Gooey Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake
It was just the four of us at home this Christmas. I love waking up in my own bed, making a cup coffee the way I like it and opening our presents by the light of our own tree. Oh sure, I miss the variety and drama of a good ole south Texas Christmas with the family, but this year I decided to keep up to date via the telephone. When I was a child, I loved watching all of the excitement of a fireside family showdown but as you get older the chances of getting sucked to the middle of it increase dramatically when you are present and I wanted no part of that. My daughter was telling me about a website where you can read actual forwarded texts that are sent in by everyday people. One of her favorites said, “Its not Christmas till my mother cries.” This must have been sent in by one of my cousins because in my family Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a few tears.
Oh, I guess it really wasn’t all bad growing up in my family. In fact, when I think back on my favorite childhood Christmases, I seem to always go back to those mornings at my grandmother’s farm when everyone would open their presents together. We would then play with each other’s toys while our young mothers, with Dippity-do soaked pin curls scotch taped to the sides of their faces, would laugh and giggle while preparing such 60’s favorites as Green Jell-O and Cream Cheese Mold, Ambrosia Salad and a gooey chocolate cake. About three or four o’clock, after begging for any old scrap of food for what seemed like hours, we were ushered to our appropriate places. The younger ones of us were escorted to the kiddie table (yes it does exist) and the grown-ups took their places at the main table. Personally, I loved sitting at the kiddie table because the grown-ups just didn’t know how to have fun. I mean, at their table there wasn’t anyone squishing mashed potatoes through the wholes where their baby teeth used to be or using green beans as fangs and laughing until milk came out of your nose. With fun like this going on why would anyone want to be moved up to the boring old grown-up table? Not me, wise beyond my years back then, I never wanted to grow up, and I still don’t.
This year at our little celebration, there wasn’t any division of the generations by table. The four of us all sat together and shared stories and ate the prime rib that took about an hour longer than I thought it would and laughed. We watched videos together after dinner instead of engaging in a Cold Duck infused row like the generations before us and somehow we still managed to have a good time. I must admit that I do miss most of my crazy family who now have either drifted apart or passed away. I keep them alive by relying on my memories of them, cooking some of their wonderful recipes and maybe by having a glass or two too many of inexpensive champagne with my dinner. Maybe those grown-ups knew a thing or two about having a little fun after all.
I’m not sure if this is the chocolate cake recipe that my mother and her sisters used to make but I haven’t found one better. This recipe has actually been a staple in many American homes for years but if I introduce it to one cook, my work here is done. Make it once and I guarantee it will be a regular on your table.