My great Grandmother has always been an inspiration to me in my life. More so now as an adult now that I’m a wife and mother. I named my first child after her and knew that I always would. Julia. Has such an old feel to it and I have always loved the way it rolls off my tongue. Her full name was Julia Della.
A woman born at the beginning of the 20th century in 1906 and raised three daughters pretty much singlehandedly. My great grandfather and her husband, Frederick Lutz, worked on a fishing Schooner and then worked at the Core of Engineers for 30 plus years and was away from home for weeks on end.
She had a mixture of American Indian, Swedish and some that I’m not sure of just yet. Doing the research now and will share more once I know her full heritage. Isn’t she beautiful??
She was a tiny woman! So thin all her life with the most beautiful figure. The aprons I have of hers are so small they fit my daughters more than they do me.
Unfortunately Pa passed away when I was just an infant so I never knew him. I only have the pictures and stories that my Grandma tells me. He was a terrific man!
I would stay the night with Grandmother, as a young preteen girl, and we would get up in the morning, cool crisp mornings she would turn the gas heater on the back porch, and we would drink coffee together and discuss anything and everything under the Sun. I was never too young to have a cup of coffee with Grandmother. Another staple was Pepsi Cola and powdered donuts in an old CoolWhip container, her Tupperware, for snack. To this day, if I eat a powdered donut I’m transported back to that stoop, sun beating down on my shoulders, hearing my Grandmother in the kitchen.
She taught me to crochet which I unfortunately forgot and wasn’t old enough to cherish what she had shared with me. She also dipped Snuff and would tan my hide if she knew I was sharing this with you folks. Like most of us that have the blessing to know our Great Grandmothers, Snuff was a common thing for women in the early 20th century to use in place of cigarettes. She dipped her whole life and if I’m not mistaken kept the secret from Pa, for YEARS! My mom still has a can of her snuff, Tops, in her kitchen on display… when I open it up and smell that sweet, tobacco smell… Grandmother is right beside me.
You see, we lived right next door to her and only a small field separated our two homes so my younger brother Jacob and I wore out a path between the two! Man did Jake and Grandmother fight! He was only a little guy (we are 7 years apart) and they would argue about the funniest things. One being the TV programs that we could watch at her house. It was just understood that when Judge Wapner came on at 4 O’clock that whatever was on at the time was going to be turned off. She did not miss The People’s Court EVER! He would get so mad and say that he was going home and never coming back. Grandmother would say “Mmm hmm” knowing he would be back in about 15 minutes, his anger forgotten and they would be best buddies once again.
I was lucky enough to inherit quite a few things of hers… Her bedroom suite, her set of everyday dishes, aprons (oh her aprons!) and a few of her cast iron pieces; both of which I use almost every week. One of the most important thing I inherited is her Pound Cake recipe.
Grandmother had a wonderful sweet tooth! You hear people say ‘a horrible sweet tooth’ but I like to think it is a wonderful thing not a horrible thing. She loved to bake but in her later years Grandma, her daughter, would make the cakes for her. She always had two in the fridge at all times and would cut a piece a show dog couldn’t jump over for dessert after lunch AND dinner.
She had two Pound Cake recipes but this one is by far my favorite! I have added my own little touch to it that I think she would enjoy and wouldn’t mind that I have done so.
2 sticks butter, room temp (1 cup)
7 tblsp. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. Vanilla
zest of 2 or 3 lemons/oranges, depending on size
(I have used either or both at the same time and love it either way)
3 cups of flour, sifted 3 times
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Combine your dry ingredients and sift 3 times. Set aside. (It might seem silly to sift the flour 3 times but I have always done it and it makes the cake unbelievably light for a cake with such ‘heavy’ ingredients)
Combine your cream, water, vanilla and zest in liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and shortening until thoroughly combined. Add sugar and mix well. Next, add eggs one at at time and mix after each addition. Add your dry and wet ingredients to the batter, alternately, starting and ending with dry. Be careful not to over beat the batter at this point; mixing only until the ingredients are combined.
Grease and flour your Tube/Bundt cake pan (I use a Tube Pan with a removable bottom). Pour batter into pan and bake at 325 for 90 minutes. Starting in a COLD oven. No preheating for this recipe! No opening the door either! Peeking through the window is acceptable.
So there you have it. My Great Grandmother’s Pound Cake recipe! I’m glad that you have been introduced to her. You will be seeing her often and will get to know her better.
I’m just sitting on the back porch… drinking coffee and eating pound cake… visiting with Grandmother..