Art comes in many forms and many mediums. One of Arts Center Executive Director Kris Pearson’s very favorite art forms is culinary arts – not, she hastens to clarify, because it’s an artistic medium in which she has a particular expertise , but because (of course) she enjoys eating the results (except maybe for the epic fails with peanut butter cookies and eggplant parm in junior high – who knew there is a difference between “cups” and “teaspoons” of salt?). However, there is one no fail family recipe that (now that those pesky differences between “spoons” and “cups” has been straightened out) even Kris succeeds in making. In the Pearson family it’s known as “Wacky Cake” – it’s quick, easy, and the ingredients are usually already in the cupboard. Also, because it’s made in the pan (8” x 8”) it’s baked in, there’s relatively little mess to have to clean up – BONUS!
So set the oven at 350 degrees with the rack in the middle, pull out your ungreased 8” by 8” baking pan and add (in this order):
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup hot water
Mix well (a fork works great for mixing it all together). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
This is a nice, moist cake which one of Kris’ friends used to use as the base for an ice cream sundae – but Kris likes to add a basic butter cream frosting when the cake has cooled a bit:
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
Warning! This cake has been known to add to the (waist and hip) spread of “covid 15” – the 15 lbs people gain when they bake and eat to combat boredom brought on by obedience to “stay at home” mandates.
Just so everyone knows that artistic talent (or lack thereof) isn’t necessarily genetic – Kris would like to point out that her younger niece, Abby Shea, has been accepted into culinary programs at the Culinary Institute of America AND Johnson and Wales where she plans to become an even better baker and chef than she currently is. (Obviously she’s self taught).
The Arts Center has had a variety of culinary arts classes over the last several years. To see what is coming up, check out workshops on our website, www.artscenteryatescounty.org . Post your easy-peasy culinary arts masterpiece recipe on our Facebook page! The Arts Center may still be closed, but Kris is open to sampling anything (as long as it isn’t too veggie heavy….).