This weekend I celebrated my 55th birthday. It began by taking some time off work early; going to my friends Jim & Pam to get a load of aged horse manure for the garden. While Kathryn and Eric visited with Pam it took me about 1 hour to fork a heaping load on the truck, tarp it and lash it down. Below the “compost” is ready to be deployed as mulch between rows, once the plants are coming up. At this point there are 4 rows of peas just beginning to show through the dirt.
Saturday was a work day as we picked the house, cleaned and did loads of laundry in the morning. In the afternoon we raked a couple of the nasty areas on the lawn and transferred deck furniture from the barn loft to the deck.
Sunday Mom, Barbara, Billie Jo and Dakota joined the Kathryn, Eric and I in a chicken & biscuits birthday dinner capped by yes, Tomato Soup Cake – rich and spicy and filled with raisins, walnuts, and topped with a cream cheese frosting. I calculate I have probably had Tomato Soup Cake for my birthday for about 40 consecutive years now. I may have missed one or two in their, but I can’t recall the misses. Just the cakes.
You ask how could a cake come from tomato soup? and what on earth would possess someone to ever conceive of including it in a recipe? My research reveals that during the Great Depression many ingredients were not readily available to homemakers. They “made-do” with what they had… some depression-era homemaker went through her cupboards to see what she did have, and laid them all out before her….flour, baking soda, sugar, raisins, nuts, spices and cream chargers. A bit if this and a bit of that, and a humble can of Tomato Soup. When there were no eggs, she came up with things like Tomato Soup Cake. And thank goodness for that moment.
I was honored to receive a basketball & net, gift certificate to Miller’s Nursery (for grapes), a GSI Dualist cook kit, Home Depot gift certificate and fish worms as presents. Eric gave me the fish worms so we had to cap off the day by going fishing. He caught a nice big catfish ~16″ and a 12-13″ bass.