Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cherry New Year !

My favorite cherry recipe was always made by my favorite aunt. She was a great cook and a wonderful example of godly womanhood. I miss her. More about Aunt Dorothy later. First her recipe:

Yummy Cherry Stuff

Some people call it dump cake because you dump everything in a baking dish. We just call it that "Yummy Cherry Stuff That Aunt Dorothy Made". There are versions using crushed pineapple or fresh blueberries. Once again: This Is Not A Healthy Recipe! That's why I only make it once a year. I was going to post a picture, but it was attacked and mostly eaten before I remembered.

Butter or spray a 9 x 13 baking dish. Dump the following ingredients in order listed and spread out in the pan. Don't mix together.
  1. 2 cans cherry pie filling
  2. 1 DRY white or yellow cake mix (yes, just the dry stuff)
  3. 2 sticks butter (melted or just cut up and placed on top)
  4. 1 cup coconut
  5. 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional, but yummy)
Bake at 350 until top is browned. About 30 minutes.

Aunt Dorothy was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was young. The doctors didn't expect her to live past the year. She had 2 surgeries to remove parts of the tumor, but in the 70's there just wasn't much hope even with chemo. I was just a kid at the time, but I knew it was serious and scary. She was sick from headaches and chemo, but she clung to the Lord in such a way that it made a lasting impression on me. I'd never known anyone who talked to God like He was standing right there, a Friend and a Father, a Comforter and Confidant. I'd never seen anything like it. I wanted to be like her. I still do.

I really got to know and love her when I started traveling with her and Momma to Saint Francis to the cancer treatment specialists. It was a serious thing, of course, but it was a lot of fun in the beginning because she and Momma were so much fun. We stopped and bought peaches on the way home once because she wanted a peach. Momma told her we didn't have any way to wash them, and not even a paper towel to use for a napkin. Of course Momma did stop and buy peaches, took a pillowcase off a pillow, and rubbed the fuzz off a juicy, perfectly huge peach and gave it to her. Dorothy pronounced it, "The best peach I ever ate!"

I remember squeezing into the cab of a pick-up truck with Momma, Aunt Dorothy, Grandma, and my sister-in-law. I was the only skinny one, because I was still young. This was no F-150. I sat on the edge of the seat the 30+ miles to "town" and back. We laughed the whole trip. No one is as fun as a bunch of Christian women who love each other,
and I wanted to be smack dab in the middle of them!

She took me with her to buy Tex-Mex when we were in Odessa.
Tex-Mex was something we didn't have much of around home. She asked me if I wanted refried beans. When I replied I didn't even know what a refried bean was, she exclaimed, "Well honey, you have to have some then! You'll love 'em!"
I think of her every time I eat refried beans. What a tribute, huh? Somehow I don't think she'd mind.

I went with her to her church. First time I'd ever set my bashful foot inside a Pentecostal church. I wasn't afraid with her there. It was wonderful to kneel beside my favorite aunt and listen to her offering up prayers to God. I hung on her every word. It was like the Spirit of the Lord just hung around her like a garment.

Did I mention she lived much longer than the doctors expected? YEARS longer.
I know that whatever pain and sickness she endured was not in vain. If for nobody else, the Lord let her live longer for my sake. For my sake, yes.
Thank you Lord. Let me be like my grandmother and Aunt Dorothy.

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