Friday, February 22, 2013

Literary Supper

This picture makes our bungalow look a whole lot bigger than it actually is!

Last spring The Husband and I offered to host a literary supper for our charter school's fundraiser. People sign up and pay to attend a small gathering, and all the money goes to the school. Last night, we had about a dozen people over, some we knew and some we didn't, including our school's principal who led us in a great discussion of Toni Morrison's powerful, spare novel Home. The Husband made an amazing stew of lentils, sausage and chicken with a big green salad and crusty bread. We drank wine and laughed and talked -- a lot about the book and a lot about the world in general. We ate Hallelujah Cake and talked some more before everyone left around 10:00. It was a wonderful community gathering and made me grateful, again, to live in such a diverse city and to be a part of such a progressive school.

Here's the recipe for Hallelujah Cake, which I've posted before and which comes from my Texas friend Johanna. It's a weird recipe that goes against the pastry chef in me's grain, but it works and it's incredibly good. Evidently, it's named for the exclamation one makes when you take a bite.

Hallelujah Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a cake pan. I used a large oval Le Creuset, but you can probably use a 9X12 rectangular

Sift the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch o salt

Melt together in a microwave:

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 heaping T of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of water

Pour that wet mixture into the dry mixture and then add:

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and pour into baking pan.
Bake for about 30ish minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When cool, spread with this icing:

Mix the following together and beat in an electric mixer:

1 stick of butter, melted
8 heaping T good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I use a very dark Belgian one)
1/3 cup milk
1 box of powdered sugar


  1. You are blessed to live in such a community. And your community is blessed to have you. And I feel blessed to have that recipe. Thank-you!
    Now I need to read that book. Home is something I am quite obsessed with. Obviously.

  2. The whole thing sounds delicious!

  3. Could you please have a literary supper for your blog friends? I would fly in. Yes, I would.

  4. You know, I haven't read anything by Toni Morrison since "Beloved." That is pathetic.

    That stew sounds great. Anything with lentils in it wins my vote. Sounds like it was a great gathering overall.

    (My word verification is "glockbj," which sounds obscene and NRA-ish at the same time.)

  5. I could do with a piece of Hallelujah cake right now. It sound delicious.

    (PS - I love a small home. It keeps everyone close even when they don't want to be. )

  6. I love the name Hallelujah cake. I will make it just so that I can say,"Would you like some Hallelujah cake?"

    Love this and everything you write.



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