- 2 Chefs to Go has the Cranberries and Grilled Chicken salad (my favorite dish!)
- Outback has the Bloomin’ Onion
- Starbucks has the Pumpkin Spice Latte
- The Beacon has the Hash-A-Plenty (with lip smackin tea)
- My late grandmother Knighton had her egg custard pie
Like those “signature” dishes, my other grandmother, “MaMa”, was well known for her pound cake in Fairforest, SC, back in the day. For as long as I can remember, she would bake at least one pound cake a week, slice it in to thirds, wrap each section in wax paper with an additional layer of tin foil, and then set off to deliver them to those in her church who were sick, lonely or elderly.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pay close attention to her mad cooking skills growing up. Years ago, I bought a rubber stamp that said: “Don’t worry. I didn’t bake it myself”, thinking it might put the recipient’s mind at ease. No hope in sight… until I received my shiny red Kitchenaid mixer two years ago. It revved my baking engine and I’ve been searching for my own “signature” dish ever since. One I could whip up with ease, count on its consistency, possibly freeze, and share with others. I’m still searching.
I’ve tried several pound cake recipes (including MaMa’s) only to have the pans sabotage my efforts. First, there was the two-piece tube pan. I’ll spare you the details and myself the embarrassment. Then there was the fancy bundt pan that turned out to be smaller than the standard size. Two things sum up that experience: adjusted cooking time nightmare and wasted batter. How difficult could it be to find a simple one-piece tube pan? You’d be surprised. Guess what’s at the top of my Christmas list? Yep, a quality one-piece tube pan from www.fantes.com.
I admit it. Every time I try a new recipe I wonder if it could be “the one”. Tonight, I made gingerbread men dough (ready to roll in 3 hours if I’m awake) while Zach and Sarah assembled a gingerbread house and decorated it. All this with “It’s A Wonderful Life” playing in the background. So, could gingerbread men turn out to be my “signature” dish? I doubt it — but it sure was fun trying!
I am confident that a day is coming when I’ll say goodbye to the old rubber stamp and say hello to one that reads: “Baked with love” by Cathy.
Do you have a signature something? I’d love to hear about it!