Pound Cake

Tonight I wanted to sip on a martini and watch The Handmaids tale. I did not want to write this post. This week has been so full. The weight of what has happened, and what will happen because of it, sits heavy on my shoulders, and also propels me forward with it's process.

Cooking can be like that, a thing I do not want to do, but need to. In the doing, I find myself enjoying it and wanting to do more. Losing the self in the process, and finding myself anew.

So, what has happened that weighs so heavy? That makes me just want to slowly sip a martini and watch a story Margaret Atwood started? I am plotting out a monthly podcast segment with Dr. Kevin Mahoney on his Raging Chicken Press podcast. We are calling it 'Free Range,' and will begin broadcasting in June. We will be talking about the intersection of food policies, land use, and social justice. From there, I will be starting to write a monthly piece for the Landerholmestead in Washington state, looking for issues that we share in common, and opening up conversations across this country about food policies, land use, and social justice. I am also finally starting up my monthly dinners.

On the last Monday of each month, I will bring people around my table, feeding them with food I make from local providers, and introducing them to the names and places that sustain our lives and impact our shared environment. I will be documenting the process and the event, so look for changes to my posts starting in June. The first dinner will be my Farmers Dinner, and I will have 5 farms at my table. I will finally get to introduce them all to one another, both in the person and through their my dishes. Each dish will be created from materials from the farms. I am very excited.

I am also launching a Patreon page on 1 June, in the hopes of gaining enough patron financial support to allow me to spend my time documenting the farmers and makers of this area through images, stories, and dishes. Don't worry. You will hear a lot about that when it launches.

I give much thanks to my friends Pete Fleming and John Burns for the amazing table I have been dreaming of for 2 years. John had a bunch of old poplar wood in one of his barns, and Pete transformed it into a most beautiful 10'x42" farm table for me. It has changed my life. Cheers, Friends! We definitely need to plan an evening with food and bevvies at it.

And, On with the show:

I offer you 2 different recipes for Pound Cake. It is a comforting sweet, quickly made. Warm, cold, toasted, or topped with cream or sauce, it is always a favorite. It can stand alone or act as a foundation for something composed. The first is from Michael Ruhlman's Ratio . If you have read some of my past posts, you know that I am working my way through this book as I work my way from cook to chef. If you have not read any of my past posts, I highly recommend this book.

The second is from the 13th edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. If you have read some of my past posts, you know that I think this is the best cooks primer. If you are a new reader, make sure you have a copy in your home.

Pound cake freezes well, and if you know you are going to have a lot of guests, this is something you could make one at a time, every day or every few days, and freeze until needed. A way to cut down on some stress for a big party. At serving time, all you need is some whipped cream and sweet sauces, and people can serve themselves exactly what they want.

I hope you try them both, and find a favorite.

From Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

8 ounces Butter, room temperature

8 ounces Blonde Sugar*

1 tsp Fine Salt

8 ounces Eggs (4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature), Lightly Whipped to Combine

Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice & Zest of 1 Lime

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

8 ounces Flour (about 1 3/4 c)

Citrus Glaze

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tbsp Lime Juice

1/4 c Blonde Sugar*

*Ingredient note: Blonde Sugar is evaporated cane sugar.

Useful Items: Stand Mixer, 9-inch loaf pan, Parchment Paper

Oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

In standing mixer using paddle attachment, on medium-high: Beat Butter until creamy, then add Sugar and Salt. Beat until the mixture becomes a very pale yellow, and has increased about a third in volume (2-3 minutes).

Add Eggs slowly, to fully incorporate (about another minute).

Add: 1 tbsp each Lemon & Lime juice, Zest of both, and Vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low: Add Flour, mixing only long enough to incorporate.

Pour batter into pan, bake for 1 Hour. Test with a pairing knife or toothpick. Cake is done when blade comes out clean.

Let rest in pan for 5 mInutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.


Combine Juices and Sugar in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, heat and stir the sugar until it is dissolved. Taste, and adjust sweet-sour balance if necessary. I find that 3 tbsp of juice produces a well balanced syrup.

Brush Pound Cake on all sides with glaze.

From the 13th Edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham

Pound Cake

8 ounces Butter, room temperature

1 c Blonde Sugar* (The printed version calls for 1 1/2 c, but I find that much too sweet.)

5 Eggs, room temperature

2 c Cake Flour

1/2 tsp Fine Salt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Mace

*Ingredient note: Blonde Sugar is evaporated cane sugar.

Useful Items: Stand Mixer, 9-inch loaf pan, Parchment Paper

Oven to 325F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

Cream Butter, and slowly add Sugar, and beat until light.

Add Eggs, one at a time, beating each well.

Add Vanilla and Salt, combine, then add Flour until combined.

Spoon into pan, and bake for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick or pairing knife blade comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 Minutes before turning out onto rack. Serve in very thin slices.

One interesting thing about the Lemon-Lime Pound Cake is that it can also yield a much appreciated Sidecar.

Cheers, until next week.


Lemon-Lime Pound Cake & Sidecar