While unpacking my too large a collection of cookbooks, I came across a tattered and stained cookbook
that my mother had given me early in my married life. I had forgotten about it, but as I flipped through the pages, I remembered making so many of the recipes-summer chicken with peas and new potatoes, a simple one skillet meal bright with fresh peas and thyme, a strawberry satin pie, a creamy vanilla filled pie glistening with glazed strawberries and homemade burger buns-I had forgotten how much I liked these and now that I have just bought an electric meat grinder, I will make these again.
Entitled “Informal Entertaining Country Style”, edited by Nell B. Nichols, food editor for Farm Journal magazine, the book is geared toward entertaining country style taking advantage of the fresh produce that farmers harvest along with their cash crops of soybeans, wheat and the like. Ms. Nichols writes, “the trend to easy, casual living is changing the lifestyle of all America. Growing interest even among urban dwellers in the good earth and its produce is making country-style cooking and hospitality the popular way to welcome guests”.
Things haven’t really changed since 1973 when this cookbook was written. Farmers’ Markets abound, as well as home gardens and allotments or community gardens where for a fee one can rent a space in which to grow fruits, flowers and vegetables.
Divided into chapters with meals for entertaining mid-morning, midday, supper, and special occasions, the dishes are colorful, made from scratch and uses seasonal foods. The book is now out of print, but possibly can be found here, here and here.
This glazed coconut pound cake is an old favorite from the cookbook. I’ve adapted the recipe decreasing the flour to 2 cups, adding more vanilla extract, plus coconut liqueur instead of the lemon extract. The original recipe served the coconut pound cake with lemon, but I made a glaze instead. The pound cake is very moist with a fine texture as pound cakes should be.
Glazed Coconut Pound Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1-1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, if desired
1 tablespoon coconut liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract
1/2-1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup coconut, toasted, if desired
Preheat oven to 335°F. Grease and lightly flour a 10 cup tube or bundt pan. Set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream butter and eggs until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add in the milk, coconut, coconut liqueur and vanilla extract, mixing well. Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing just to incorporate.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before turning out on a rack to cool. Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining the coconut milk, vanilla or coconut extract. Mix in the coconut. Pour glaze over cake. Serves 8-10.
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