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Thread: The Memories of Carrot Cake and Friendship

  1. #1
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    My childhood friend Sheila kept every letter and piece of paper that I had ever sent to her from 1973-1989. She had emailed me last year and asked me if I wanted them. When I received them they were neatly piled and carefully dated with the envelopes stapled to the letters. I had never seen anything like this and questioned whether my friend had OCD or was she just efficient.


    Sheila had always been the loyal friend that I waited for every morning, at approximately 8:35 on Albert Street, to walk to school. She had experienced most of my life first hand and was one of the very few friends who turned up at my father's funeral in Quebec. We had not seen each other in years but deep down we both knew that the other was still there and we each still valued and cherished our friendship.



    There has not been a day that has gone by that I do not think of Sheila and her family. Her father taught me how to ride a bike and her mother served me my first slice of carrot cake. Just because you lose contact from time to time, does not mean that you forget your friends or carrot cake.

    I sat there and shook my head while I read about my old passions for cars and shopping. That was the old me. I had always needed stuff to keep me going. Thirteen years ago I found myself and no longer needed anything to make me happy but life.


    I read about my former dark side. It was like a slap in the face to read about the doctors, pills, depression and misery. I could feel the blackness creeping back into me that I had fought off for years. I shuddered and put the letters down. That was deep reading and I hated that period of my life.

    I read about the beginnings of my stores in the early 70's and then saw clippings from magazines and newspapers with my designs in it. I wrote about wanting a child at the age of 25. In reality my first born, Schuyleur, had arrived in my life when I was 35.


    The very last correspondence was a fax dated Sept 03, 1989. I had told Sheila that I was planning to close my store in 1994 which eventually did not close until eight years later. Sheila had told me it was a good idea and that I should pursue a career in politics.


    Years had flown by, yet it all still seemed like yesterday. It felt like we were still in her old basement and her mother was banging on the floor above us with a broom because she had endured enough of the song, "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. After the broom did not work she lured us up to the upper level with a slice of her famous carrot cake. Yes, Carrot Cake outweighed The Rolling Stones even in those days.


    I stood next to the dryer today waiting for the cycle to end with tears flowing down my face. How did life go by so fast? Where did it go?

    I sighed and pulled the clothes out of the dryer. It felt like I made a 360 as they say and had briefly visited my past life for a few fleeting hours like "A Christmas Carol." But there were no ghosts and no evil deeds that had been done. It had just been our life and it had not been such a bad life. We had both survived and that, my friends, is a feat in itself.



    Sheila and I both tried to make a difference to people in our lives. Who knew when we first became friends at the age of 2, what our destiny would be like. But if I die tomorrow I know that I have tried. Just like Sheila.

    I know that we are both grateful for everything, including each other and anytime I see a slice of carrot cake I smile and think of her. Even though our friendship is just crumbs these days I know if we saw each other again we would be baking a brand new cake.

    Linda Seccaspina 2011 and dedicated to all the Sheilas of the world





    Mrs. Wallet's Carrrot Cake


    Beat well:
    4 eggs, 2 cups sugar
    Add:
    3 jars - 3 1/2 ounce sieved carrots (use baby food)
    1 cup oil
    1 cup crushed pineapple - drained
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup nuts - chopped

    Add:
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

    Frosting
    Mix thoroughly until smooth the following:
    1 package - 8 ounce cream cheese
    1 package powdered sugar
    1 cub butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 pineapple juice


    Picture of carrot cake was when I did for a church function.







    .
    Attached Images Attached Images



  2. #2
    Member LeonMom's Avatar
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    Beautiful, with tears running down my face. I lost my Sheila in July, she brought me back to quilting 6 years ago after I miss her.

  3. #3
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Wow. That is awesome. (you & Sheila, that is.)

  4. #4
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonMom
    Beautiful, with tears running down my face. I lost my Sheila in July, she brought me back to quilting 6 years ago after I miss her.
    Now this made me cry..
    Yes I felt I should dedicate it to all the Sheilas of the world.
    HUGGGGGGGGGG

  5. #5
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k9dancer
    Wow. That is awesome. (you & Sheila, that is.)
    Who knew someone would save all of this..now that is a friend.
    HUGGGGGGGGGGGG

  6. #6
    Senior Member Becky Mc's Avatar
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    My Carrot cake memory is my Aunt in Minnesota she knew I loved it and made it each time we came to visit. So when I see a Carrot cake or make one I think of her.

    Nothing beats a home made Carrot Cake

  7. #7
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Mc
    My Carrot cake memory is my Aunt in Minnesota she knew I loved it and made it each time we came to visit. So when I see a Carrot cake or make one I think of her.

    Nothing beats a home made Carrot Cake
    Becky Mc.. you are so right.. nothing but.. memories and the taste of a carrot cake.. Everytime I see our pictures I cry.

  8. #8
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.

  9. #9
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Awersome

  10. #10
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    I lost my Sheila in 2003, (her name was actually Diane). We met when we were 7 years old, when her family moved next door to my family. We were friends for 50 years but the last 34 we lived 3000 miles apart. Her mother was a wonderful cook and I remember, not a carrot cake, but a cake she would make every week and the recipe is lost. She was one of those cooks that never used a recipe, it was just in her head. I can still taste that cake, wish I had the recipe. I miss my friend.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Victoria L's Avatar
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    Beautiful story....thanks for sharing. I need to call my "Sheila" today. I am blessed with such a friendship and am very thankful.

