This past week, I delivered not one, but two 7-Up Cakes to friends who were suffering from one kind of affliction or the other. Now, in and of themselves, 7-Up Cakes have no proven healing qualities nor have they ever claimed to cure a single thing, but we all know that like the salt water of the Gulf, the gift of food from a friend is good for what ails you.
The first cake went to Cousin Rosie Belle in Robertsdale who had a serious hitch in her get-along resulting from an accident involving her treadmill. It seems that while she was trotting along, she propped up her ipad and was watching an old Youtube video of Andrae’ Crouch’s funeral service, when the Spirit took hold of her and she lifted her hands in praise and/or worship, lost her balance, and nearly slung herself through the wall. Rosie Belle thought she was a goner as she laid there on the floor of the spare bedroom because just before she lost consciousness, she heard, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the King!”
The next cake went to a friend, who during last week’s big storm, was injured in a lightening strike. She wasn’t actually struck by lightening, but when a pine tree in her own backyard was suddenly zapped, it scared the beejibbers out of her and she dropped a large can of pineapple on her bare foot. “I usually prefer the fresh pineapple” she explained, “but you know what everybody’s sayin’ about putting the real thing in your shopping cart at Publix these days. I can’t risk someone thinking I’m that kind of woman, so I’ve been buying the canned Dole.” Well, the canned fruit nearly took her toe clear off, but at least she’s not being “discussed.”
Taking food to friends is a soothing form of kindness and love. Years ago when I was both ill with The Virus and down with The Sadness, my friend Shirley showed up at my house with a little tin of homemade cheese straws. First of all, the warmhearted gesture alone was enough to lift my spirits, but having Shirley remember I specifically loved her cheese straws more than any cake, cookie or pie, made it even better. Her sweet efforts and savory snack healed my broken spirits in no time flat.
My lovely friend Shirley, who stretched my name into six slow syllables, passed away a few weeks ago, and now I’ll never have her amazingly perfect cheese straws again. But what I do have from Shirley is the example of how to get out and share the gift of hospitality with others. Shirley not only brought me a delicious cheesy snack, but she also delivered the excellent lesson of what it means to be a thoughtful friend.
And she’d be totally baffled by the pineapple reference, which would make me love her even more.
3 sticks softened butter (1 1/2 cup)
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 7-up
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or lime)
1 to 2 tablespoons 7-Up
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt cake pan or tube cake pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add small portions of flour, alternating with 7-up until it’s all incorporated. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick can be removed clean. Let cake cool for 20 minutes before removing to a rack. After completely cool, Mix glaze ingredients together, adding small amounts of 7-Up until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle glaze over top and enjoy!