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Chef's Best: Grandma's Pound Cake a Tasty Legacy

By Chef Jason Cobb

It’s kind of sad, really. 

It seems no one knows how to cook anymore. Those of us who are part of the Generation X, remember growing up in our parents and grandparents kitchens. We were either tuaght to cook directy by our family, watched and hoped to learn, or have orginal copies of recipes we hold dear. 

When my grandmother passed away several years in Westminster, I only asked for one thing from the estate - her hand-written recipes she had collected over a lifetime of cooking for her family. My grandmother was an incredible cook. I am sure she learned from her mother, who learned from her mother. I wish this kind of generational goodness was still being passed down!

If you remember the movie “The Sound of Music,” you should remember the song “My Favorite Things.” My favorite thing my grandmother cooked was her homemade pound cake. It was incredible, made with lots of butter, sugar and eggs - the ingredients which make it so good.Traditionally, the pound cake has included a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour and a pound of eggs. But it has evolved over the years to include flavorings, milk, baking soda or power and a number of other custom ingredients.

My grandmother used a number of different flavorings from Superior Flavorings, a company in Charlotte which was sold locally in the “Dixie Store.” Since the closing of Winn Dixie, these flavorings can be difficult to find.One source selling the Superior Flavorings on line can be found here. Any of these flavorings can be used in this pound cake or in any number of other recipes. But whatever you use, the following recipe will result in the best pound cake you have ever tasted.

Grandma’s Pound Cake

2.5 cups All Purpose Flour

.5 tsp Iodized Salt

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

1 pound Unsalted Butter

3 cups Granulated Sugar

6 eggs (room temperature)

1.5 tbs Flavoring (Vanilla or if you can find them one of the Superior varieties)

1, 12 oz can Evaporated Milk


Cooking the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare either a large tube pan or two loaf pans by buttering, flouring and lining with parchment paper
  2. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder
  3. Cream butter, sugar together until light and fluffy
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for 30 seconds between each egg at medium high mixer speed
  5. Add extract and beat again until well incorporated
  6. Alternately add the flour mixture and the evaporated milk until just incorporated
  7. Pour into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 40 to 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

The Glaze

Combine the juice of one lemon, one-half cup or sugar and one cup half&half in a quart saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. Any flavoring, about 2 tsp, can be added at this point if you wish. Pour mixture over warm pound cake and allow to cool.

Anderson's own Chef Jason Cobb. Cobb is a graduate and Culinary Fellow of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University. Chef Cobb is also available for catering at 864.367.6047


An Easy, Cool, Summer Mousse

From Nigella Lawson

Serves: 4-6

When you haven't got time for overnight setting in the fridge or you don't want to use raw eggs, this mousse is perfect. In fact, at all times, constraints or not, it is chocaliciously gorgeous.

  • 1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
  • ½ stick soft butter
  • 9 oz good bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
  • ¼ cup hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Sharper Knives Safer in the Kitchen than Dull Ones

We've mentioned that a dull knife is a dangerous one, and discussed how to properly sharpen a knife or use a water stone in the past. Still, why exactly is a dull knife more dangerous than a sharper one? Plus, honing is easy with a 10" chef's knife—how do you keep your paring knives sharp? This video from the America's Test Kitchen answers both questions, and shows you how to test to see if your knives are ready to use.

In the video, Lisa and Bridget from America's Test Kitchen explain that dull knives require more force to use and press through the food you're cutting, which means you're more likely to lose control of the knife if something happens that you don't expect. Then they use a simple test with a sheet of paper to determine if their paring knife is sharp enough to be used. It fails, and they bring out the Test Kitchen's favorite electric sharpener to get it back into shape.

Some knife aficionados will tell you never to sharpen with anything less than a water stone or a honing steel, but doing so with small knives can be difficult. On the other hand, tabletop sharpeners are inexpensive and get the job done nicely. Check out the video for more tips on taking care of small knives, and a few bonus skill tips for handling small blades.


Okra Fritters and Grits and Groceries Favorite

GRITS and GROCERIES: Real food, done real good

Okra Fritters

½ cup cornmeal
½ cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp Creole Seasoning (available at Grits and Groceries)
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup grated onion
2 cups sliced okra
Oil for frying

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the egg, buttermilk and onion. Stir in dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in okra. Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium heat and drop batter by the tablespoon full. Cook like pancakes until golden brown on both sides.  Serve with sour cream.


Grits and Groceries' Louisiana Beer-B-Que Shrimp

Louisiana Beer-B-Que Shrimp

Yield: 8 servings


5 lbs jumbo shrimp

1 T. Low Country Seasoning (available at

1 c Louisiana Beer-B-Que Sauce (available at )

½ lb butter

4 c white mushrooms, halved

1 can beer, preferably malt liquor

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ c finely chopped fresh parsley


Season shrimp with Low Country Seasoning. Combine sauce and butter in

a large sauté pan or saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter

melts, stirring to combine. Add the shrimp, mushrooms and beer, stir

to combine and then cover. Cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about

10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grits,

rice or mashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley. This is a play on the

New Orleans dish of barbecue shrimp. I decided that we had to make it

in a South Carolina Style – so, I started using my Carolina – inspired

Beer-B-Que Sauce.

Yield: 8 servings

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