a magazine photo of a livingroom that said something like, "In the memory of every great childhood there is a large kitchen, a warm oven, a simmering pot, and a Mom." I like that. It's true for me, and it's one of those memories that I desperately want to bequeath my own children.

I, like many moms, spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Why, just yesterday we had the most scrumptious Sunday feast, a departure from our usual Roasted Chicken and all the trimmings. One of the things I miss most about Utah is Cafe Rio. My boyfriend at the time introduced me to the act-fast, cafeteria-style, freshly-made Mexican food on one of our first dates after I'd moved to Draper. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing, and I felt completely discombobulated and my turn to bark my order was fast approaching. He did the recommending, and I just did what he said. And never looked back. Pork Barbacoa. Burrito or salad, either one is heaven. Let me die in pork barbacoa.

I found recipes on a cooking blog for Cafe Rio's sweet pork and had to go for it. It begins with marinating a pork roast in Coke overnight and then slow cooking it in the crock pot the next day. I found recipes for the famous black beans and lime-cilantro rice, and even the tomatillo-lime ranch dressing. It takes a bit of assembling and time, but oh, is it worth it. The kids and I had a Cafe Rio feast last night, salads piled high, even with fresh pico and crunchy tortilla strips on top. And we remembered Utah. For dessert, Lyndsay made a Peach Blueberry Crisp, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Sunday dinners are the best. We all pitch in to prepare, we feast together, and we all clean up, and then usually play a game.

I bring all of this up because many of my childhood memories include my mom in the kitchen. There were nine children, so there was hardly a break between preparation for one meal, and the preparation of the next. One of my very favorite Christmas gifts ever was when my mother gave me a recipe box (and each of my sisters as well) filled with handwritten recipes from her collection. It was the most marvelous thing, all in her familiar writing. I have perused that recipe box over and over, each card bringing back memories of days long ago, and some I see are recipes that have become part of my own family traditions.

A few weeks ago, I saw an exchange between my mom and my sister on Facebook that started something magical. It was one of those ABC's of Me things, and when asked what she makes well in the kitchen, my mom answered, "Sour Cream Blueberry Cake". My sister asked, "You mean the one in our recipe boxes?" And the reply, "That's the one!"

Well, my sister said she was overflowing with blueberries, and at that time so was I, so I chimed in with the idea that all of us sisters bake Mom's Sour Cream Blueberry Cake on the same day and then blog about it, so we could all do something together to celebrate Mom and our own motherhood spent in the kitchen. It was kind of cozy knowing that my sister was baking the same recipe at the same time. One sister had to wait a bit, but has since baked her cake, and it's interesting how we each followed the same recipe just a bit differently.

Let me tell you, this cake is so, so good. Moist and wonderful. It makes a fine breakfast or dessert. You will love it, especially with all the fresh blueberries available right now. Try it if you like. My mom is such a warm and sharing kind of mom, I'm sure she won't mind if I let you in on our family blueberry cake.

Mom's Sour Cream Blueberry Cake

1/2 cup softened sweet butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 9x13 pan (or a bundt pan, as my sister did). Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Mix dry ingredients together and add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, ending with flour. Stir in vanilla and 1 cup of the blueberries; Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and the other cup of blueberries. Cover with the rest of the batter. Bake 40 minutes.

Just for fun, here are the posts on Hannah's and Abby's blogs. Amanda and Sarah, play along!


Misty said...

Funny... I remember you facebooking that and all I could think about (having an abundance of my own blueberries) was a sour cream blueberry cake. I have a lovely recipe, so I made it and my husband has talked of nothing since. :)

Sarah said...

Yum! And what a fun idea! I wish I had a bunch of sisters that I could do something like this with. I have 1 and she still lives at home and rarely if ever cooks. I'm going to try this recipe out though for sure.

Josi said...

You're killing me! How do we NOT make this now that we've seen it and have the recipe? I don't think I've ever cooked with fresh blueberries before. Ought to be super fun :-)

Abby said...

Sarah you DO have a bunch of sisters you can do something like this with! You have the 4 of us, silly!

Loved your post, Jenna! I knew you were going to write something fitting to go with the cake so I didn't bother with my sad attempts haha. Love you!

Rachel Sue said...

What a cool blogging girls day! Looks yummy.

Hannah said...

Can I post mine in the morning? I'm so sleepy!!!

YogaNana said...

Ah, the satisfaction! :o)

Maybe I ought to do it again, too.

Anonymous said...

You CAN'T tell us about the mac-n-cheese then not post that recipe silly!

Lee Ann Setzer said...

I'm still back on Cafe Rio--heaven!

Saw you at Kashkawan and Scattered Jules and had to come see.