Eat our Words – Melanie Sekalla

Mary’s Jam Cake

I come from a long line of amazing cooks and bakers, with many recipes handed down through the generations. In my writing I always pay homage by mentioning a particular favorite. This jam cake, a mainstay of many Jefferson County, Tennessee gatherings and occasions, appeared in my short story “You Never Told Me” from the anthology Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South.

1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
3 c. plain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
4 eggs
1 c. each strawberry jam & blackberry jam
1 c. raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice

Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs; mix well.
Sift flour and mix with spices.
Mix soda and buttermilk. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in jam and raisins. Pour batter into two 9-inch greased and floured cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Either frost cakes or dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Melanie is a lifelong Knoxvillian. As a fiftieth birthday gift to herself, she enrolled in Spalding University’s MFA program to pursue her love of writing. A married mother of two and companion to Opal, her four-legged muse, She’s at work on a flash fiction novella. Her stories have appeared in The Louisville Review, Flash Back Fiction and in the anthology Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South.