I recently entered my Grandma’s carrot cake in to the ‘heritage cake’ category at the Boorowa show, (where you needed to provide an explanation to go along with the cake) and guess what!? It won first place! My family was pretty chuffed. Read my entry below.
CARROT & PINEAPPLE CAKE
Michael Delaney, a great friend of mine and ultimate storyteller believes in ‘spinning a yarn’. He thinks it’s possible for anyone to tell a good story; sometimes you just need to add a little mayonnaise to make it better, “throw some mayo on it” he says.
Now I’ve grown up hearing stories of my Grandma Betty’s life for as long as I can remember. I’ve loved hearing about how she’d help her dad out on the farm as a girl, how they’d have to light the fire, milk the cow and churn the butter all before the recipe book would even come out. About how if it wasn’t found in the veggie patch, it wasn’t eaten and if something was broken – you wouldn’t race out and buy a new one, you’d fix it!
But to do all of this – I’d be spinning a yarn, I’d be “putting mayo” on it, because I wasn’t there. I didn’t experience the hardships of life on the land, in the days before electricity, microwave ovens and colour tv. I don’t know what it was like to make a cake without the convenience of a supermarket in which to find all of the ingredients. So instead of writing about what I don’t know, I’m going to write about what I do.
I do know that my Grandma Betty was a beautiful cook. She made the finest shortbread biscuits, her macaroni and cheese was to die for and never will you see anyone cut up a barbecue chook with more finesse. She told me that if she’d had a bad day, she’d retreat to her kitchen whereby a batch of freshly baked biscuits or cake, such as this carrot and pineapple one, would bring her joy and satisfaction. Funnily enough if I think of all of my childhood memories of Grandma – they were always in the kitchen!
So as different as we both are; Grandma was an utter perfectionist in everything she did, whereas I’m a little more haphazard, I feel that we’ll always have something in common. A love of good food. A love of cooking. A love of sharing recipes.
I just wish Bet was still around to see this. I know she would of been proud as punch seeing her cake on display today.
A deliciously easy cake to make, the addition of the crushed pineapple is significant due to the moisture that it brings with it, as well as the fact that back in the day – country cooks used lots of tinned and preserved fruit in their cooking; as tropical fruit was a lot harder to come by in the bush.
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 cup grated carrot
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Sift dry ingredients, mix in all other ingredients. Bake in moderate oven (180℃) for 25 – 30 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
- Spread with cream cheese and lemon icing and sprinkle with walnuts.