Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

I feel like sharing some historical fun today.

FIRST: Coming soon to a virtual or brick-and-mortar bookstore near you!!!
Amazon's link to this sweet book and so many fun authors involved with it. Please notice how BIG MARY CONNEALY'S name is, oh mylanta.... She's got The Big Head, guaranteed.

Don't you just love, love, love that cover? Sweet, bucolic, pastoral, all the things we love to embrace about homesteaders and pioneers and times gone by....

Those folks worked so hard, so long and in often unforgiving conditions and many of them gave up, called it a day, and went back home, back east, back to some kind of civilization.

Who could blame them? The ones who stayed, who settled in, who toughed it out were either made of grittier stuff (yes!), luckier (most likely!), prideful (uh, huh!!!!) or had a better working knowledge and endurance for making do.

We're a bit spoiled now... And sometimes we take for granted what others did to gain our freedoms, our lands, our growth and our government, but when I jump into a historical like "A Town Called Christmas" (Hope for the Holidays historical collection) or "Prairie Promises" (Homestead Brides) I stand amazed by how stinkin' lazy I am by comparison.

Imagine living in a soddy?

EEE GADS!!!!! And yet 160 acres of FREE LAND?????? Arable land, once you could figure how to get a pitchfork through ten inches of knitted prairie grass roots. Sod potatoes, tiny, measly things. Sod corn, struggling for life to give misshapen ears. No shade, little respite from the sun, few windows, bugs, mice, snakes....

We are so blessed! :)  I love a sacrificial nature, it's like the most amazing gift from God, but heaven help me I whine like a baby when the temps go over 85.... And I'm in deciduous forest land, there are shade trees everywhere, so what am I whining about?

I've learned that success in most anything comes down to this:

Do the best job you can at every job you're given and ...

Don't quit.

Because it's not about the talent or the skill as much as it's about the diligence, perseverance and work ethic. The smartest employees who take regular sick days for every little thing are NOT the most valued....

It's the worker bees!!!! The dawn-to-duskers, the ones who show up, regardless, plant their heels and go.

So today we're going to do a fun, old recipe, something I've loved for decades and a favorite in our house.

Boiled Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping (and if I get done and discover this in our list, well... clearly it's worth a second look, but I scanned and didn't see it!)

350° oven (moderate oven)     

30-35 minutes (cake should be golden and dry on top, moist crumbs on toothpick test)  for 13" x 9" pan, greased and floured


Mix together in small saucepan:  

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup quick oats

Let sit while making cake batter.

Cream: 1/2 cup butter
              1 cup brown sugar
              1 cup sugar
              2 large eggs

Divert invading baby's attention by feeding him peeled apple.
Cream until fluffy and smooth. 

Add in:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons.... (So then I had to wonder if the original recipe used Softasilk flour because this is the same ratio.... but I've used both and the cake is wonderful!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix dry mixture and creamed mixture. Blend. Add cooked oatmeal. Blend again. Bake until done, cool at least one half hour. 

Top with coconut frosting and broil.

Broiled Coconut Topping

Melt 9 tablespoons butter in saucepan or bowl.


1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I forgot this, oops! Faded old recipe!)
1 cup of chopped nuts can be added if desired.

Stir together and then add 1/4-1/2 cup cream or milk until topping is of spreading consistency. Pour onto cake and place a few inches under broiler (it is helpful to turn the broiler ON....) :) and let broil until topping starts to turn golden brown.

One of my favorite cakes in this world, including CHOCOLATE VARIETIES!!!!! I love this old fashioned cake, and if I'm on a cakewalk.... This is where my eye is drawn!

So while I played in the kitchen, Casey was getting our wall display ready for our Water Cycle unit:

And this is what Dave was doing in the living room:

And this video shows what our little Finn thinks of Grandpa's building techniques:


  1. And if it IS in the archives, who cares!? This one had a baby, a video AND a book release! Lol.

    1. Right????? It's like a DVD with DELETED SCENES!!!!!!! :) More bang for the buck, and that baby is about the cutest thing. And he loves his "Bam-pa" which is just wrong, wrong, wrong because they never say Grammy before "Bam-pa".... But I'm the one feeding them. Clearly the Blodgett/Herne babies don't get it. Or maybe they do, maybe they know I'll feed them even if the call me "o-mama" which Beth translates to "Old Mama". She's a brat. I don't know where she gets this from. :)

  2. Replies
    1. I first had this at a church fair or something when I was young and the original recipe came from a woman who passed away thirty years ago. So it might have origins on the back of a Quaker Oat box or in ladies' magazines that used to feature recipe sections and serialized stories and articles about things that didn't necessarily include a current politicized agenda. But I've always known it as Grace Pantalone's Oatmeal Cake, (Missy would love that tag, right?????) :)

