Like a little black dress a recipe for a good breakfast casserole is a must in any cook’s repertoire. After all, there are few things better than waking up with a hot cup of strong coffee, your local newspaper, and a plateful of eggs.
I’ve been breakfast obsessed my whole life. My parents, who did so much to prepare me for life after them, did me a huge disservice in the breakfast department. My father, short-order cook extraordinaire, made a hot breakfast for us every morning. Apple pancakes, scrambled eggs, and red-eye gravy were the breakfast of champions growing-up. Waffles weren’t just for Saturdays.
Caramel cake is not for the faint-hearted. Affectionately referred to as burnt sugar cake, it’s a specialty of the deep South and a tradition in my family. Growing up, a birthday wasn’t complete without this tender cake and its tooth-hurting, thick, sugary frosting. While its fat and sugar content is enough to make you cry “uncle,” I promise you’ll have no problem ignoring this painful truth as you cut yourself a second piece.
This recipe originated with my Great Grandmother Ida in New Bern, NC and was further adapted by my grandparents’ housekeeper Mora. Mora mastered the cake and as such, got her name attached to it. Mora’s caramel cake has been the birthday cake of choice for my father and me for years and my mother lovingly turned them out each fall. Yet it wasn’t until I attempted to make the recipe myself that I realized what a labor of love it was. While making the cake is simple, the icing requires resolve and a little luck.
My friend, a talented cook and devoted mother, made a version of these pickles and served them with burgers for a cook-out on Saturday night. Or at least, it was her intention to serve them with burgers. Sitting out on the counter, most of us found these pickles impossible to resist and I have to say we made a dent in the batch before the burgers were even on the grill. It’s easy to see why.