  12. #12
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.
    Murphy1-
    I will be offline from Saturday until late Tuesday afternoon but I will have a great story about chin hairs to make you all laugh when I get back.

    My grandmother used to make that cake too and maybe you should write about it..:)

    I keep repeating myself that I found this place by sheer accident.. and feel like its home. I feel so welcomed and thank you and plan to make a quilt when I get back. I assure you it will probably make you all giggle hahaha:)

  13. #13
    Junior Member morforles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.
    Another wonderful story! Would you share your Mother's recipe with us, please?

  14. #14
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    The holidays wouldn't be the same without this cake. I think my kids looked forward to the spice gum drops. Here it is.
    Poor Man's Cake (no eggs or milk - out of depression era)
    1 pkg of raisins
    2 cups of boiling water
    2 cups of sugar
    1/2 cup of shortening (I now use butter)
    4 tablespoons of cocoa
    4 1/2 cups of flour
    2 teaspoons of baking soda
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    2 teaspoons of each of the following: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
    1 cup of nuts (optional)
    1 cup of gumdrops (optional)

    I most often put in 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour,
    I have also used muffin tins and that worked nicely too.

    My daughter came in as I was typing this and said "Poor Man's Cake, I want some." It really is a tradition for us in December. I hope you enjoy. We should have a recipe swap for this time of year. Biscotti is also a tradition for us in December.

    Nancy (aka Murphy 1)
    \
    Quote Originally Posted by morforles
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.
    Another wonderful story! Would you share your Mother's recipe with us, please?

  15. #15
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Mc
    My Carrot cake memory is my Aunt in Minnesota she knew I loved it and made it each time we came to visit. So when I see a Carrot cake or make one I think of her.

    Nothing beats a home made Carrot Cake
    Isnt it amazing who we relate food to?

  16. #16
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morforles
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.
    Another wonderful story! Would you share your Mother's recipe with us, please?
    I am going to print this out.. thanks!!

  17. #17
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    The holidays wouldn't be the same without this cake. I think my kids looked forward to the spice gum drops. Here it is.
    Poor Man's Cake (no eggs or milk - out of depression era)
    1 pkg of raisins
    2 cups of boiling water
    2 cups of sugar
    1/2 cup of shortening (I now use butter)
    4 tablespoons of cocoa
    4 1/2 cups of flour
    2 teaspoons of baking soda
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    2 teaspoons of each of the following: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
    1 cup of nuts (optional)
    1 cup of gumdrops (optional)

    I most often put in 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour,
    I have also used muffin tins and that worked nicely too.

    My daughter came in as I was typing this and said "Poor Man's Cake, I want some." It really is a tradition for us in December. I hope you enjoy. We should have a recipe swap for this time of year. Biscotti is also a tradition for us in December.

    Nancy (aka Murphy 1)
    \
    Quote Originally Posted by morforles
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy1
    My sister always mentions our mom's carrot cake. Such fond memories and traditions are born out of memories of childhood traditions. My mom always made a Poor Man's Cake at Christmas time. It was called that because no milk or eggs were used. But it did have gumdrops, so that is why it was part of the Christmas tradition. I continue to make this cake at this time of year and now send one to my son as part of the holiday season. Linda I read one of your stories earlier and so enjoy reading your entries. Continue to share with us.
    Another wonderful story! Would you share your Mother's recipe with us, please?
    Thank you so much..
    HUGGGGGGGGGGG

  18. #18
    Junior Member morforles's Avatar
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    Thank you so much! This cake recipe has me drooling.

  19. #19
    Junior Member kwiltamomma's Avatar
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    thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory. My Sheila past away last summer. The only person that really knew me from childhood until now. I love your memory!

  20. #20
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morforles
    Thank you so much! This cake recipe has me drooling.
    Well if you make it promise you will share with all of us.:)

  21. #21
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwiltamomma
    thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory. My Sheila past away last summer. The only person that really knew me from childhood until now. I love your memory!
    Do you remember the song by Tommy Roe called Sheila??:)

  22. #22
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    You are so talented! I'm sure we all thought of our own Shelia as we read this. Hugs for the memories :o)

  23. #23
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy cat lady
    You are so talented! I'm sure we all thought of our own Shelia as we read this. Hugs for the memories :o)
    Crazy Cat Lady,
    I am just so honoured to be able to post them here..
    HUGGGGGGGG

  24. #24
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    It would be cool to make a memory quilt for your dear friend with the pictures you just showed us and put fabric featuring carrots on the back :XD: You could include a copy of the story you just shared with us.

  25. #25
    LindaSeccaspina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheri stonespinner
    It would be cool to make a memory quilt for your dear friend with the pictures you just showed us and put fabric featuring carrots on the back :XD: You could include a copy of the story you just shared with us.
    You know I saw a memory quilt yesterday and took pictures anad will write about it when I get back home.. BUT this is such a great idea.. I never thought of it cheri..
    I am so excited.. thank you

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