@recipe FERN HOLMES
In our July issue, you’ll meet Fern Holmes. She’s going to be ninety-two in a few weeks and she sat down with us to tell us what life was like in the greater Fort Smith area during the big events like the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and when the city emptied of most of the able-bodied men during World War II.
She also shared some of her great recipes, like this one for Cherry Surprise Cake. We tried it and it was great. And you know what. You can make a cake without a mix!
Cherry Surprise Cake
1 cup Wesson or Crisco oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (sift and measure after it’s sifted). If you don’t have a sifter, just pour your flour in a bowl, use a wire whisk to stir it up. Now you’re ready to measure
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 can cherry pie filling, 1 lb. size
Mix oil and sugar thoroughly, beating with electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy.
Sift flour, measure, then add the baking powder and salt, then add this to the oil mixture gradually. Beat until mixed, about two minutes.
Divide batter in half.
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Pour ½ of the batter over the bottom of pan. Batter will be stiff.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the mixture over batter.
Sweeten pie filling just to taste, and spoon filling over the batter.
Add the ½ of batter over cherries. Sprinkle the remaining mixture of sugar and cinnamon over the top.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, or until done. (I bake mine for 45 minutes, and that’s when my cake is done.)