Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Friendship and Amalgamation Cake

I connect a certain cake recipe from the 1950's to my mother and her best friend, Nell.  You don't hear much about Amalgamation Cake these days, so I was elated to find the recipe on a couple of sites through a Google search.

My particular memory involves going home from school one day and finding Mother and Nell putting together the approximately 20 ingredients(including jam, raisins, coconut, and walnuts) to make the cake, and having the time of their lives.

Nell always brought extra spark and energy into our home and my mother was the main beneficiary.  Nell was a nurse and kept my mother, a homebody with five children, informed about what was going on around town.  They were both beautiful women; my mother was a natural beauty but I always thought Nell was particularly glamorous; she was tall and tanned and wore red lipstick and nail polish.  My mother was shy, but Nell was an extrovert who was unafraid to express her opinion. I suspect that many considered her brash and unrefined, but I doubt that Nell spent any time worrying about what other people thought.

It's interesting that I connect Amalgamation Cake to my mother's friendship with Nell.  The word "amalgamation" means combining or blending and that's exactly what happened.  Mother and Nell enjoyed a friendship that bridged their differences and concentrated on things that they could enjoy doing together, such as baking cakes.  They were like Lucy and Ethel in some ways, always "cooking something up" that was different or fun.

Today, it's more difficult to forge friendships like Lucy's and Ethel's or Mother's and Nell's.  Maybe that's what I really yearn for, someone to bake an Amalgamation Cake with me.

Click here for a recipe for Amalgamation Cake.

Annie Joy


Stacey said...

Now that's a neat memory! I agree that it's a little harder to make those types of friendships. Maybe we all think that though, we just need to reach out to a neighbor and make it happen.

Annie Joy said...

Thanks, Stacey. I agree with you about reaching out and will plan to do just that!

A Bookish Space said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal and lovely memory. I think that all of us yearn for the type of friendship that you mother and Nell were so lucky to share :)

Annie Joy said...

Thanks! Maybe we can't all have that type of friendship now, but we're experiencing new kinds of friendship now, with our blogging friends!

Janice said...

thanks for visiting and leaving a comment about Inside the Whale on my Reading Diary blog

I seem to be reading a lot of books lately set during WWII. And I've just heard of another from a reading blogger buddy. I want to look for this one too.

Joy Street by Mirren Barford. A collections of letters, and I do love epistolary fiction, although this one isn't fiction.

Michele Chastain said...

Social networking on the rise while just plain old chit chat around the kitchen table on the decline. Makes me a little sad. Especially where I live this is problematic, because beach towns tend to be so transient


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