By Linda Barnett-Johnson

When I married at twenty, I didn’t know the first thing about cooking. So, when I decided to impress my new husband with my culinary skills, I decided to prepare a special Buttermilk cake. Now how hard could it be? I did have a new recipe book that I had received as a wedding gift.

This particular cake called for buttermilk, therefore the name, Buttermilk Cake. Hmm...I didn’t have any, and I didn’t want to run to the store just for that. Well, that’s an easy remedy, I thought. So, I took out some butter and milk, mixed it together and, presto, buttermilk!

I poured the mixture into the cake pan, set the timer, put it in the oven and started a load of laundry. I was such a domestic goddess! The house was clean, the laundry done, and always had supper on the table when my husband walked in. I just knew I was really going to impress him with this cake.

When the buzzer went off for the cake to be done, I couldn’t wait. I put on my new oven mitts, pulled down the over door, and jumped back! To my horror, some weird thing had happened to my creation! It didn’t look normal. In fact, it looked more like a giant deflated donut then a cake. The sides had swollen up past the rim of the cake pan, and the middle had sunken down into a huge abyss. What did I do wrong? I had followed the recipe. Must have been an error in my Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Well, I took the five-pound cake out of the oven, set it down on the stove, and cried. I had a short time to dispose of it before my husband would be home. You should have seen the smile on my dog's face when he got to eat the disaster. It was quite some time before I realized why my dog kept a constant vigil in my kitchen whenever I cooked.

When I told my mother and sisters what I had done, they died laughing. At that time, I wish they had!

Now whenever I make a special cake, I think back to that innocent young girl, and I just smile.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time I have embarrassed myself on my cooking expertise, but I think I’ll save that for another time...bon appétit!

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