Last year my husband and I decided to indulge ourselves and purchase an egg share from a local area farm. I found out about this particular farm while searching for local area CSA farms, contacted them via email, and got a share brochure via email. We pre-paid for our share. Every Saturday between April and October, my husband would run out to Joy of Illinois Farm (Champaign, Illinois) and pick up our fresh eggs. We almost always received at least one dozen. During peak laying season, we would get 2 dozen or more. Toward the end of the laying season it tapered back to a dozen. Needless to say, having just two people in the house, I needed to learn how to use a lot of eggs in a practical manner. We also ended up sharing our eggs with friends, as well. So a lot of folks benefited from an abundance of eggs. We were also very pleased about the farm itself. Nice family farm, good home-spun people, who work hard and live kindly, whose animals are treated with the utmost care. The chickens who supplied us with so much nourishment for so many months ran around outside, laying in the sun, scratching the dirt, milling about the farm freely…fed well, cared for, and properly cooped at night and in inclement weather. We weren’t just share-holders, we were people that the Gioja Family wished well, treated as friends not just clients, and they genuinely cared about our well-being too. Farming as it should be. I came to understand why they named their farm “Joy of Illinois Farm” for sure.
Anyway, there is the background about why I ended up with so many eggs!
I decided to try my hand at pound cake, which I’d never made fully from scratch before. I broke out my mother’s heavy-duty cast iron/enameled fluted bundt pan, and started doing some research. I pored over my cook books and poked around the Internet to see what I could see. I discovered an abundance of recipes and variations with instructions ranging from simple to quite complicated. I don’t have an issue with complicated recipes, I don’t always have the patience for them. Through talking about food prep with a lot of my friends, I learned that time also seems to be an issue….a lot of busy folks just don’t have the time for lengthy, complicated stuff when it comes to making food. To each their own. I believe that if you create food in your own kitchen, use what ingredients and methods work best for you. It’s your kitchen. It’s your time. What you do, is right for you! I want everyone to feel like the star of their own foodie show, in their own home. Creating delicious food with your own hands, for yourself, for family, for friends….is a true gift from the heart.
I’m not into competition and using big words and complicated methods. I am into making nice things to eat for my husband and friends. I like to think about the person I am making food for, while I prepare it, and just fill everything not only with the necessary ingredients, but all my well-wishes and love….coming from my heart, passing through my hands, into my food. This is why I love to cook and bake. If that makes any sense at all.
So, back to the pound cake. Here I sit with eggs up to my eye balls and a craving for pound cake. The recipe I am going to share with you is basic. Lots of eggs. Lots of butter. I will include a variation afterward on how to add sour cream if you prefer. Make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature. When I get ready to bake, I set my butter and eggs out 1-2 hours ahead of time. Creaming butter works much better this way. I didn’t take photos of the entire process, but managed to remember snapping a few to share. I used my Kitchen Aid to mix the cake batter.
BASIC POUND CAKE
2 Cups Sugar
4 Sticks Butter
1 Dozen Eggs
4 Cups Flour
1/4 t. Salt
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 T. Lemon Zest
Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add flour about 1/2 cup at a time, continue beating. Add salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour into prepared pan, bake at 350 degrees for one hour 15 minutes to one hour 30 minutes. Check with toothpick or knife inserted in center. Let cake cool, before un-molding from pan. Enjoy.
(To make a sour cream version of this cake, cut your butter down to 2 sticks, reduce your eggs to 6-8 eggs, add at least one cup of sour cream, leave in or omit lemon juice/zest as desired)
This pound cake is wonderful, served with fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) and sweetened or unsweetened whipped cream!