During the life of most every church in America, at some point the ladies of the church gather and print their special recipes in a spiral bound cookbook. I have a number of these and they are among my most treasured books – the old recipe collections from churches of my past.
I have a recipe book from the Centenary United Methodist Church in Clemmons, NC. This church was founded in large part by my Brewer relatives nearly a hundred years ago, I have another cookbook my mother came by when we lived in Beckley, WV, over 50 years ago. I have about a half dozen of these cookbooks and I love to pull them out, pour through the breads, cakes, pies and entrée recipes, frequently using them in my own kitchen. Not only are the dishes quite good, the memories taste even better.
When I was a boy, each time I visited Granma Brewer in Clemmons, she baked me something called Sugar Cake. I loved it, she knew it and it was generally waiting for me on her stovetop when I arrived.
For years, Grandma Brewer cooked in a wood stove before finally succumbing to a modern range, but my earliest recollections of her Sugar Cake were baked in a wood stove.
Below is her recipe.
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. mashed potatoes
1 c. water
2 pkg. yeast
1 t. salt
Flour to make a soft dough
Cream the sugar, shortening and salt. Add eggs and mashed potatoes. Add yeast, water and enough flour until the dough becomes stiff. Let rise until it doubles in bulk. Work out two cakes, 12×15-inches, and let them rise. Punch holes over the dough about 1 ½-inches apart. Sprinkle with cream, then sprinkle heavily with brown sugar, then cinnamon and dot with butter. Bake in a 425 oven till golden brown.