Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Coffee Cake

My Auntie Olga was my great grandmother's sister. She was a sweet, sweet lady who always embraced our visits. I can recall visiting her in this little apartment in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was an incredible woman with lots of love to give. I can still hear her voice when she'd open her door, "Oh! Traceeee! Come in, come in!" .

There were many things to admire about Auntie Olga and I wish now that I could sit and talk with her; learn so much from her.

But my youth, of course, had me take her for granted and I missed the opportunity to ask her the important stuff. Nonetheless, I can recall asking her about two specific things. As superficial these talks seemed to be at the time, little did I know that it would be these two moments that help me remember her; for I can see her face and her smile as I replay them in my mind.

#1. Her Wrinkles: she never got wrinkles; even into her eighties. She looked incredible for her age and I remember being mystified by this. I asked her how this was possible; perplexed by her youthful appearance. She just laughed and said she was thankful for her good skin.

#2. Her Coffee Cake: she made great coffee cake. She really did. She served it often when we visited; a fancy dish resting on the coffee table atop a lace doily. I came to expect it and she never disappointed. I couldn't figure out what that crunchy good stuff was on top and she was happy to share her tips.

I can't do much about whether or not her fantastic skin made its way into my genetic makeup, but I can at least recreate her coffee cake.

photo by fusher is now on flickr

Auntie Olga's Coffee Cake

Mix Together:
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream or milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Filling (the crunchy stuff I liked):
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Pour 1/2 of batter in 9 x 12 baking dish (or double the recipe to pour into a bundt pan). Sprinkle half of filling. With butter knife, cut filling through and into the batter. Repeat this for second layer of batter/filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Test with toothpick. (for Bundt pan, bake a little longer)

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