My mother’s mother was an excellent cook. I believe all that the experts say about eating right, watching what we put in our bodies, but Corene Phillips was proof that a healthy diet is only part of the equation. If anyone ever ate more butter or cooked with more lard, deep-fried more food than she, I’ve not met that person. She lived to be 96. The lesson? Eat well and hope your grandparents have fatback-resistant DNA!

Everything Granny cooked was good. One of our favorites was homemade donuts. Oh, my! (The fact that I’ve survived to 51 may mean I got some of her genes!) And Granny became known throughout Laurens County, SC for homemade chicken stew, which she always cooked in the back yard in a big, black pot, stirring with the remnant of an old boat paddle. Years ago, she even killed her own chickens. She’d tie the feet over the clothes line, and, well, I’ll spare you... Then she would boil the bird long enough to loosen the feathers. (Talk about a fowl smell!)

I apologize. Sometimes it’s best just to enjoy the finished product which lots of people did. Granny often made stews for her grandchildren to sell for fundraisers. Other times a family would pay her to cook one for their family. I’d love to know how many gallons
she made over the years. Now that she’s gone, we’ve tried, but apparently the recipe died with her (not that it would have done us any good if she’d had one.) Because...

She had another good recipe that someone once requested, and she was glad to share. Mostly. Maybe it was a matter of chef’s prerogative (maybe it was sheer pride!), but obviously she didn’t want anyone else’s dish tasting as good as hers – so she left out one ingredient! (Can’t you hear it: “This is good, Mabel, but not as good as Corene’s. Wonder why?”)

Today we’re including a recipe – ALL OF IT! It’s for the best chocolate cake you’ll ever put in your mouth. For years Faye Curtis brought Amy and me a chocolate cake on our birthday. She always delivered it warm and that hole in the middle was always FULL to the brim with warm, decadent chocolate icing. Oh, my. Well, last week there was a knock on the office door, and there stood Bobby Curtis, with a chocolate cake in hand and thanks to Faye (God rest her chocolate-loving soul) it was just as good!

Bobby can’t make one for all of you (I’m sorry!), but he wants you to be able to enjoy Faye’s chocolate sweetness, so he and Amy consulted about Faye’s recipe, and the recipe is below.

I loved my Granny’s cooking – but I’m grateful for Bobby and Faye’s complete generosity. Faye’s chocolate cake is just too good not to pass on for future generations! 

Faye Curtis’s Famous Chocolate Pound Cake

(Notes in parenthesis are straight from the day Amy watched Faye and Bobby make this cake for her!)

31⁄2 sticks of margarine (left out overnight so they are room temperature; margarine, not butter)

3 c. sugar (Beat together for 30 minutes do not cheat about this. Also, don’t try and use a cake mixer – do this with a hand mixer.)

Mix together:
3 c. plain flour
1⁄2 c. cocoa
1 t. baking powder
Dash of salt
Add those ingredients to the creamed margarine and sugar. Add 5 eggs and
1 c of milk (Keep using hand mixer to blend.)
Grease and flour a Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. (Check with toothpick
if a bit gooey, keep baking until toothpick comes out clean.)

32 oz of 10x powdered sugar
4 (large) T Cocoa
2 eggs (beaten)
2 sticks of melted margarine
Mix together and pour on cake while the cake is hot.

(Be sure to fill up the center hole with icing.)