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Grandma Stewart's Pork Cake

My paternal grandmother, Eunice Stewart, started baking these cakes for the Christmas Holidays around 1940. When Mom (Adell) married Dad (Alvin) in 1945, Mom started baking the cakes and baked them every year since until Dad died in 1998. Needless to say, we used to get lots of visits from the family around the holidays!

They are called pork cakes because, instead of using vegetable shortening, they use ground pork fat. That sounds terrible by today's standards, but remember that lard was used for cooking just about everything that was made in the South in that era. The pork fat is simply an unrendered version of lard. You'll get a funny look from the meat market manager when you ask for a pound of ground pork fat.

We've never tried vegetable shortening because we didn't want to risk the cost of the cakes. They are expensive cakes to make. If you have already made some of the preserves during the year, it will still cost about $50 and if you have to purchase preserves the cost is closer to $100.

Enjoy. And be prepared to work off the extra pounds.

Grandma Stewart's Pork Cake

In a large pan blend together
1 pound ground pork fat
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
Then mix in
1 cup molasses or syrup
1 to 1-1/2 pints mince meat
Preserves. One pint each of peach, pear, watermelon, fig, etc.
2 cups raisins
1 pint or more chopped nuts
1-1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
When thoroughly mixed add
2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in one pint boiling water
5 cups plain flour plus 1/2 cup flour for each pint of preserves
Pour into two tube pans and bake in preheated oven at 250-300 degrees (no hotter) for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

I am an optimist. "A pessimist is a person who turns to the last page of a history book to see how it ends." (definition by Danny Stewart, circa 1980).

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