Safely Spreading Holiday Cheer
By Terry Foster, RN
Registered Nurse at St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Throughout this holiday season, it’s important to me to stay connected to the people I love, while keeping physical distance and following COVID-19 safety precautions as much as possible. I encourage everyone to do the same and please wear a mask.
One way I am celebrating this year is by baking sweet treats and making special porch deliveries to my friends, family and neighbors. It’s my favorite way to spread joy this season — and beyond!
If you want to bake a Christmas classic for someone in your life, oh boy, do I have the perfect recipe for you.
My late mother, Mary Ruth Foster, was a long time St. Elizabeth employee then volunteer. She made this cake often. In Kentucky, we have a long list of comfort foods. It’s just what we do.
However, today instead of giving someone an entire cake, I divide up a few pieces into containers and give them to friends and neighbors. They always love it. And this way, multiple people aren’t slicing from the same cake! It’s a safer delivery method.
Kentucky Blackberry Jam Cake
2 1/3 cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¾ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp cloves
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cooking oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry jam
1 cup nut pieces
Combine 1st eight ingredients into large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, oil, & buttermilk. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs & beat 2 more minutes at medium speed, scraping sides of bowl. Fold in jam & nuts. Pour into two 9 inch greased & floured round cake pans. Bake at 30-35 minutes in 350 pre-heated oven, until top springs back when lightly touched. Frost with caramel icing.
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup whole milk
1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
3 cups confectionary sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
Melt butter, add milk & brown sugar. Stir & then boil vigorously for one minute. Remove from heat. Beat in half of confectionary sugar & let cool a bit. Add vanilla then remaining confectionary sugar. Add a bit more milk if needed. Slater all over cake & let it drip down sides.
Baking may not be your thing or your priority right now—and I totally get that! Maybe singing helps you relax, so go virtual Christmas caroling. If you’re crafty, design a one-of-a-kind card for your family, friends and neighbors to let them know how much they are loved. Whatever it is, find something you’re passionate about that’s an outlet for you and use that to lift spirits this season!
And remember, wearing a mask is the best way to spread holiday cheer, safely.