Mary Ann is the sous chef and Nanette the chief cook. Nanette makes dumplins the way her Grandmother taught her Mom, who passed it along to her, no measurements; you'll just know when you get it right.
As some of you know, I am completing a book and today I'm going to share a preview with you. My dear friend, Mary Ann, who has suddenly found herself at home battling brain cancer, is featured along with her lifelong friend, Nanette. Although Mary Ann admits that she has never been much of a cook, she has shared a recipe with me that brings raves every time it’s served. Recently when I visited with her in the hospital, I took the cake along with the toppings so that her daughter Taylor could finish it up and they could enjoy the dessert they like to make together. A friend described Mary Ann’s masterpiece which needed a name with three little words ‘Damn Good Cake’ and it stuck. Taylor, Mary Ann’s only child, anxiously assumed the job of crushing the candy bars for the cake topping as soon as she got her driver’s license. Now that’s a mother daughter treat for sure. Hope you enjoy!
Sisters by Choice
Mary Ann Quirk and Nanette Crafton of Nashville are sisters by choice and closer than most blood kin. It’s the valleys and shadows of life that brought them together, resulting in the friendship of a lifetime.
The story begins with Nanette (known as Aunt Nanny) who was a hairdresser at "Mays Studio of Beauty," a well known hair salon in Nashville's Green Hills area. Raised in Palmer Tennessee, a little thumbprint of a town on Monteagle, Nanette had followed her older sister, Jan Smith to Nashville. When Jan’s husband who was a cameraman for CBS was assigned to Vietnam, Nanette stepped in for her sister at the salon.
Mary Ann’s mother, Jere Leathers, then the Business Manager of the TN State Fairgrounds, was one of those who had been passed along to Nanette. She relied on her for her weekly shampoo and set and in just no time grew fond of the young stylist. Mary Ann who was in her early teens would drop by Mays occasionally with her Mom or if it was prom time, she would be treated to having her hair styled by no other than Nanette.
Over the years Nanette would locate in various salons as her clientele grew to include Nashville biggest stars and the cream of the social set. Many swore that it was hard to tell where the good Lord left off and Nanette’s hair color picked up. But through it all, Nanette always made time for Mary Ann’s mother. After about 15 years, Mrs. Leathers developed cancer and only lived three weeks following her diagnosis. She was very concerned about what would happen to her only child who was anything but a domestic diva – having never cooked a meal or even washed a load of clothes. Mrs. Leathers asked everyone she knew to please take care of her baby who was by then in her twenties. Sometime after her 21st birthday, Nanette remembers Mary Ann calling her Mom while she was at the salon to ask if water was boiling when the bubbles were on the top or the bottom of the pan!
Apparently the only person, who took her plea to heart, was Nanette. Now thirty plus years later, these two women have been roommates on and off, before, during and after marriages and the same for children. Nanette is one of Nashville’s most sought after stylist and colorist, and Mary Ann has worked with many seeking drug and alcohol treatment and recovery. Both have made a difference in the lives of others. The laughter, the tears, the good times and the bad have made them the closest of soul sisters and the best of friends for life. Still when they get together for supper, Nanette is the cook, but Mary Ann has perfected a cake that gets rave reviews. Now wouldn’t Mrs. Leathers be so proud of her girls?
Damn Good Cake
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 jar of caramel topping
1 large container of whipped topping
1 regular bag of miniature heath bars
Make the cake and bake according to directions on the back of the box. Use a 9 x 13 inch pan. While the cake is still warm, poke holes all around the cake with a fork and pour milk evenly over the cake. After the milk has soaked into the cake, open the caramel topping and pour it evenly over the cake. Let cake completely cool
Unwrap all of the miniature heath bars and double bag the bars in one or two sealed sandwich bags. Set them aside. Ice the top of the cooled cake with the cool whip.
This next step is very important and quite easy to do. Take the sealed sandwich bags out to your car. Place the bags tightly against one of your back tires. Start your car and back over the bags and then forward over the bags. Continue several times, then get out of your car, turn the bags over and repeat the process until heath bars are crushed to your satisfaction. Bring bags in and scatter the heath pieces all over the cool whip. It is rich but so yummy.
For more Mellow Yellow Monday visit http://mellowyellowmonday.blogspot.com/
For more Tasty Tuesday visit http://inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com/
For more Tuesdays at the Table visit http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/
For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday visit http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com/
For more Wordful Wednesdays visit http://angiescircus.blogspot.com/