Winter break means the return home, and more importantly, the return to homemade food. The harrowing months of suffering from Lenoir, the Agora, or failed attempts at the microwaveable brownie-in-a-mug trend are finally put on pause for four hearty weeks of dishes made with love. However, if your family doesn’t have a tin full of hand-typed recipe cards like mine, feel free to borrow some, courtesy of great-grandma Maxine. These are a few of my own favorite drinks and desserts from the collection.

Hot Apple Cider


  • 2 1/4cups sugar
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 8 whole allspice - 10 whole cloves
  • 1 piece ginger root (size of a quarter)
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 quarts apple cider or juice
  1. Combine sugar with water to make a syrup and boil for 5 minutes. Remove and add the cinnamon sticks, allspice, and ginger root. Let stand for one hour, then strain.

  2. Before serving: add juices to syrup mix and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve.




  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pint Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum (optional)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  1. Beat separately the yolks and whites of the 6 eggs.

  2. Slowly beat the sugar into the beaten yolks. Separately whip the whipping cream and then mix it into the yolks along with the cream and milk.

  3. Add, still stirring, the Southern Comfort and Jamaican Rum.

  4. Fold in the beaten egg whites and dust with nutmeg.

  5. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.



Lemon Supreme Cake


  • 1 pkg of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Deluxe Cake Mix
  • 1/4cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp of butter flavoring
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 small can of chilled Carnation Milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3/4cup lemon juice
  1. Prepare Duncan Hines mix as directed on box but add the canola oil, butter flavoring, and vanilla. Bake as directed.

  2. For the icing: Beat the Carnation Milk until buttery and gradually add the evaporated milk. Beat in the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time.

  3. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and keep refrigerated.


Red Velvet Waldorf Cake



Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2cup Crisco
  • 1 1/2cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Two 1 oz bottles of red food coloring
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  1. Set oven to 375 degrees and grease two 9 inch layer cake pans.

  2. Cream together the Crisco and sugar. Add vanilla and food coloring. Beat eggs and add.

  3. Separately sift flour with cocoa 3 times. Add to original mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat well.

  4. Dissolve baking soda in vinegar, then fold into mixture.

  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1/4cup sifted flour
  • 1 cup sweet milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2cup Crisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Cook flour with milk until at a pudding consistency, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Beat butter with Crisco until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well.

  3. Combine the two mixtures and beat until fluffy. Will look like whipped cream.

  4. Ice cooled cake.


Deluxe Chocolate Torte




  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 1/8tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/2cup sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 1 pkg (14lb) sweet cooking chocolate
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp confectioners sugar
  • 1/8tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tarter in mixing bowl. Beat until foamy throughout. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is blended. Continue beating until mixture will stand in very stiff peaks. Fold in vanilla.

  2. Spoon into lightly greased 9 inch pie pan, building sides up 12inch above edge of pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool.

  3. Place chocolate and water in sauce pan over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and gradually stir in egg yolks. Return sauce pan to low heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool.

  4. Combine whipping cream, sugar, and cinnamon in a chilled bowl. Beat until cream holds its shape, be careful not to over beat. Spread about 1 cup of the mixture in the bottom of the meringue shell. Fold the remaining into the chocolate mixture and spread over the cream filling in the shell.

  5. Chill several hours. Garnish with additional whipped cream.