Odds and Ends . . . and a Cake Recipe

Unearthing another great recipe — That’s a lie. I’m not about unearthing great recipes. But I am good at losing them. So when I went to pull out the recipe for Mimi’s Funeral Cake this morning in preparation for a weekend of gorging, the primal scream you may have heard was the direct result of not being able to find the recipe for Mimi’s Funeral Cake. Apparently, someone has broken into my house and taken this piece of paper. But not to worry. I included it in a blog post more than a year ago at the old address and was able to save the day. (Thanks, Al Gore!) A recap . . .

After my grandmother died more than 15 years ago, women from all over Cobb County, Georgia, it seems, did as Southern women do in such times. They cooked.

Among the many, many things delivered to her house and to her hungry, tired relatives was an orange mandarin cake, which is still referred to today as Mimi’s Funeral Cake. Yes, it is that memorable and ranks among The Best Cakes Ever. Consider this an early Easter gift:

MIMI’S FUNERAL CAKE
(some call it Orange Mandarin Cake)

1 box yellow cake mix (don’t get fancy; store brand works just fine; take the bag out of the box, and throw the box away, or you’ll be tempted to follow the box directions, which have nothing at all to do with this recipe; when my friend Leslie tried making this the first time, she called me no fewer than four times because the box directions were throwing her off)
3/4 c. cooking oil
3 eggs
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges (do not drain; I repeat, do not drain, tempting as it may be)

Mix all above ingredients. Bake in three cake pans at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. (An aside: I have only two round cake pans. So in my early years of baking Mimi’s Funeral Cake, I would bake two layers, while the third sat in the bowl, just waiting. Big mistake. My husband ate the entire third layer in its batter form, thinking it was bowl-lick. So I’ve since amended these instructions and just make two really thick layers. It’s really the only safe way around here.)

Frosting

1 large Cool Whip
1 pkg. (large) vanilla instant pudding
1 large can (drained) crushed pineapple
Mix pudding and pineapple, then fold in Cool Whip. Chill overnight in sealed container. (Another amendment: This frosting is a stand-alone dessert. Chill overnight at your own risk. You may find an empty bowl in its place the next morning. Really, an hour or two does the trick. Just make sure the cake is cool.)
You can toss chopped nuts on top, if you like. I don’t like. Unless this cake is being served, it should remain in the refrigerator at all times. Or you will have pudding.

A Green Lantern update — because you know you want one.

When I posted really bad photos of Tracy’s spring break in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, who knew my actions would catapult her to fame among the Superhero crowd? Not I. If you have some time on your hands, click here, and scroll to the bottom to unravel the discourse among the fans who are stalking Ryan Reynolds and conjecturing about his bruises, chest muscles and possibly some premature graying. Scroll down about one third of the page to see how I have marketed my innocent friends into the Superhero underworld.

I just hope it doesn’t go to their heads.

And finally, an Easter haiku for your reading pleasure:

I’m somewhat scared of

the artificial sweetness

that makes Easter peeps.

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