Family Lore Or Why I Had To Make Isabelle’s Cake

I think everyone’s family has tales they tell that become enhanced over time. After many retellings it’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction.

I never met my mother’s father. He passed away when my mother was in high school. His name was Clarence but he always went by Bill. My grandmother had a few pictures of him on display and when I was young I would ask questions about him.

She talked about him serving during WWI. He worked on an ambulance and later on a sanitation train in France.

She told me she would bring him his lunch when he drove the B&M train to the stop near their house sometimes. He was an engineer in the early years of their marriage and the yard master towards the end.

In another story she told me that he wanted to name my mother Lorraine after the area in France where he served, Alsace Lorraine.

I don’t know how much of this is true. I know he served in WWI and he was on an ambulance and sanitation train. But the rest of the story, I’m not sure.

When Adam (who in my head is WeirdWeekends-as in “H Have you seen WeirdWeekends post today?”) posted in March about Isabelle making her cake on the weekend the Alsace Lorraine story popped back into my head. I knew I had to make it.

The first step was to get my yarn scale so that I could measure the ingredients. This is the first recipe I have made with metric measurements. Without the scale I would have been lost.

I tossed the recipe together and after a short time I had this.

Isabelle’s recipe said to mix for 20 minutes so that is what I did and as you can see it all pulled away from the edge of the bowl.

I let it rise for an hour and as you can see it’s light and well risen. While I mixed it for two more minutes I buttered the pan.

I don’t have a fancy mold like Isabelle but I do have a tube pan which I figured would do.

When it came out of the oven it was a sight to behold! I will admit that I never use the convection setting on my oven but I’m so glad I did this time. It cooked beautifully.

It looks stunning on the plate. Unfortunately I couldn’t get powdered sugar to stick to the steep sides but it doesn’t matter.

It is delicious! Everyone who has had a piece loves it. One thing Adam neglected to mention: the smell. It is heavenly. At first the kitchen had a yeasty smell and then as it baked the whole house had a sweet bready smell.

Adam thank you so much for sharing! I hope you’ll share more of Isabelle’s recipes.

About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
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7 Responses to Family Lore Or Why I Had To Make Isabelle’s Cake

  1. wow I am going to have to tell Isabelle you made this!!! and it looks fantastic…

    She has a savory version that is just as good… kind of the same but with small bacon bits and walnuts….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like the cake was pretty good.

    I am also in the “never met a grandparent” club. My paternal grandfather died of a pulmonary embolism about 3 1/2 years before I was born. My dad was just 24 when his father died. We never really talked much about him (they didn’t have the best relationship, even though his parents remained together until his father died), and I have only seen a couple of pictures of him, so I don’t even have a great idea of what he looked like. I’ve only been to his gravesite twice, once when I was a kid and the second time was at my paternal grandmother’s funeral, 29 years after her husband had passed (she never remarried after his death). She was buried next to him. I’ve been told that one of my uncles is the spitting image of him, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YarnyDragonfly says:

    That cake is perfectly gorgeous looking! And I bet it tasted even better! Very impressive.

    My paternal grandfather died in his early 50’s from diabetes (my dad was in the Navy at the time and only 18 or 19 years old and hadn’t yet met my mom). I have two old pictures of my paternal grandfather.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stefanie says:

    Ooh! This looks like a lovely accompaniment to tea. I loved reading about your family history and the name Lorraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was fortunate enough to have known both Grandfathers and Grandmothers, and my daughter knew them for a little while, she has good memories of spending time with her great grandparents while she was younger. It is such a wonderful memory and I know we treasure the memories.
    Well done on the baking of the cake, it looks so grand!! I wish I could bake, but the best I can get away with are muffins. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kathyreeves says:

    That cake is absolutely gorgeous! WOW! I never met my maternal grandparents, they died before my mom was married, but I’ve seen pictures, and I can sure see my aunts and uncles in them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kim says:

    My maternal grandfather died when my mum was very young so I too am a club member.
    This cake looks fabulous – and in measures I recognise. I struggle with ‘cup’ measures which are so familiar to you. I hope my cake looks as good as yours when I make it 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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