My grandma died a year ago this month.
For the past several years, I've traveled to Indiana to see her and my grandpa with my girls each summer. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, helping her prepare meals. On the visit during the summer before she died, she shared this recipe for lemon cake with me.
She mostly fixed long-time favorites when we were there - meatloaf, pineapple cake, broccoli and cheese soup, a vegetable salad with Jello. But another relative had just given her this cake recipe. She was excited to serve something new and tell me about it. My older daughter helped with the finishing touches, which involve poking small holes over the top so the glaze sinks down into the cake.
Right now, as I type this, I'm sitting in the hospital room of her husband, my grandfather. He's recovering from a variety of medical issues, which cropped up during his visit here in North Carolina last week. I am thankful that he was here when it all happened, closer to medical care than his rural home in Indiana.
It's been a long, tough week. But still, I marvel at his willingness to travel, at age 96, a great distance to see my mom and my family. It reminds me of that summer morning spent making this lemon cake with my grandma, who, even at age 89, wasn't afraid to try something different too.
They both inspire me. I share this recipe in honor of them today.
1 package of lemon cake mix
1 package of instant lemon pudding
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup lemon or orange juice (I used lemon)
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour a 9x13 pan.
Mix together lemon cake mix, pudding mix, water and oil. Beat for five minutes. Add eggs and beat for another five minutes. Bake for 40 minutes.
When done, prick the top of the cake with a toothpick or fork all over so the glaze really soaks in. I let my younger daughter do this, carefully wrapping the hot pan in a towel and supervising her.
Mix the fruit juice and powdered sugar. Pour over cake while it's still warm. You can eat this cake warm or at room temperature. Either way, it's delicious!
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