Wow. So, it’s been almost, so darn close, I mean like *thisclose* to a year when I almost, almost, almost said no to reviewing A PLACE AT THE TABLE. What?! Let me set the scene: I had been reviewing books for a few months and my pile was getting… what’s the word? CRAZY. Yes, crazy. So, when the email came to me about this book, by this author I had never heard of- I was like all “Do I have time?” I hemmed and hawwed for about 30 minutes. And then I decided that there was NO WAY I could say “No” to a book with great looking of a cover. It was physically impossible!
I mean could you say no to THIS cover? Nope, didn’t think so. Anyway, the cover intrigued me, the cover made me say yes- but the writing- my gosh, the writing (excuse me while I fangirl!) The story was wonderful. Sweet, Southern food, finding yourself and your place at the table- there is social issues and trials and tribulations- but Susan does a great job of combining it all to make one memorable book (read my full review here). Next thing I know- this book is everywhere- it’s on Deep South Magazine Reading List, bloggers are chatting about it, and the buzz is building! So, I decided to ask Susan’s publicist if I could get an interview with her- and I did! Read the interview here!
And now.. almost a year later, the paperback is out! Technically, the paperback will be in stores March 4th (and it’s a Target Book Club pick!) So much good news for A PLACE AT THE TABLE.
If you’ve read the book or even Tweavesdropped (Twitter eavesdropped) on convos about the book- you know food plays a big role in this book! One of the most talked about food items is Meemaw’s Pound Cake (recipe here!) Because Susan Rebecca White has a tendency to jam pack good news in spades, her publicist asked a few of us who had previously reviewed the book to share a family recipe in honor of the paperback release of A PLACE AT THE TABLE! Which is why I’ll be sharing my family recipe- Scandalous Strawberry Cake (and the story behind the name!)
Back in the day before social media, before text messages, before computers, people actually wrote recipes (with pen and paper!) My great grandmother (who I actually don’t remember because she passed away when I was just a teeny little T) used to make this recipe- Strawberry Cake. When she made it, it wasn’t scandalous- it wasn’t till later in life it became scandalous.
After my great grandmother died, someone wondered where her recipes were- and so a hunt began. The recipes (plus the Strawberry Cake recipe) was found and life was ok. A year or 2 later, all the family was together- including some of the family that had sticky fingers (it has to be said!) Pictures and recipes were brought out, food was consumed, and family left- happy and bellies full… Until 2 or 3 years go by and my mom gets a hankering for strawberry cake ( pregnancy was giving her a serious craving!) My grandma looked in the box and the recipe was gone- along with some other pictures that were stored in the box. Phone calls were made to various family and no one would admit they had the recipe. Each time a family get together happened, the missing recipe was brought up. And still.. no one came forward.
My own momma is like a dog with a bone- she was going to get this recipe. And she did. Another old lady from church found the recipe in the Bell’s Best Cookbook and gave the cookbook to my mom.
I’m in my 30’s and this recipe has been discussed for years. It’s not even a secret family recipe since it was published in the Bell’s Best Cookbook! I started referring to the recipe as Scandalous Strawberry Cake in my 20’s because, while we have the recipe (or at least a very similar one)- the original, the real, the one that my great-grandma had written down on a piece of paper is still gone.
Who has the recipe? I have my suspicions. Will the original ever be found? I don’t know. What I can say is that, good and bad, happy and sad, the missing recipe, the scandalous strawberry cake has been a part of my family for years- and now it can be a part of your family!
Scandalous Strawberry Cake
1 box White Cake Mix, 1 Box Strawberry Jello (mix both of these together dry)
1 Cup Wesson Oil
1/2 cup Milk
1 Cup Frozen Strawberries (can use fresh, though)
Mix the dry ingredients, oil, milk and eggs together. Bake at 350 degrees (it takes our oven around 25 minutes)
1 Stick Butter (melted)
1 Box Confectioners Sugar
The 1 Cup Strawberries mentioned above
Cream sugar and butter, then add the strawberries. Pour over the cake after it’s cooled a bit.
It’s always a bit hit at our family get together events- hope it will be a big hit for your family!
Don’t forget: Look for A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Target March Book Club Pick) in paperback on March 4th!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T