I remember way back when – yes, I’m most certainly old enough to say that – I was just starting to dabble with cooking and baking. Looking back on my childhood, I can think of numerous times when I used to cook or bake, but only when my parents were away to work. Times were different back then, and even at the age of 10 or 11, my parents trusted us to prepare complete meals. I was no stranger to roasting a chicken and making mashed potatoes for my parents’ dinner around that age. (I’d be a nervous wreck to leave my 13-year-old daughter to attend to ovens and hot burners, and especially sharp knives!) But, both of my parents worked, and sometimes, depending on the fishing season, they would work for hours and hours with only short dinner breaks in between very long shifts. My siblings and I had no choice but fix dinner – and it had better be a good one too!
When my mom was home though, I cannot remember ever baking or cooking with her. She was a great mom, but when she was in the kitchen, she wanted no help from no one. I’m the same way now. I don’t mind someone being in the kitchen with me, but if I have to show you or tell you how to do something, I’d much rather do it myself. Just ask John.e or McKenna!
I’m not sure how I learned my way around the kitchen. If my mom wasn’t one to allow us or encourage us to be in there with her, I guess it was just from observing from a safe distance. I can tell you this, Dear Reader, I’ve always loved to read cookbooks; I must have read every Better Homes & Gardens cookbook my Aunt had in her collection twice! I would read them in bed when I had finished my last Archie’s Comics. Is that sad?
But, I think it’s a safe bet to assume that most of what I learned was from the food network and by not being afraid to experiment and just go with what tasted good or what felt right at the time. With that said though, there was a time when I thought that buying a pre-made pound cake at the grocery store, along with a can of whipped cream, and fresh strawberries constituted making dessert. I remember it well! I would have been 19 years old, working full time as a shift manager at a pizza joint, and attending full time studies at college. Little did I know at the time that the dessert wasn’t actually ‘making’ but simple ‘assembling.’
To make things right with the world, I made this buttermilk pound cake. I love pound cake. I always have. That sweet, sugary, vanilla-kissed cake, with it’s light and airy substance – just waiting to be drowned with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit! Ah, now I’m hungry! Before I start reminiscing too much more, and before I start to raid my fridge, I’m going to drop the recipe here and let it haunt your dessert dreams. Cheers! 🙂
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 2½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Fresh fruit and confectioner's sugar or whipping cream for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the consistency becomes fluffy and pale in colour.
- Add one egg at a time to the sugar and butter mixture, creaming well after each egg is added.
- Pour in the vanilla and incorporate into the mixture. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the existing wet ingredient mixture and blend to incorporate. Next, blend in half a cup of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, and then the remaining half cup of buttermilk.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the bundt pan.
- Bake for one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for 3 minutes longer and check for doneness again. Depending on your oven, this cake could take up to 70 minutes to fully bake.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.