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"What's for Dinner Honey?" Nana Wheaton's Blueberry Cake


"What's For Dinner Honey?"

Deb Beneduci spends part of her year in Hingham, the other in Plymouth where she runs her own businesses inspired by the women in her family. 

inspired to grab a pail and head to Treeberry Farm in Scituate to pick highbush blueberries {easy!} and make the cake Deb remembers so well from childhood: Nana Wheaton's Blueberry Molasses Cake.  Here's what Deb says about Nana and her aunts:

"I spent most of my childhood summers in Bar Harbor with my grandmother and aunties. Wild Maine blueberries were bountiful and the most delicious you've ever had - ripened by day in the hot sun, and cooled in the evenings by the salty sea air. We climbed over the hill with our pails to collect the berries for my grandmother and aunts who baked every blueberry thing imaginable. They taught me how to make jam, bake pies and muffins, and put up packages to freeze for the winter, but the recipe for Blueberry Molasses Cake belonged to my grandmother and was one of her signature dishes.

I don’t know many cakes she made over the years for family picnics, neighbors, and bake sales, but we came to know it and it wouldn’t be summer without it. She always lovingly packed a cake to send home with me to share with my family, but many times during the long car ride the heavenly smell of the cake was irresistible and eaten with abandon; rarely a crumb to spare!  Eventually my secret was discovered, and my grandmother packaged the cake extra carefully in the back of the car, away from arm's reach. Sometimes it worked, but "the safety of the cake" is still a long standing joke in my family!

These talented and practical women enriched my life through the art of cooking, gardening, sewing, embroidering, knitting, preserving vegetables, cleaning fish and most of all having fun doing it! They didn't just teach me skills, they shed light on what a real woman is – someone who has the strength, endurance, dignity, will, and perseverance to support and care for her family".

Nanny Wheaton’s Blueberry Molasses Cake
from Deb Beneduci

1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
1 cup shortening {Crisco – don’t melt it}
dash of vanilla
cup cold water

Mix the above ingredients together.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda – full {not heaping}
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix together and blend with the molasses mix. Fold in:

2 cups blueberries

Grease a 13 x 9 pan and pour in batter.  Bake 350 degrees 30 mins or until done {the test is when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean}.  It's not unusual to bake it for more than 30 minutes.