My grandma was married for over sixty years and raised five children. At the time of her death in 2009, she had thirteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren (since then, seven more have been added to that legacy). My grandma loved her grand-babies more than anything. She never missed a sporting event of my cousins, my brothers, or mine. She sat on bleachers for decades watching basketball, volleyball, tennis, and cheerleading. She was at every school play, concert, or special ceremony that any of us had. For those of us who lived in Greenville with her, she drove us to and from school, entertained us and our friends, and cooked us dinners. She was my babysitter for the first eleven years of my life, and I'll always cherish the memories I have of playing cards with her, helping her do laundry, or watching Cardinals baseball together.
But my grandma was more than a loving grandma; she was also a loved daughter of Christ. To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about her spiritual life growing up or even as a young mom. But as an older woman, she lived for the Lord. She was in church every Sunday (or Saturday, when the service times changed). She reached out to family constantly with prayers or financial help. She read books, asked questions, and was faithful to growing closer to God. However, my favorite was listening to her sing hymns. She didn't have the best voice in the world, but it never stopped her from singing loudly her favorite song, Blessed Assurance. If you're not familiar with the words (because we've lost the fine art of hymn-singing in our contemporary services), the chorus reads:
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
My grandma wasn't perfect. Ask my mom or any of her brothers. But she operated in love. She loved her family, she loved her friends, and she loved her Savior. One of the ways she loved me was by making my favorite cake every year on my birthday: a gooey butter cake. Now, I didn't realize until last weekend, when some friends were down from Wisconsin, that gooey butter cake isn't widely known. In fact, like our beloved toasted ravioli, it's a St. Louis thing! Never stop learnin'...
Tonight, I'm baking my grandma's butter cake recipe for my friend's birthday. And because the recipe is too yummy and simple to keep to myself, I'm sharing it here. Enjoy!
Grandma Kate's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
Ingredients: 3 eggs
1 stick of butter
1 box yellow cake mix
8oz cream cheese
16oz powdered sugar
In a bowl, blend together one egg, the cake mix, and a slightly softened stick of butter. This will be very thick and clumpy. Spread it at the bottom of a greased cake pan as a crust.
In a second bowl, blend together the other two eggs, the cream cheese, and the powdered sugar. This will be creamy, yet still thick. Pour it carefully on top of the crust. Use a spatula to evenly spread it. I always try to leave a little crust showing on all the sides.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. It's done when the top is slightly golden and the crust is browning. If you have a pinch of powdered sugar left over, sprinkle it on top for a fun finish. Enjoy!
Every time I make this, I remember my grandma and her legacy of love. And I know that she's living the last verse of Blessed Assurance even now:
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.