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Cooking Corner

February 26, 2011
Bernice Volkens

I just stuck my nose outside and it looks and feels like the heavy coat, boots and mittens will have to come out of the closet again. We have escaped winter a couple times this year. One was a trip to Texas, where we had temperatures in the seventies. Then last week we were in Kansas City and down to Emporia, Kan. to take in a couple of Allison's games and we again had warm seventy degree weather, only to come back to hear there could be ice and snow. But take heart, here it is the last week in February and spring is officially only three weeks away. Every winter there are all kinds of complaints about the weather and we really have had some bad days and bad roads. However, since we've had our road, D-65, made into a brand new road, I've had nothing to complain about. However, the gravel roads can be quite bad when it snows, or when the frost goes out and the gravel roads are really soft. The other day I did have to go on a gravel road and I have to admit I turned around and got done what I wanted to do on the phone.

We have watched quite a bit of television this winter. It seems we can always find a good ball game on or I watch the Food Channel and my husband likes to watch Dirty Jobs. We both like movies, so we don't care if they are old or not because some of the old movies are worth seeing again. The other night we watched "Schindler's List" for the 2nd time. It is part of history we should all know about. I've had friends tell me they never watch anything about the Holocaust and much prefer to watch much of the junk about wife beaters, molesters and gory cop shows. To me "Schindler's List" is a worthwhile and uplifting movie.

It is the true story of the German industrialist and profiteer, Oscar Schindler and the 1,100, or maybe more, Jewish workers he saved from deportation and death. With all the horror of what happened when a nation goes mad, I didn't know if I could enjoy a story full of so much misery and anguish, but in the end I felt this movie was uplifting. It's taken from real life where there's bravery, hope and love. It ends with a lasting feeling of a change in the human race and a strong statement for all survivors everywhere. It's a story that should be told so this can never happen again. If you have never seen this movie, try to see it sometime. It's really a worthwhile movie and I enjoyed it more and learned more by seeing it again.

I was recently asked if I had a recipe for a caramel cake. This is a sheet cake that is a favorite of mine.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

dash of salt

2 eggs

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a saucepan, bring butter, oil and water to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and mix. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. BEAT WELL. Pour into a greased and floured 10 X 15- inch pan (jelly-roll pan). Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.


1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk or


2 1/4 cup confectioner's

(powdered sugar)sugar

Brown butter. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add buttermilk and return to a boil. Remove from heat. Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla, and beat to desired consistency.

"Seeing the first robin is one of life's simple pleasures."



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