My Aunt Daw Daw was always such fun to be around. Actually we pronounced it- Ain’t Daw Daw. Her real name was Dorothy and she was a cousin, not really an aunt. She laughed a lot. Daw Daw was one of those folks who didn’t just laugh, she laughed all over, her whole pleasingly plump body bobbed up and down- she clapped her hands, shook her curls and threw out at least one foot; tossed her head back so you could see every single one of her pearly little teeth, her cheeks were pink and tears squeezed out of her merry and bright blue eyes. Simply a sweet joy to be around.
Daw Daw never married and I personally think that was a crying shame. Some say she fell in love with a soldier headed to the Korean War. Daw Daw was one of my all time favorite relatives. And, we children loved her. She made us laugh and played the games we did.
- Daw Daw not only loved to do the Hoola Hoop with us,
- She played Swing the Statue (called it Sling the Statue),
- Took the lead in Red Rover
- And even tried to do the Limbo and the Twist I think she threw her back out one time over that.
- And! She was a tough line judge for Badminton too.
She played as hard as the children, then plopped down beside my grandmother, who would say ‘ Daw Daw, you’re just like sittin’ next to dough, and it rising.’ And the laughter would begin all over again.
Here’s the best thing- DawDaw always gilded the lily. She loved to try new things. Stayed up to date on fads and fashion, though she tended to wear sensible shoes with her bright floral or ruffled dresses. Still. Daw Daw truly kept up with baking trends…She was the first one to make-
- Sock It To Me Cake
- Co-Cola or Seven Up Cake
- Mississippi Cake
- Milky Way Cake and!
- Daw Daw’s Kentucky Wonder Cake was slightly risqué, probably because of the spirits she added.
No doubt her Momma’s Devil’s Food Cake was a wicked vision. Daw Daw’s versions of any cake were the best, mainly because of the Glaze. Secretly we all suspected she doubled the recipe! Generous, just like Daw Daw.
Often I recall hearing – Did anybody think to call Daw Daw? I wonder now if it was an oversight or an afterthought to call. And you know? Most folks treat a glaze as an afterthought– not Aunt Daw Daw… her baked goods were delicious because of the glaze! If Daw Daw ran short of time and bought a plain loaf cake or sheet cake from a bakery, she smothered it with one of her drippy sweet glazes, and not one of us thought a￼ ‘bought cake’ was one bit scandalous.
Here’s how you make Aunt Daw Daw’s Basic Glaze:
- 2 cups of sifted Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons softened Butter
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
- 3-4 Tablespoons Whole Milk, Half and Half or Evaporated Milk (Aunt Daw Daw’s favorite)
Sift powdered sugar in a medium bowl, add softened butter, mixing well. Add extracts, mix well- mixture will be thick. Add 2 Tablespoons of milk, stir well, add another Tablespoon, mix. *This will be a thick glaze, add more milk carefully to the consistency preferred. * If you add too much liquid, add small amount of sifted powdered sugar.
Variations: for Lemon Glaze, add zest of one lemon plus 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, reduce milk to 1-2 Tablespoons. Add to sugar, butter and vanilla. Omit Almond Extract. For Orange Glaze, zest of orange plus 2 Tablespoons of orange Juice, reduce milk to 1-2 Tablespoons, and omit Almond Extract. Add to sugar, butter and vanilla.
If you like a chocolate glaze- I’ll direct you to my grandmother’s amazing chocolate glaze-Southern Pound Cakes… since honestly, I don’t have Daw Daw’s.
If you’re thinking Basic Glaze is an afterthought? Remember my Aunt Daw Daw- she thought glazes were a necessity- that extra special something for otherwise plain cakes, loaf cakes, sweet breads, such as banana bread, even cinnamon rolls and cookies. And frankly, a glaze is fun addition and always just as sweet she was.
Love y’all, Camellia
* It’s not uncommon in the South, to call an older cousin an aunt, it’s just one of those goofy things we do! And! It’s a sad fact that I do not have one photograph of Aunt Daw Daw, yet she was unforgettable. And! All photographs are obviously mine.