Hi everyone! I’m kicking off our week of Book Scootin’ Holiday Favorites with a giveaway and a great recipe to go along with my favorite holiday memory! Hope you enjoy hearing about how my cousin and I “run into some trouble” when we were kids, and why it’s my favorite holiday memory now. I’m giving away a copy of GAMBLING ON A COWBOY to a lucky commenter, and there is a wonderful recipe for Milky Way Cake coming up in this post as well, so please read on, and be sure to leave a comment!
When I was a little girl, I begged my parents for a sister—or even a BROTHER—just someone that I could have to play with. My sisters were 12 and 10 when I was born, so by the time I was in first grade, my oldest sister was off to college, and two years later, my middle sister followed. I had a lot of friends, but it wasn’t the same as having a little sister or brother—and that was what I wanted.
Mom was the eldest of eleven children in her family. I think she was really tired by the time I came along—she was 35 when I was born and had two older daughters entering new phases of their lives that were so different than mine. When I mentioned a younger sibling (which was very often!) she’d say, “You have a lot of cousins! You have a lot of friends! I just don’t know about a little brother or sister, Cheryl.”
I had to be content with my friends and cousins as the younger sibling never materialized. Even after I asked SANTA for one, I still didn’t get one, or a pony, either.
But Mom was right about my cousins and friends. I had many, many cousins that were about my age and always saw one another on the big holidays, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.
Those were the holidays when ALL my cousins and aunts and uncles gathered, and to me, that was almost as wonderful as getting up on Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought.
My favorite Christmas memory happened one Christmas Day when we’d all gathered at my grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner. We’d driven down there after getting up early to open gifts, packing the car, and excitedly getting on the road. I was beyond thrilled, because my cousin Julia was going to be there. With her belonging to a military family, they weren’t always able to make to these gatherings, but this year, they would be there! And though we usually managed to spend a week at each other’s houses in the summer, that had been so long—especially for a 10-year-old lonely little girl!
Julia was a few months older than I, and we were always “partners in crime” when we were able to get together. When she happened to spot an entire package of Milky Way candy bars in the refrigerator and whispered to me “There are SIX of them!” I knew we had to get those candy bars and have them all to ourselves. But how? Julia had three younger siblings at the time, and of course, there were MANY other cousins there. It had to just be the two of us, or we might be discovered.
We made our plan, got into the kitchen, and slipped that bag of Milky Ways out of the refrigerator and under Julia’s coat. Then, out we went through the backdoor. There were some marvelous woods behind Granny and Granddad’s house…if we could just get out there and get hidden before some of the younger kids tried to follow us! We ran—oh, how we ran in that cold air, so joyous to be together again, and even more thrilled to be doing something we just KNEW we’d get away with! No one had seen us take those candy bars, we were certain of it. We had also had the good fortune of getting out into the woods without hearing one of our mothers call to us, or even being saddled with younger cousins! How had we managed to do it all? The stars were aligned!
We found a good place to sit, and broke open that bag of candy bars. Let me tell you, no first bite of candy before or since had ever tasted so wonderful. Why? Because we’d gotten away with it! And we were sharing it together. We sat and giggled and caught up with “girl talk”, and we ate three candy bars each. By the time we got to Milky Way #3 for each of us, we were not nearly as enthusiastic about eating them as we’d been in the beginning, but what could we do? We couldn’t leave evidence. We couldn’t take them back. We couldn’t bear to just throw them away!
So we ate them. Then, we started back to Granny and Granddad’s house very slowly. Things were not so wonderful anymore. We both were feeling rather green around the gills, and…what if we HADN’T gotten away with it after all?
We had started to feel awfully guilty.
We knew each other well enough to know that was what was wrong with both of us, aside from the fact that we had eaten way too much chocolate and caramel.
When we came in the back door, we realized immediately that we’d been discovered. Our Aunt Joyce was livid. She’d brought those Milky Way bars to make her wonderful Milky Way Cake. Now, dessert was ruined for everyone because we had been so selfish. And back then, there was no way to replace them—nothing was open on Christmas Day.
There was no need for punishment. We were suffering enough as it was, since everyone knew what we’d done. And you certainly did not want to disappoint Aunt Joyce—which we had done in spades. Oh, there were other desserts (not that we wanted anything to eat for a very long time, and certainly nothing sweet!) but no Milky Way Cake that year.
That night as we laid on a pallet on the floor, Julia said quietly, “Can you believe we ate SIX Milky Way bars? And we didn’t throw up?”
I still laugh when I think about that. It was quite an accomplishment! Though it wasn’t funny at the time, that’s become my favorite Christmas memory!
Here’s the recipe for that scrumptious Milky Way Cake that’s close to the one our Aunt Joyce WOULD have made that year if we hadn’t eaten her candy bars!
MILKY WAY CAKE RECIPE (and above image of cake!) from CookItEasy.net
- sugar – 2 c
- eggs – 4 item
- vanilla – 1 tsp
- chopped nuts – 1 c
- stick margarine – 1 item
- semi-sweet chocolate chips – 6 oz
- evaporated milk – 1 c
- soda – 1/2 tsp
- sticks margarine – 2 item
- marshmallow cream – 1 c
- Milky Way candy bars – 8 item
How to make milky way cake:
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. marshmallow cream
1 stick margarine
Dissolve soda in buttermilk.
Melt 1 stick margarine and all 8 candy bars in double boiler. Set aside.
Cream sugar, 1 stick margarine, and eggs. Beat well. Add alternately the flour and buttermilk with soda. Always begin and end with flour. Add vanilla, nuts, and candy bar mixture. In a tube pan, bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Frosting: Cook sugar, milk and margarine to soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips, vanilla and marshmallow cream. Stir well. Cool slightly and spread on cooled cake.
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
I’m offering a giveaway today of the GAMBLING ON A COWBOY boxed set from Prairie Rose Publications, a collection of SIX book-length novels from Kaye Spencer, Agnes Alexander, Patti Sherry-Crews, Tracy Garrett, Becky Lower, and yours truly. Just share a comment about a favorite Christmas memory and I will enter you in the drawing! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday with lots of fun, laughter, and love–and be sure to join us here at P&P every day for more Boot-Scootin’ Favorites to come!
GET GAMBLING ON A COWBOY HERE!