I am preparing the ingredients for my entry in the baking contest at the S.C. State Fair.
My sister, Catherine, is working on her cake, which is a lemon layer confection. My cake is called a Martha Washington "great cake." The original version called for 40 eggs, 4 pounds of butter, 4 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of dried fruit, 1 cup of French brandy, 1 cup of Madeira and 5 pounds of flour. The result was gigantic, hence the nickname "great cake."
Miss Martha's cake originally was served on the Twelfth Night Festival, marking the Epiphany. My entry will be a much smaller and scaled-down version without the cup of brandy, although it might help to lighten the judges' moods.
George Washington has always been a hero of mine. I remember when I was in the third grade and how fascinated I was when I learned about his ability to stand such cold weather during all of his battles. Think of how cold his feet, and those of his men, must have been. I can only hope he had some of that brandy-laced cake to nibble on.
So here I am in October 2011 on the verge of delivering, I hope, a bit of history to our capital. Here's to George and Martha and what I trust will be a really "great" cake.
See you there!
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.