Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Celebrating Southern Living Magazine

Southern Living Magazine | Golden Anniversary

Here it is, the February golden anniversary issue of Southern Living Magazine! Isn’t it “purty?” Just look at that 50th anniversary Lane Cake! Like so many treasured recipes, Lane Cake has a storied past:)

…The Lane Cake, one of Alabama's more famous culinary specialties, was created by Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Barbour County. It is a type of white sponge cake made with egg whites and consists of four layers that are filled with a mixture of the egg yolks, butter, sugar, raisins, and whiskey. The cake is frosted with a boiled, fluffy white confection of water, sugar, and whipped egg whites. The cake is typically served in the South at birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and other special occasions. The recipe was first printed in Lane's cookbook Some Good Things to Eat, which she self-published in 1898… (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

Actually, the title of Ms. Lane’s cookbook was A Few Good Things To Eat when it was originally published in 1898. I believe this because of an article I found published in the Reading Eagle in January 1968

…More than 100 years ago, Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Alabama, entered the annual baking competition at the county fair in Columbus, Georgia. She took first prize. No doubt the judges were swayed by her cake’s filling: a richly yolked custard heavily spiked with bourbon. The recipe, entitled Prize Cake, can be found in Some Good Things To Eat, a collection of personal favorites she published in 1898. Though later versions add shredded coconut and pecans to the filling, the original recipe calls for raisins only. Like Lady Baltimore Cake, it’s one of many spirited fruit-filled cakes of the era that became a holiday tradition. In July 1960, Lane Cake gained literary fame in To Kill A Mockingbird. And in March 1966, Southern Living featured a recipe for Lane Cake in its second issue…

In February 1966, the first issue of Southern Living Magazine, the “Magazine of the Modern South” was published and sent out free to over 200,000 subscribers of the Progressive Farmer. Just in case you’re curious, here’s what the first issue cover of Southern Living Magazine looked like when it debuted. There’s a story behind this cover too:)

Southern Living Magazine | Premier Edition
…Begun as a section in The Progressive Farmer titled The Progressive Home (retitled "Southern Living" in 1963), a new monthly magazine made its debut as a separate publication, Southern Living, in February 1966. At a time when the South was changing rapidly from a rural to a more urban region, Southern Living targeted families who often lived in suburbs, owned their homes, and enjoyed cooking, gardening, entertaining, travel and home-improvement projects.-- From The Companion to Southern Literature: Themes, Genres, Places, People, Movements, and Motifs

Lane Cake may be the quintessential Southern dessert, but, do you know what cake Southern Living Magazine claims to be the most requested since its publication in 1978? Why it’s Hummingbird Cake, which we all know has nothing to do with these beauties:)


WOW! Wasn’t that a glimpse of Sunshine:) So is this Hummingbird Cake, let me tell you! The recipe is from the Southern Living 1982 Annual Recipes Cookbook. (I have a few annuals through 1996:) The picture for the Hummingbird Cake was harvested from good ol’ wiki.

Hummingbird Cake

I’ve been in search of just the right Bran Muffin recipe for Marion. As you know, she is quite fond of all things sweet:) However, every now and again she decides she needs to eat healthier and we wind up with 5 or 6 boxes of Raisin Bran cereal in the cupboard! With the exception of Cherrios and once in a blue moon, Frosted Flakes, I don’t do boxed cereals! I usually have to remind Marion that she doesn’t either. She just laughs, lol…

Bran Muffin
Bran Muffin

I think I’ve hit the jackpot with this recipe. As a matter of fact we both have become quite fond of these Bran Muffins. I found the recipe in the Southern Living Annual from 1984. To add a bit of sweetness to Marion’s, I “frosted” hers with a brown sugar crumb topping. To be perfectly honest, they really didn’t need it. I was glad I omitted the topping on mine and added blueberries instead. My adjustments are in red:)

Bran Muffins Recipe

The history of Southern Living Magazine spans over 50 years. As you can imagine, there have been numerous articles printed and posted about its beginnings and its future. Way too much for the scope of this blog post. (we all saw how carried away I got about Bing cherries:) Of the many bits and pieces I learned about Southern Living in my travels, the one that really surprised mewas, Cooking Light Magazine. Did you know it sprang from the pages of Southern Living! I didn't!

Beside the annuals, I do have a few Southern Living cookbooks. The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook and Southern Living’s Our Readers Top-Rated Recipes are both on the shelf next to their Cooking Light counterparts. This recipe for Shellfish Crêpes in Wine-Cheese Sauce is from the Top Rated Recipes cookbook. A bit decadent for the first day of Lent but, hey, we’re just looking:)

Shellfish Crepes

Did you download the February calendar yet? No? It’s right up there in the left side bar:) You might need it because it’s another busy week for food celebrations, there are Plum Puddings, Tortellini, Gum Drops and Almonds to nibble on before I come back just in time for Cabbage Day. Yes, I said Cabbage, lol…We can’t forget, Valentine’s Day snuggled in between. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I did my retro Valentine’s post. In case you missed it, you can start here. Have a GREAT week everyone and Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Louise:)

Vintage Valentine

1.What Ever Happened To The Boozy Cake In 'To Kill A Mockingbird’?
2.Whitewashing Southern Living: the sociocultural significance of the 1966 magazine launch in Birmingham, Alabama