Grandma Jimmy Lee was having another smoke. She always smoked on that noisy swing. Swaying and puffing simultaneously. Her hair teased out so high. Rumor had it that it was where she kept her life’s saving. I believe the rumors.
Mama was inside baking and grandma was supposed to be watching us. The only thing she was watching was her cold cocktail. Her cigarette in one hand, her cold cocktail perched comfortably in the other hand. It wouldn’t be cold for too long with the intense heat that was rapidly melting her ice cubes. We didn’t mind that she never paid us any attention. We didn’t have a care in the world. Me and my cousins were tired from chasing each other around the street. There hardly ever was a car that would pass by these sleepy streets. Grandma was always dreaming of the old days back in Georgia. She sometimes told us that life wasn’t the same here in the Glades. Maybe that was why she always had a sad look in her eyes.
The moment came that we were waiting for. The screen door pushed open with mama holding her gorgeous cake. She made it different this time, but it smelled just the way it always did, like caramel candies that we got at the corner candy store. Sometimes we take change from grandma’s pockets when she falls asleep on that swing and run over to get those sticky and delicious caramel candies.
(This is a fictional story. I was inspired by this Southern recipe. My mom got nervous that people would think I was talking about her. No mom, this is not you in the story!)
Adapted from Food and Wine (Best-Ever Caramel Cake)
*I only used 2 cake pans. I sliced the cakes in the middle. If you use 3 cake pans, your cake will be much higher.The kids ended up eating the extra caramel on one of the extra cake layers while they were waiting for me to decorate and chill the cake.
it with the offset spatula.
*I smoothed off the top of the cake. I cut it off carefully and blended it in the food processor. Those are the crumbs you see around the sides of the cake. I did that so the cake would be more even.
This cake was just delicious. Look at the gorgeous caramel.
This cake is beautiful for the holidays.