      I love how sweet parish things like this, or sharing flowers, or taking food to elderly shut-ins turns a congregation into a family. The one thing I miss about being in a more "neighborhood" city parish, is that we're so wide-spread and far flung that you miss some of that "we're in this together" camaraderie we had back then. On the other hand, the gossip went hand-in-hand with that, and I don't miss that at all! :)

    2. LOLOL!! I was just thinking if I had known what broiled coconut topping actually was, I might not have suggested a different tag!! :) This sounds AMAZING. :)

  3. Just the word coconut got me. I gasped. THANK YOU!!!!

    1. This is such good cake. So moist and flavorful and BAD NEWS: I CAN'T RESIST IT ONCE I MAKE IT AND IT DISAPPEARS INCH BY INCH.... But what a perfect recipe to celebrate historical stories!

  4. I confess I have already watched that baby demolisher video at least six times just for that sweet little oh as he gets to the bottom of the tower.

    Love this post. I was rereading The Worst Hard Time about the Dust Bowl. Hard times came after the pioneer times but that spirit was and is still alive.

    Love coconut. I bet I can adapt the cake too!

    1. Julie, so true. Every time I hear people proclaiming the death of everything as we know it I remember that the Pilgrims landed in America at the beginning of a mini-ice-age... and we're here now.

      The dust bowl???? Really, the most devastating unprotected drought in modern times, and pre-industrial age but clearly it will be blamed on someone in the Ohio Valley, right? Survivors inspire me, I love reading about people who refuse to cave physically, mentally and emotionally.... or if they do cave, the rise again!!!! I love that!

  5. I must be frazzled because I read the title as Oatmeal Cake with Broccoli Topping. LOL. I thought you'd all lost your marbles at the café!!!!! Too funny.
    Now that I see it's coconut, I'm game to give this one a try. I'm making up my grocery list and heading out into the cold to buy a month's worth of food. I get it delivered so I don't have to worry about sluffing it back home on the bus.

    Love that video. Too, too, cute. He's so absorbed. And have the book on my must buy list. So excited because all the books I ordered so far have come in. That includes the Love Inspired ones and now I've added Dakota Love by Rose Ross Zediker, Always On My Mind by Susan May Warren, Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread by Mary Jane Hathaway, Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep and Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl. You didn't need to know all that, but I'm so tickled I have a TBR pile again that I just had to share.

  6. Kav, I love a TBR pile, but I haven't been able to do it justice in months... but that's all right, except that I have to face my friends and cringe when they ask if I've read their latest.

    BAD RUTHY. :(

    But I'm having so much fun writing new stories, that they'll forgive me. Hey, send me your address and I'll pop a copy of this into the mail for you!

    Send it to my loganherne at gmail address and I'll try to get it out this week. So much more fun to get it FREE!!!!! And your love and support for us is a huge blessing.

    But also, keep writing!!!! Do it, my friend! I believe in you, 100%.

  7. Ruthy, you're so right about the toughness of those women. I have no doubt, I would have perished. And would have whined a lot before I died. :)

    1. We'd have died together and been buried in a mass grave. Jan send me a great book, Land of the Burnt Thigh and it's about settling South Dakota and what a great help that was, to see it through this WOMAN'S EYES.... she and her sister homesteaded together alone! And made it because they were always looking ahead, trying things, and if something failed, they tried something else.

      Loved it!!!

    2. Oh, I need to read that book! But Burnt Thigh? I already worry about my thighs.

  8. I love this, Ruthy. But the cake is going to have to wait for a carry-in supper sometime. If I made it....well...I'm not sure my family would ever see it. I think I'd devour it!

    I love the book! But the decisions - do I pre-order it in paper or for my kindle? The problem with the kindle is that I tend to forget I have books waiting there for me to read (which is how I ended up with nearly 400 titles - - ALL waiting to be read!). So I'm thinking the paper version.

    But then, should I pre-order it and have it delivered anonymously in a brown wrapper package, or do I wait and buy it at Walmart, where I can brag to the check out person about how I know so many of the authors???

    Another question - how does Barbour decide which author's name gets the top billing and the large font??? Obviously they must love Mary :)

    Finally, if I ever have grandchildren, I'm going to teach them to call my husband Bam-pa. That's just too cute.

    1. Isn't the Bam-pa thing darling? Eventually they fix it, but with the other kids it was "Gampa".... so the Bam-pa with that emphasis on the "Bam" sounds like he's calling him all the time. Oh, the way to a crusty guy's heart!!!!

      I think top billing is always recognizability and numbers. And Mary was a Barbour author for years, so their readers know the name instantly.

      I BLACKED IT OUT ON MY COPY and wrote my name up there with a sharpie.

      I have issues. Yes. ;)

    2. LOLOL!!!! Oh my gosh, I needed a spew alert about the sharpie!! :)