Happy 91st Birthday to my Dad today! Yes, 91!! How does someone get to be 91? Patience. And people. And good food! My dad is the most patient person – I wish that I had about 10th of the patience that he has. He always says, “what’s your hurry” or “no need to rush.” And he lives this. In the past few years he has slowed down, but that’s a relative term because he still takes care of his own rose garden of over 100 rose bushes and volunteers at the E. M. Mills Rose Garden at Thornden park. And he cuts his own grass (he’s actually doing that right now as I am writing this!). He loves being around people and says that it’s important to always surround yourself with people – they keep your mind sharp. He keeps active and is out somewhere everyday all year round.
And good food! Being Italian he was raised with and continues to eat a healthy, fresh diet. Fresh, healthy food has been a way of life. We have always eaten fresh fruits and vegetables, buying fresh produce from the local market. Or picking the produce of his garden. Every year there is an abundance of tomatoes, lettuce, basil, and Italian parsley growing in the back yard. Growing up my mom and dad hardly ever made anything from a package. Everything was and still is homemade. We eat a lot of olive oil and a lot of garlic.
So for my dad’s birthday cake, a healthy chocolate cake! Yes, healthy. I have had this recipe for a while and use it every now and then when I want a chocolate cake, but don’t want to have a lot of leftovers. It’s easy too!
Jiffy Devil’s Food Cake
1 ½ cup flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into an 8X8 ungreased glass baking dish. Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients. Pour oil in one, vinegar in another, and vanilla in another. Pour water over all, and mix with a fork or whisk to moisten.
3. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Yields 9 servings at 146 calories each.