My dear friend, Suzanne, writes a column for her son's newsletter. Jonathan is a financial planner in Franklin, TN. I have almost become a bully regarding asking her to paleeze write a novel or short stories. I asked her permission to share her latest column with you. It is below and I have no doubt it will be enjoyed. The coconut cake will also be a winner, if you give it a try. I made it for Saint Patrick's Day and colored the cake green... Accidentally, way too much green made it's way into the batter. I decided it would be best not to share a picture! Besides, it has been long gone. :)
Enjoy the column and the recipe!
Recipes from Jonathan’s Mom
One of the best things I have ever eaten was my Grandmother Miller’s homemade coconut cake. She carefully measured the flour and sifted it. She used farm fresh eggs. She bought the rare, real, fresh coconut, cracked it, drained the “milk” from it, pried the meat form the shell and grated it with an old fashioned grater into a milk glass mixing bowl. She used real butter and real vanilla and the tall glorious white cloud of a layer cake was a wonder to behold. But to look at it was just the beginning of its glory because the texture was fine and moist and sweet with the exotic flavor of the coconut milk and the silken frosting (the boiled “marshmallow” kind) covered in a fluffy blanket of grated coconut had a flavor that could only be described as heavenly.
As a young wife I tried several times to reproduce that wonderful memory – but my best effort never quite equaled the treasured delight of my grandmother’s cake. I didn’t know what was missing because I used the best and freshest ingredients I could find – even the fresh coconut – but the secret to making my grandmother’s wonderful coconut cake still eluded me.
I have finally come to realize that the missing ingredient is my grandmother! Her tender voice, her ready smile, her strong arms, the comfort of her presence - like the warm bustling kitchen that was the heart of her home – translated everything good and pleasurable to my youthful mind. Not to diminish her lovely cake – I simply came to understand that her cake exemplified the beauty and “deliciousness” of the relationship of a much loved child with her grandmother.
Since I know that I can never duplicate that wonderful cake, I will offer a simple and truly delicious substitute that has been very much enjoyed by my family and friends. I am amazed at how good this simple substitute for the old fashioned, made from scratch coconut cake is. NOT my grandmother’s cake, but a very good cake indeed! In fact, it is the best coconut cake I have ever made.
The Best Coconut Cake I Ever Made
One packaged cake mix, white or yellow, prepared according to package directions in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish
One can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
One can Cream of Coconut
One large carton of Cool Whip
Two cups of sweetened flaked coconut
Bake cake according to package directions. When cake is done, remove from oven and use a meat fork to poke holes all over the surface of the cake.
Combine the Sweetened Condensed Milk with the Cream of Coconut and slowly pour it over the surface of the hot cake, allowing time for the cake to absorb the liquid
When cake has cooled completely, spread the Cool Whip over the entire surface.
Top with the flaked coconut, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 3 to 4 hours)