Published on January 28, 2020

Seasoned Eatings From River’s End

My collection of recipes has outlasted the CD ROM drive

By Janice Edwards / The Bulletin

During the cold months of the year I like to drag out old recipes and make them. It’s time to make my Gumbo, Bison Vegetable Soup, vegetables fixed in new ways, cakes and cookies and breads. I got my love of cooking from my Mom, who was an excellent cook and taught me and my siblings how to cook at an early age.

Do any of you remember Baker’s coconut “cut-up” cakes from the ‘50s and ‘60s? You used regular round and square cake pans and Baker’s published booklets that showed you how to cut and ice them to make Santas, sailboats, Easter Rabbits, schoolhouses, turkeys, witches and more. They had a cake for every holiday – and my Mom made them all. She was a hit at our elementary school.

Mom also had one well-loved cookbook and Zip-loc bags full of recipes she liked or wanted to try. She passed away just a short time before Roy and I moved to our home on the San Bernard River, and I inherited some of those recipes. I also had collected envelopes full of my own recipes - and numerous cookbooks. I decided to start writing them all out and putting them on my computer for easier sharing and access.

Then I found out my neighbors were good cooks, too – and their recipes weren’t written down on anything, so I started collecting them.

As I completed copying the first 101 recipes, it was getting close to Christmas time, and I thought it might be nice to share the recipes with my friends and family. Then I thought – Compact Discs (CDs) are cheap enough, and so are jewel cases.

So that year, instead of a Christmas card, I decided to burn a recipe CD and send it in lieu of the card. I entitled it “Seasoned Eatings from River’s End – Recipes for the Good Life”.

At first, I had a hard time getting people to share their recipes, but as the years passed by, it got harder to decide which recipes went in and which stayed out until next year. I always stopped at 101 recipes a year. I started doing this in 2003 and stopped when CD technology became outdated. I made my last CD in 2008. Since then, I’ve been clipping recipes that I want to make - and have a file for them. I need to start typing the good ones again, so I can find them.

So, from time to time in this column, I’ll share some of these recipes with you that I particularly like. The first one’s California Amaretto Cake. I don’t know when I got this recipe, but I remember cutting it out of a magazine when I was still working for Getty Oil.

Amaretto was a popular drink back then, and like rum and Kalua - I have cake recipes with these in them, too - distillers pumped recipes out to the magazines to increase sales of that beverage. I think this cake gets its name from the citrus and almonds prevalent in the cake.

I made the California Amaretto Cake for Brazoria Lions Club Gun Raffle auction, and it brought in $50. It’s a Bundt cake with a pound cake texture and orange and Amaretto aroma and flavor. With all the citrus we grow in southern Brazoria County, I thought you all might enjoy making it. So, without much more ado, here’s the recipe – with a word to the wise – don’t take shortcuts.

When the recipe calls for Amaretto, use Amaretto, and when it says whip for 10 minutes, whip the cake mixture for 10 minutes – it makes a difference in the texture.

California Amaretto Cake

4 eggs
1 package two-layer yellow cake mix
1 package (3 ¾ ounce) lemon-flavored instant pudding mix
2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
½ cup vegetable oil
Beat eggs until light. Add cake mix, pudding, Amaretto, water and oil. Beat for 10 minutes (this is VERY IMPORTANT – do as it says). Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for 50 minutes. Cool in the pan. (Do not invert pan while cooling.) Remove from pan and glaze.

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Amaretto
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Add about 2 tablespoons additional Amaretto and Orange peel twists and almonds.

(Write Jan in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)