This June I met with Moosilauke Ravine Lodge summer manager, Ada Graham, to discuss menus for Alex and Dan's August wedding. One of the recipes Ada recommended for the Friday night dinner was an adaption of "Vermont Pan-Seared Pork Medallions" from In a Vermont Kitchen by Amy Lyon and Lynne Andreen. This recipe sounded interesting so I found the book and tried it (very good!). While perusing the book for other recipes I came across "The Best Rum Cake Ever". My Mom makes a rum cake but her recipe calls for a white box cake and instant pudding so I haven't made it in a long time. Looking over the ingredient list, I thought this recipe might be a good alternative except I could not understand how a serious recipe could involve so much rum .....
"Helen S. Atwood, our formidable neighbor of eighty-something, who has lived here forever and knows everyone, gave us this recipe from her trove. (It's kept her going all of these years.) It's a keeper! SERVES?
1 or 2 quarts rum
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups chopped dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar .
1 cup chopped nuts
Before starting, sample the rum to check for quality. Good, isn't it? Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. Good, isn't it? (It must be just right.) To be sure that the rum is of the highest quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glass and drink it.
(If the rum quality is not the best, the cake will not be superior!)
With an electric beater, beat the butter into a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of tugar and beat again. Meanwhile make sure the rum is of the finest quality-try another cup. Good, isn't it?
Open a second quart of rum if necessary, add two large leggs, 2 cups of fried druit, and beat until high. If the druit gets stuck in the beaters, just pry it loose with a drews-crivers.
Next, sift 3 cups baking powder, a pinch of rum, a seaspoon of toda, and 1 cup of pepper or salt (it really doesn't mattter which). Sample the rum again. Good, isn't it?
Sift 1 1/2 pint of lemon juice. Fold in butter and strained nuts. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or whatever color you can find). Mix well. Grease and flour that crazy oven, and crank up that cake pan to 350 greedees. Now, pour the whole mess into the oven. You don't need a pan. Just throw it on in. Now, check the rum again. Good, ain't it? Now, get someone to watch the oven, cause if you feel like I do, you're goin' to bed.
NOTE: I have tried this recipe three times and never did find the cake when I woke up from my nap. All I found was this sticky brown mess all over the kitchen walls and oven, and two empty rum bottles."
I believe all of the other recipes in this cookbook are serious.
STELLA'S RUM CAKE (NOT A JOKE)
Just for the record, here is my Mom's recipe, which was given to her by a New Mexico family friend, Stella Baker. Stay tuned as sometime I am going to figure out a version without white box cake and instant pudding, meanwhile I prefer the Orange Poppy Seed Bunt Cake
"Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In the bottom of a non-stick Bundt cake pan spread
1/2 c chopped nuts [pecans]
1 box white cake mix (Betty Crocker)
1 box instant pudding [recall this must be vanilla]
1/2 c light rum
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
4 eggs, well beaten [Egg Beaters would probably work]
and pour into Bundt pan.
Bake for 55 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven [Mom's notes say 35-45 minutes]
While cake is cooking, make icing by combining in a small sauce pan:
1 cube butter [4 oz?]
1 c sugar
1/2 c light rum
1/4 c water
Cook for 2-3 minutes and pour slowly over the cake as soon as it comes from the oven. Leave in the pan for about one hour.
"Good luck! Stella"