Most of the recipes in my cookbooks have a name (usually, a woman’s) attached to them. I don’t include the names because I’m sure the last thing these women were expecting was to have their recipes featured on a caker website. Plus, you never want an angry church woman coming after you. They can run pretty fast.
Recently, one of my favourite writers, Alice Munro, won the Nobel Prize for Literature, after which every person living in a small Southern Ontario town looked up from their loom, turned towards the nearest urban centre and said, “Suck it.”
Alice’s maiden name was Laidlaw and she was born in a town called Wingham. When I came across this Magic Cake recipe, I got a little excited. It was submitted by a Laidlaw in Wingham. While it’s not Alice, I can only assume it’s her kin.
As far as the recipe, it wasn’t so magical. The sweetened condensed milk is the glue that holds it all together. If I wanted coconut and maraschino cherries, I’d sooner have a Hello Dolly. Plus, it was expensive to make (Alice’s kin must be wealthy). And there’s nothing cake-like about it. Folks, don’t call something cake if it’s not cake. You’re only setting people up for disappointment. But it tasted pretty good.
All of this is to say that I’d bet my last packet of JELL-O that Alice Munro is a caker. And when you believe a Nobel Prize winner has probably enjoyed a good mountain of Watergate Salad in her day, well, let’s just say the sky seems a little more open for the rest of us.
1 pound dates (cut up)
1 pound dry cherries (red and green)
½ pound walnuts
1 pound coconut
½ teaspoon salt
1 can Eagle Brand milk
Mix all together and bake in oven at 350° until golden brown.
Note: I used a 9 x 13 pan.
Source: Celebration Cookbook, Canadian Bible Society