Surprising to some, my first baking experience was not alongside Mom or my Granma. Arguably, they were the bakers in the family. Granma was famous for everything that came out of her oven. Mom also has what I think of as a golden touch when it comes to getting baked items to turn out just right. She will experiment with something and it should flop – but it doesn’t.
However, my first cake was baked, not with Mom, but with Dad. I don’t remember everything about the experience. I don’t know if we were careful when we measured the flour, or if we creamed the butter and sugar until it was fluffy. (Truth be told, in South Texas in the 1970’s, it was probably shortening instead of butter!) One thing I do remember though, is that it was fun. Dad and I picked out a recipe from one of Mom’s cookbooks. It was for a Sunshine Yellow Cake with yellow frosting. It had an orange flavor, and I believe that came from orange juice or orange juice concentrate. We made this cake completely from scratch and I was so thrilled! We decided to make a layer cake and to top it with homemade frosting. Dad let me spread the frosting on the cake, and then Mom took our picture with the cake. I think we look pretty pleased with ourselves.