Stella’s mother, whom they all call ‘Nana’, is visiting for a few weeks. She shares Stella’s passion for feeding one and all, but she has her little quirks which often add spice to her conversation.
While she mixes up her family-famous Cinnamon Coffee Cake in the kitchen she says to her grand-daughters, “Now girls, you can have a piece, but you have to earn it. While this cake is baking, your mom can watch it and we can take a walk to the park. You girls can get some exercise on the swings and what-not while I people watch.This town has so many interesting weirdos and they amuse me.”
Zoe thinks Nana is forgetting that she is fifteen and a little old for playground equipment, but she deems it wise not to say anything about that for the time being. She likes hearing Nana’s observations and assessments of the world too much to risk irritating her. She also likes her delicious, moist Coffee Cake with its cinnamon-crunch layers and is looking forward to having some with a cup of tea after their outing. Zoe looks at Stella and Stella looks back at her with a slight lift of her eyebrow and just a hint of a grin.
“Enjoy yourselves, girls, and Mother…”
“Yes, dear” says Nana with a slight look of challenge in her eyes.
“Go easy on the citizens. Many of them are my customers.”
“I’m never uncharitable, Estelle, only truthful,” says Nana, winking at the girls.
She decides she’ll join Nana and the girls for tea and cake, too. Stella looks up at the calendar, reminding herself of the date of Nana’s flight back home. She’ll need Kevin and Savannah in that morning so she can drive Nana to the airport.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Mix in a small bowl and set aside:
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons crushed nuts of your choice
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
beat in two eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
mix 1 teaspoon baking soda into a cup of sour cream in a bowl or 2 cup measure (the sour cream will begin to foam and rise with the baking soda) – sometimes Nana uses full fat yogurt instead of the sour cream, or a combination of both.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream to the wet butter/sugar mixture. Mix just until blended.
Pour half the batter into greased and floured nine inch baking pan
Sprinkle with half the cinnamon mixture
Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30 to 40 minutes.
Delicious served slightly warm.