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    “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that is in the right and keeps on a-comin’.” Captain Bill McDonald, Texas Ranger.

    My Photo
    Location: Texas

    Good guys wear white hats. And they never run out of bullets.

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    Just for Me

    Christmas was fantastic. I hope yours was too.

    I didn’t get the car. I don’t think I got a thing on my list. But, what I did get was better.

    I saw my Wife’s face light up when I gave her a present. My children were grateful and received their gifts with gratitude. I was reminded that my family is amazing. I enjoyed the chocolate cake that I was looking forward to.

    This is no ordinary chocolate cake. It is special.

    When I was a little boy, one of my grandfathers was a roughneck. He would stay at my house during the week because I lived in Odessa (where most of the oil wells were). When he came on Sunday evening, he would bring a chocolate cake baked just for me. My Grandma Gwen baked it for my personal enjoyment. She knew I loved that cake. I don’t doubt she thought about me when she made it.

    She passed away years ago. Now my Mama Dell (Grandmother) and Aunt Valda will make it. Mama Dell made it just for me this Christmas.

    This cake may not win any awards but it is my favorite. When she made it she was thinking of me. She wanted to make me happy. She did just that.

    It is one of those special blessings you have to take personally. It is the same sentiment I feel when Echo makes fresh tortillas. It is being called by name in a very special way.

    I love these blessings. Sometimes the blessing is cake or tortillas. Sometimes it is the West Texas sunset. Sometimes it is the cool wind from the Pacific blowing in my face while I stand on the Oregon coast. Some times it is a father and son walk with Alex down by the creek. Every time, it is a blessing given for my own personal enjoyment. I love the things that are just for me.

    From the creator of a cake to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, my personal enjoyment was considered. I like being remembered. I like being loved. I like the things that were made just for me.

    Just in case you wanted to know:

    Texas Sheet Cake

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • .
    • Chocolate Frosting:
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
    • 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chopped Texas Burket pecans


    Grease a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

    In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup of water.

    Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. With an electric hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake in a 350° oven about 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

    Pour warm chocolate frosting over the warm cake, spreading evenly. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly before cutting.
    Makes 24 servings.

    In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans.