Monday, 30 July 2012

White Cake...perfect for a wedding!

Our "Wedding" Cupcakes

I love a good love story...who doesn't?   Well, this love story has inspired me to make 6 dozen cupcakes for a family wedding this past Saturday, so I suppose I can share a little of it with you here...

My sister-in-law, Frances, is a florist and made
all the centrepieces...aren't they gorgeous!?!


As a teenager, Carlo's sister met, and fell in love with a young man, Antonio.  They both stood as attendants at Uncle Mario's wedding some 40+ years ago (pictured below).  As fate would have it, they both married other people and went on to have beautiful families.  But the love from their youth never died.

Marisa & Antonio:
attendants in Uncle Mario's Wedding
Years later, we were at a family wedding (Uncle Mario's daughter - coincidence?  I think not).  I was 3 months' pregnant with Sara and I can recall someone pointing out this man to me...he was my sister-in-law's long-lost love.  They did not connect that night, but the memory stuck with me.

Fast forward to a blustery winter's day a few years' back. We braved a snowstorm to go out and attend a family bridal shower (Uncle Mario's then future daughter-in-law - another coincidence?  No way!).  While we were there, a lady mentioned him to my sister-in-law, again!  This lady was adamant that they needed to reconnect.  That spring they did...he called, they went out and a whirlwind romance was set in motion.  They fell in love, again, and we, the newer generation of the family met Tony on my mother-in-law's 75th birthday.  The following January they were engaged - he took her for a ride in a horse-drawn coach while vacationing in Florida and proposed on the pier {{sigh}}.

They finally tied the proverbial knot this past weekend, some 45 years later.  They had a beautiful, intimate garden wedding at home, and in the age-old tradition of the familia making the sweet table, I was honoured to be considered part of this family and contributed my mandelbrot (biscotti) and cupcakes.  Thankfully I have 2 incredible daughters with tremendous artistic talent, so the cupcakes were gorgeous...but I wanted the whole shebang to be from scratch...


I found a recipe for "White Cake" from my grandmother...it looks simple and foolproof...so I decided to make the cake and icing courtesy of Bubbie Lou...she, too, loved a good love story, and had one of her own.

She and my grandfather grew up knowing one another.  The Regina Jewish Community was, and is, very small and tight-knit.  My grandmother was a young beauty and my grandfather the handsome athlete.



They fell in love in the 1930s and then the war broke out.  Bubbie was a war bride, getting married in a small, modest wedding on June 30, 1940.  Mom was born a couple of years later.


Meanwhile, Zaida had enlisted in the army, as had Bubbie's youngest brother, Uncle Paul.  The story goes that Zaida kept an eye or for his young brother-in-law during those years.  They were posted in Kingston, Ontario for a while, and Bubbie moved in, with baby Carol in tow, to live with her parents while Zaida was in training.  I believe Mom and Bubbie did move to Kingston for awhile.

World War Two ended before Zaida was shipped out, and they returned home to resume their normal daily life.  They went onto have 2 more children and live a happy long life together.  We all gathered together in Regina to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1990, just as Bubbie was succumbing to Alzheimer's Disease.

Five years later, they were both resident in Pioneer Village, Regina's long-term care facility.   Bubbie lay in her bed, in failing health, and Zaida sat at her bedside, holding her hand.  She opened her eyes, and through the fog of dementia she smiled at him and called him "Sunkie Poonkie", their pet name for one another.  So strong was their love for one another that it overpowered the all-powerful dementia.

And so, in my mind, I thought it was only fitting that I prepare the recipe of one bride for another...and thereby keep the love stories running through the generations, even if only through cake.

A little blurry, but I love, love, love this photo of them!

Aren't they a beautiful couple?

Mazal Tov and Auguri (congratulations) Marisa and Antonio...may you enjoy a lifetime of health, happiness and joy as you embark on this next chapter of your life together!

With Uncle Mario (where it all began some 45 years ago!)
Bubbie Lou's White Cake


Ingredients:

  • ¼C butter (I use Imperial margarine)
  • 1C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (unbeaten)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1½C sifted flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅔C milk

Method:
Preheat oven to 350˚.  Blend butter (margarine) and sugar until crumbly.  Mix in whole, unbeaten egg, then milk.  Blend dry ingredients separately, add to batter and blend well.  Place in greased 5x8 pan (or greased  muffin cups if making cupcakes - this recipe makes an even dozen cupcakes).  Bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes, checking every couple of minutes until they are just starting to turn golden on top.  As I read on a foodie sight - white cake is supposed to be white!  If overcooked, the cupcakes will dry out and won't release from the paper cups.  The maximum baking time should be 30 minutes, but cupcakes may need less time.  After 30 minutes, remove from oven, cool on a rack, then ice/frost when they've cooled completely.