When I was growing up in Texas, our family lived next door to a couple named Steve and Carol. I am sure that they were curious, and perhaps wary, at hearing that a family with six kids would be moving in (soon to be eight kids!) Through the years they were very kind and neighborly towards our family. They let us ride our bikes to the top of their long, slanted driveway and race down. We sometimes inadvertently kicked a ball over the fence into their yard and, upon retrieving it, would experience a nice visit with Carol. She would show us around their backyard and let us help with her garden. She let us eat strawberries and shared their garden bounty. We went over to visit and pet their cats and look at their beautiful wind chimes. They were patient with our childhood antics and took interest in our lives.
Every Christmas Eve, we went as a family to sing carols at their door. We would step into their house and visit for a time. Each year that same week, Carol would show up at our door with a Christmas Pound Cake. It was a much-anticipated part of our holiday treats and traditions, and it was a chance to catch up with them. We really loved our interactions. Carol became ill later in life and recently died.
In celebrating her life, our family shared memories of her kindness to us. The yearly pound cakes were some of our favorite memories. At her funeral, we learned that she made over 100 pound cakes each year to take to those she loved! She was a sweet example of service and sharing. While reflecting on her life, I have been reminded to take the chances now to tell others how much we appreciate them and share our love with them. It is a blessing to us and others to reach out and treasure those relationships. In honor of Carol, I’d like to share her delicious recipe below.
Christmas Pound Cake
3 sticks cold butter
6 large eggs
1 8oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
Start mixer with (cold) butter and cream cheese, beating until smooth. On low speed add sugar slowly. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Add in vanilla. Slowly add ½ cup flour at a time. Finish cake batter with medium speed for about 45 seconds or until smooth. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 30 minutes.