November 3, 2011

A Place of Honor on the Thanksgiving Buffet

We have had so many Thanksgiving's over the years, in so many different places. While living in Dothan, we would welcome Mother and Daddy with glasses of Champagne and delicious appetizers. They loaded up the car and would drive over from Jackson, so excited to see the grandchildren and plan our shopping excursion for the Friday after Thanksgiving day. We also had a fabulous holiday one year, when Miss Judy, her husband Bill and son Tommy came to share the festivities with us. Daddy had bought everyone a new microwave oven for a Christmas gift, (this was one of the first microwaves to come on the market) so we had an extra oven  to prepare our side dishes in a timely manner. However, the microwave was so big, we had to set it up in the workshop outside and transport our casseroles through the backyard and then into the kitchen. Now, that was rather memorable.

Dothan, Alabama

When we moved from Dothan to Texas, we rented a rather small house before we decided where we wanted to settle and what type of house we would want to purchase. Our home in Dothan had not sold at the time we relocated, so it was first things first and rental property was not plentiful at the time. That house was small and simply not my style. I missed my big ranch style home in Alabama, but kept reminding myself that this would just be temporary until we could purchase a home to our liking and one that would accommodate a family of six. It all worked out, but we did have a few holidays in that rental house, even with fine china and silver. I remember Mother and I cooking dinner in that little kitchen with whatever utensil and bowl we could find and unpack! Ah..those wonderful times.

Mansfield, Texas

I think Mother and Daddy made every move with us over the years.....except the one to Maine. We often talk about that. How they would have loved it....the house, the ocean, the mountains, the homes. I guess it was not meant to be, but how thankful I am to have had them along on so many, many moves we made..from Jackson, to Biloxi, to Illinois, to Virginia Beach, to Dothan and then to Texas.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

One of Daddy's requests, was the Thanksgiving cake. He loved this Spice cake with this luscious Caramel Icing. While it bakes, the whole house fills with cinnamon and nutmeg...the scent of Autumn itself!

1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks of butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins. soaked in brandy

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish. Sift together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and the sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Bake at 35-40 minutes. Frost with caramel icing when cool.

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T. evaporated milk
1 cup confectioners sugar

In a saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over a low heat for three minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until thick. If it becomes too thick, add a tiny bit more milk. Spread over the cake and sprinkle with pecans. It tastes remarkable like southern pralines straight from New Orleans.....sigh.......simply divine!


  1. Hello Ms. Estelle. For Thanksgiving we always have pie's for dessert, have never thought of making a cake, but this one seems very simple and yummy looking! That icing! Wow! looks luscious! so my question is, what do I do with the Brandied raisins? do they go into the batter, or on top of cake with the icing? Thank you for your time-Dolores

    1. Hi Dolores..the raisins are combined with the batter. Hope you enjoy this recipe!


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