Some recipes bring back memories, and this is one of them. This is my Grandma Murnice's recipe. I had an unusual relationship with my Grandma, in that she was my Grandma, but growing up, she was also my best friend. She never had a daughter, and although I didn't realize it at the time, I think maybe I filled that role in some ways when I was young. There were other granddaughters, but I was the only one who lived close by, and so I spent lots of time with her growing up cooking, singing, shopping, teaching Sunday School and Bible Club, and travelling.
Grandma was a FANTASTIC cook. Some of my favorite memories of her are the times we spent together cooking: helping her make cookies in her kitchen when I was still so small that I had to stand on a chair to reach, helping her peel peaches to can in the summer, finding that she had made cookies for me to take back to college with me, and watching her and my Mom prepare those big family holiday meals when I was a little girl. She had beautiful glass dishes to serve in, always put out a big bowl of olives that we kids were allowed to put on our finger tips, and she kept a special set of fancy stemmed glasses that she put ginger ale in for us kids.
Life was very hard for her during the last decade of her life, and there wasn't much time or energy for her to cook for fun or host big family dinners like she did when I was small, but this recipe was one that she continued to make as soon as fresh cranberries came out in the store.
During the years we dated, Gareth fell in love with this cake, and my Grandma would make him one (without nuts) when he came for a holiday visit. I still miss her so much, and it tends to get much worse leading up to the holidays. To this day, there are times when I catch myself going to the phone to call her, because I just want to tell her about what one if the kids just said or the great recipe I just tried, or how great the music was in church that morning.
This cake brings back great memories of her, and starting in early October, I always look forward to finding that first batch of fresh cranberries to arrive in the store so that I can make her cranberry cake for my family.
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
2/3 c. chopped pecans
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar for 5 minutes. Add butter and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in flour, then stir in cranberries and pecans. Spread into a greased 13x9x2 pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
*Note: This cake does not use a leavening agent. You must beat the eggs, sugar and butter for the appropriate length of time in order to get a light texture.