Everything is better with bacon, including spice cake

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 29, 2016

“…A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.”

~ William Carlos Williams, excerpt from “Winter Trees”

With Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s feast overload giving more in-depth meaning to the old term Groaning Board, I fix a cup of hot tea and crave simple things like a tangerine or pear instead of rich treats. The eyes cross at the thought of another slice of turkey. Another round of eggnog isn’t happening—thank goodness it’s just once a year!

Hunting for a recipe from the kitchen’s eclectic cookbook collection, I stumble on an ancient handwritten recipe for spice cakes from my Great Aunt Elizabeth’s day. (The bacon grease is a big clue of just how old it is!) My mother always made these in Aunt Elizabeth’s cast-iron spice cake pans. (The recipe is on page 28.)

It’s simple, except I’m fresh out of a 1/3 cup of bacon fat. That would mean having to fry an entire package of bacon, and then eat the bacon with River Dog’s willing help as we hover at the Groaning Board, groaning again over too much, too much, too much. By then, the desire for any spice cakes would surely be gone. I believe right now we’re holiday-ed out! Although River perked up at the whisper of bacon. (Dogs know their words!)

Once again, it seems a fine way to start off this upcoming New Year with the following quote, spice cakes, eggnog, bacon or not: “Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Love deeply and forgive quickly.”

We might not be here tomorrow—it can all be gone in an instant. Don’t waste happiness. Laugh a lot. Forgive. Love.

There’s still time to order an engraved brick/paver for Pace Park in the alley by M.A. Pace Store. Drop off applications and payment to City Hall or mail to City of Saluda, 6 Main Street, Saluda, NC 28773. Proceeds will go toward building public restrooms. For information, contact Catherine Ross at 828-749-3534 or carnc@charter.net.

Learn more about Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) by visiting saludaclt.org or calling 828-749-1560.

Saluda School will be out from Dec. 22 – Jan. 1.

Saluda Welcome Table returns Jan. 10.

Don’t forget: If you’re over 60 and need meals delivered or to borrow medical equipment, the Saluda Center’s Meals on Wheels Program can help you out. They also can use volunteers! “Aging in Place – It’s In Your Future” will be presented by SLIP (Saluda Living In Place) on January 25. Registration is at 9:45 and the talk begins at 10 a.m. Dr. JoAnne Helppie will be speaker. For information contact Donna Carson at Saluda Center, 64 Greenville Street, or call 828-749-9245.

Happy December birthday to Judy Ward, Holly Wilkes, Theresa Wilkes, Perry Ellwood, Donnie Hunter, Jeff Bradley, Preston Mintz, Carolyn Morgan, Susan Casey, Jeff Jenkins, Nikki Ammerman, Cas Haskell, Mary O. Ratcliffe, Laura Fields, Lord Blanton, Beth Brand, Jim Carson and Tom DeKay.

Get well wishes go to Mary Ann Asbill and Rich and Rita Igoe.

Thank you for reading this column. As ever, the goal is to make you, dear reader, feel like you’re enjoying a cup of hot tea and Aunt Elizabeth’s spice cakes along with life in Saluda. It’s hard to believe yet another year has almost passed. I wish all of you a Happy New Year ahead! Feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com or 749-1153. I always love hearing from you. Or visit bonniebardosart.com for more writing and art, or Facebook.

Aunt Elizabeth’s
Spice Cakes

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup bacon fat

1 cup sour milk

1 cup finely cut raisins (cutting raisins is NOT fun)

¼ cup molasses

2 cups flour

2 tsp. each ginger, cloves, cinnamon

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

Bake 325 degrees until done.