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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Repeat the Entire Process

January 8, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The weather has been getting me down lately, with the lack of snow and all, so it was nice to crank up some music while I washed the floors. See, the kids went on an expedition Saturday afternoon, and with the temps up near 45, they tracked in not snow but mud all over the wood floors. Everywhere. Mud in the kitchen and the bathroom and in a trail up the stairs. Time for a dose of good ol' Murphy's Oil Soap.

There's something calming about washing a floor. You get down on your hands and knees, soak a cotton washcloth and your hands in a bowl of warm, soapy water, and go to it. It's like painting and sign language and the Limbo all rolled into one. And while you're down there, provided you have an open mind and some level of maturity, you come to accept the certainty of mud and the fact that, a stretch of days from now, you're going to have to repeat the entire process. See, mud isn't going away, not where I live. It's a sure thing. Hell will freeze, the cows will come home, the fat lady will sing, and you can still bet your bippy you'll find mud on the floor at the end of the day.

I had a childhood friend, Pooka, we called her (because it fit and she wanted to leave her born name, "Penelope," back in Texas where she moved here from). Pooka loved mud and whenever it rained she was on the phone. "Meet you at the river," she'd say, and sure enough, there she was half an hour later on her hands and knees, shaping mud into glorious things like wedding cakes and skylines of cities and her own version of "The David." While she worked, she had a strange and wonderful smile on her face, a kind of glow that said, "I couldn't be happier so don't even try." Some days it would be hours before we'd head home, drenched and dirty, our mothers shaking their heads and sighing as they closed the mud room door.

It's been years since I've seen that girl. She moved to Seattle after only a year in Minnesota, and I was sad to see her go. "I'll miss you, too," she said, and leaned closer and whispered, "Mom says it rains a lot where we're going." Last I heard, she has a pottery shop somewhere in Wisconsin.

Good to have something to count on, no matter where you are.

My mother whipped this one up on days when a bit of comfort was in order. It's a cake for any season, and best eaten warm on the day it's made. I've heard it called "Hot Milk Cake" at potlucks.

Lazy Dazy Cake

Heat 1/2 cup milk and 2 T butter to a boil in small saucepan or microwave. Set aside.

Combine in bowl:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla
Beat together until thick.

Add 1 cup flour, 1/4 t. salt, 1 t. baking powder,
and milk/butter mixture.

Mix well. Pour into an 8 X 8 lightly greased/floured baking pan.

Bake 30 minutes at 350. Remove when
cake springs back when touched. Set oven to broil.

While the cake bakes, melt together in pan on stove:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cream (I use milk)
1 cup coconut

Pour over cake when cake is done, spread evenly, return to oven, and broil until tips of coconut are browned.

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