Zina's Produce

  (Williamsburg, Virginia)
A Country Affair Farm
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How did you get those little wings out of that cake?

The other day I told my daughter " If ever I leave this world ,please do not think  you have to hold on to ALL of my cook books". This is a load I would not put on anyone. Our library has a great selection of books to buy. 1.00 for hardback and .50 for paper. I am always walking out with one or two..... Recipes that follow stories are my fav. It is not enough that I eat it I have to read about it too! Where it came from, what events are set around it, is it old..... So I always include a story about what it is I am sharing with people, something they can share when they prepare it. In a way I'm selling it, making sure you know you have to try this recipe.  I can sell anything! My friend said "I can sell ketchup to a lady in white gloves". The recipes I write about are worthy to be made, or I wouldn't waste my time. I have plenty of recipes not worth making much less writing about. This is not one of them. People love a story with a recipe. So here goes!  My friend told me that while traveling with her family in Savannah GA. They saw a huge wedding cake being brought out from a van. When asked "What kind of  cake is that"? The chef replied, a traditional Savannah wedding cake. "Hummingbird Cake". That evening while dinning, there it was. They all shared, as it was a huge. They were instantly in love. This was sometime back, before internet was assessable. The recipe was very hard to find. Finally a friend, who had collected recipes for years, had it!  What we do know is that the recipe gained widespread popularity after it appeared in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine. We also know that the recipe was submitted by a Mrs L H Wiggins of Greensboro North Carolina and consists of two layers of cake full of chopped pecans, crushed pineapple, and mashed bananas that are filled and frosted with a delicious cream cheese icing. I love Southern Living recipes, so the fact that it is the most requested recipe EVER! I had to have it. It is moist, nutty, fruity, and even better the next day. No one seems to know it origins; ingredients suggest it is from Jamaica. There are two schools of thought about this cake and why it is named after a hummingbird. One is that it is so sweet hummingbirds are attracted to it, and the other is you hum when you eat it.  You tell me. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has.


                            Hummingbird Cake

 
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3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                                   

2 teaspoons baking soda
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup chopped pecans                                                              

 2 cups ripe banana
Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese softened
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 pounds confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
 
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Preheat oven to 350°.
Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times.
Add eggs and oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened
Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans.
Stir in the bananas
Spoon the batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack.
Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Frost the tops layers, stack and then frost sides. Sprinkle top evenly with the 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

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