Mothers, Memories and Food: Savoring The Past

Posted: 10 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Family & Relationships | Read Time: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

{Mom's Coconut Pound Cake}

A coveted belonging of my mother's was her recipe box. During the last years of her life, my mom misplaced it and we thought it was gone forever. My sister and I were delighted to find it when we were cleaning out the garage...why it was there, neither one of us could figure out but we were pleased to have the treasure trove that held all the favorite family recipes. The "box" is not made of some oil rubbed wood but of plastic and it is Smurf blue. The recipe box was jammed packed with recipe cards, newspaper clippings and random bits of paper. 

I volunteered to organize the contents of the box and give copies of the recipes to anyone in the family who wanted them. Surprisingly, the task was more complicated than I thought. Apparently, mom was the kind of cook that only needed a mental trigger, not a full-blown recipe. Yes, there were some fully flushed out recipe cards but mainly it was bits of paper with a list of ingredients and a notes on lessons learned about preparing the dish.

Mom was a true Southern cook who early in life used Crisco to fry chicken or okra and real butter to make mashed potatoes. Mom and Dad's diet changed over the decades as they moved away from fried foods and rich desserts to healthier choices. The blue recipe box followed the timeline of their culinary journey. Fat laden dips gave way to Weight Watcher's inspired substitutes while the sugar infused Strawberry Cake was replaced with sugar free Jell-O parfaits made with fat free Cool Whip. 

I am now on the hunt for the perfect pound cake and I started by looking in my mom's recipe box. Her Coconut Pound Cake jumped out at is not a healthy choice by definition. Butter, sugar and white flour are its main ingredients and it is delicious. The smell of the baking pound cake brought back many memories of meals and good times with my family particularly at holidays. I have included it in this post so you can decide for yourself. 


Mom's Coconut Pound Cake

3 sticks of butter or margarine
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
3 cups of plain flour
8 oz of sour cream 
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of soda
1 package of coconut
1 teaspoon of vanilla


Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Grease and flour tube or Bundt pan

1. Sift flour, salt and soda together and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar well.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
4. Beat in sour cream completely.
5. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
6. Add vanilla and mix well.
7. Fold in coconut.
8. Pour into tube pan and bake 1 hour or until done. 
9. Take out of the oven and cool for 15 minutes. 
10. Remove from pan and finish cooling. 

**To avoid cake failures, bring eggs and butter to room temperature.
***I found that this cake took 90 minutes to bake.