When I was young and still at home with my parents, my mom would ask what I wanted for my birthday dinner. For years it was always the same. Cheesy lasagna with cheesecake for dessert. The more cheese the better. And until a few years ago, I would probably have gone along with those choices. But a three-day bellyache sent me to my Nurse Practitioner. There, after some blood-work I was diagnosed with an intolerance to both cow’s milk and eggs. Jeez. Two of my favorite things. I wrote about that little episode here.

Since that time I’ve made cheesecakes for others, and eaten a piece of two, but mostly it’s been off the menu.

If I had to choose a perfect cake today, it would be my mother’s oatmeal cake. It’s super-moist and topped with broiled coconut icing. The link takes you to the page with recipes for foods mentioned in my book. It’s listed as “Fran’s Oatmeal Camping Cake” along with a few others on this page: Annie Cooper’s Recipe Scrapbook. You can read why it’s called camping cake too.

Yesterday was Mom’s birthday. She would have been ninety-eight. My birthday is in a couple of weeks. Somehow, I’ll be seventy-three. I think her cake–baked in her vintage pan–would be a perfect birthday cake for both of us. The only thing more perfect would be to celebrate with her.

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