Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nostalgia and rum cake

Through  tears and sadness I see this house in it's splendor.

The rich mahogany doors, large blooming hydrangea bushes that surrounded the brick.
An English rock garden that smelled like lillies of the valley and the bushel baskets resting near the back porch that were filled with rotting black walnuts ready to peel open.
I remember a time when I played match box cars on the green painted basement floor
and I can smell the sand and the stain from when my father was repairing the moldings back to their original wood.
I can feel myself rock in the old green medal rocking chairs that overlooked the whole neighborhood as I dreamed of a time when my feet would finally touch the ground.

This house in its splendor was the king of the hill.
A home among many that was in my fathers family for generations.
This particular house belonged to my fathers grandparents,
then to my father's Uncle,
and then my father.
I heard stories about how they held family funerals in the parlor room back in the early 1900's.
All of the clocks would be stopped at the time of death and a wreath would be placed on all of the doors signifying a death.

I glance upward and I can see my father's bedroom,
I can see the window to the room where he took his last breath at the young age of 45
and it makes me feel sad. 

 Although I haven't stepped through the doors of that house in over 20 years,
Nor have I been back to Foerster Hill in a very long time..
It holds a part of my history that slowly piece by piece is disappearing
only to be left to dwell in my memories.

I guess that it is a sign of the times ..
a sign of growing older, accepting change, and letting go.
Quite frankly, I don't like change!

My father's parents lived in the house next door.
Like this one,  it was once warm and beautiful.
Grandmom Foerster passed away in 1980
and to this very day,  
 although I can not remember what her voice sounded like,
I do remember her rum cake.

Warm and buttery, with fresh walnuts and just the right amount of rum...
It still remains my favorite cake ever!

Years ago I found a very easy rum cake recipe that tastes much like the one that grandmom used to make.

One bite, and I am taken back to a place called Foerster Hill.
A time before my parents separated and I was forced to grow up long before I was ready.
A place that was beautiful and full of life.

One bite, 
 and I am back, sitting at grandma's Formica table,  wiping my milk mustache off with the back of my hand  as  i gobble up yummy rum cake..  when my only worry in the world is if I could fit that last walnut on the fork.

 I can bet.. that although my girls have heard the stories of grandmom Foerster's rum cake,
that the taste of a delicious rum cake will always remind them of our kitchen.
It will remind them of their mother, happily humming, mixing and baking.

The circle of life.
...   that makes me smile.

Rum Cake


1 box of yellow cake mix
1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of dark rum
1/4 cup of water
4 eggs


1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of dark rum

Preheat oven to 325.
grease and flour a bundt pan.
Sprinkle walnuts on bottom of the pan.

Combine all cake ingredients, blend well.
Pour into pan over walnuts.
Bake @ 325 for about an hour.
Let cool,  remove from pan and puncture with a fork.

Combine glaze ingredients in a saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes
(until sugar and butter have completely melted)
Pour over cake.

( on this cake I traded the walnuts for pecans and added a cup of chopped apples)


I hope that you all had a great weekend.
I am feeling somewhat better..  I am still waiting for some test results and have a few more to do.
The good news is that much of the really bad stuff has been ruled out.

Have a great new week!!!!


Martina said...

When I still lived in Ohio, my sister and I used to drive through the neighborhood we grew up in. It's sad how much things change.

The rum cake sounds delicious!

Debbie said...

What a lovely post Leslie and how sad that are memories start to dwindle bit by bit as the years pass. How lucky for our children to be growing up in an age of advanced technology where they can video tape voices and events so their memories will last longer.

The rum cake sounds delicious! I will have to pick up some rum first though. LOL

I am glad all the 'bad' stuff has been ruled out. Enjoy your Sunday!

It's me said...

Rum cake......wowww...delicious !!....lovely week

Formerly known as Frau said...

Looks delish! I've never had rum cake but I saved this recipe it it worth a try. It's sad to see old houses uncared for and abandoned. It is a circle of life...have a wonderful day!

It's Just Dottie said...

It is alway hard to go back in time!! Oh My Gosh ! That cake looks so good.

Chris said...

Thanks for sharing your memories and history. It is so hard to go back and to look at all the places where so much personal history took place.
The cake looks yummy.
Have a great week!

Theresa said...

Cherish the memories:) That RUM cake looks so yummy! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

Pam said...

Your writing blows me away, Leslie! You need to publish a book, if you haven't already! This is the toughest part of growing older, how things change. I was just back home in Ohio this summer for my brothers' funeral and felt so disconnected, everything so different, no landmarks for me any more.

Maple Lane said...

What a beautifully written post, Leslie. The cake sounds moist and delicious and I love your memories. Praying you feel better soon. Pls keep us updated.

Mo 'Betta said...

This cake looks delish! I love how certain foods/ recipes can bring back a flood of memories. I had biscuits and molasses tonight in honor of my grandma :-)

Jann Olson said...

Leslie I feel some of these same things when I pass by my childhood home that my father built. He died at the young age of 41 when I was only 9 months old. My mos and stepfather sold the home shortly after I married. Still wish that hubby and I had purchased that home. Thank God for all of the GOOD childhood memories for both of us. The rum cake looks so moist and delicious. I can almost taste it girl.

Brandi said...

Such sweet memories you have of the house. I hope they stay with you forever. Thank you for sharing the cake recipe.

Kelly said...

I find it hard on the heart to go back in time and visit homes of my grandparents. So many memories of a time gone by.
Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

Kathryn D. Duke said...

What a lovely post Leslie! and wonderful family memories sure seem to be making up for the sad memories by raising your girls up with alot of love and teaching them what things are important in our lives!!! I can see how lovely this house was AND could be once again!!

Katharine said...

What a beautiful post, I'm far behind on my reading due to a crazy cold infection, but I hope you're ok, and the tests are all coming back fine?