Just out of college and newly married, we were ( job) transferred from Birmingham, Al to Jacksonville, FL. This young Alabama gal was completely lost in the big city! Thankfully, I was hired by the Florida Extension Service and went to work with an amazing staff of 4 other Home Economists ( well... 2 amazing, 1 nice and 1 just plain strange). One of these ladies, Tamer Britton, literally " raised me"! We bought our first home in a nice subdivision and were thrilled to have kind, loving neighbors across the street. They were a little older than us, had a house FULL of kids and when we had our kids, they "adopted" them immediately. Bob Bob and Aunt Bebe ( as my kids dubbed them) were/are very special friends. Bob brought a huge bunny head ( no idea where he got it!) and placed it in our shrubs early one Easter morning! They also called our kids every Christmas Eve and pretended to be Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Talk about kids going to bed without a moment's hesitation! I was thrilled beyond words when my daughter and her husband bought their first home and we found out that one of Aunt Bebe and Bob Bob's "children" lives 10 minutes away!
In return for their kindness, my meager offering usually consisted of baked goods left on their doorstep on Sunday mornings. When Bob came out for his newspaper, he frequently stumbled over a basket of freshly baked blueberry muffins. Aunt Bebe fueled the fire when she gave me her Garden Club's Cookbook. Those are some of the BEST recipes! Community cookbooks are usually compiled of family favorites which are trusted and true.
One of my favorites from this book is the Pea Pickin' Cake. I have no idea where the name came from and the book does not say, but 4 ladies submitted the same or similar recipes. Rarely will you find me using a cake mix, but this is a worthy exception. Besides, it gives me more time at Easter for baking homemade crescent rolls, making Sour Cream Potato Salad, baking a ham, etc. etc......
Warning! This cake must be refrigerated, so if your refrigerator space is limited, pass on this one for now or you can make it in a 9x13 pan.
Pea Pickin' Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 can Mandarin oranges
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3-9-inch cake pans.
Combine all ingredients in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until ingredients are combined. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans 10 min. Remove from pans and cool completely.
1 large container Cool Whip, thawed
1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
Combine pineapple and pudding. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread between layers and on top of cake. Cover and refrigerate. It's best when made a day or 2 ahead.
Keep leftovers refrigerated.
As Ina Garten would say, " How easy is THAT?" Wonder if I should send her this recipe?? ............