I love food, I love to try new foods, I love to cook and bake. For this I thank/blame my parents. They always encouraged my to try new things. Every Friday we would go out to eat. Growing up in Fort Wayne, IN, you would think that there wouldn’t be many culinary choices, but you would be wrong. In the Fort Wayne of my youth there were two industries of which there were an abundance: Churches (particularly Lutheran, there is a Missouri Synod Seminary there after all), and restaurants (you have to have some place to go after church right?). But back to Friday night. Those dinners with my parents let my young Hoosier palate grow. Whatever I wanted to try, they indulged me (it’s good to be an only child).
My parents were foodies too, and loved to cook. However, they were very different kinds of cooks. My mother was a baker. She was truly gifted. She was also very precise. She would follow recipes to a “t”. Never any guesstimates, substitutions or deviations. Since baking, in my opinion, is much like the science of chemistry, it was probably her precision that made her such a great baker.
One of my most prized possessions is a cookbook my mother gave to me about 10 years ago. In it, she had handwritten all of her recipes that I loved. Many of them were for cookies which she made every Christmas (more about those at a later date). Ho0wever, one recipe has particular sentiment for me. It is a recipe for rum cake. While she didn’t start making this until I was a teenager, she made it many times during the rest of her lifetime. It was a recipe she would take to work for her friends, to church for potlucks and every year she would make for me for my birthday. So, in honor of my mom, I think I will be making one of these for Mother’s Day. Why not make one for a mom in your life?
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 pkg of yellow cake mix (regular or *pudding cake mix)
1 3/4 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
*If you are using cake mix with pudding already in the mix, use 3 eggs instead of 4, and 1/3 cup of oil instead of 1/2 cup
1/4 lb of butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of the pan. Mix the rest of the cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour. Cool and invert on serving plate.
Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum.
Prick the top of the cake. Spoon and brush on glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until glaze is all used up.