My mother was one of the best cooks in the world. On any given day, she could make a meal fit for a king. Mother had her own natural rhythm—her own unique swag, if you will. She would sing the hymns and praise God while simultaneously cooking for 15 people, myself included.
I loved my mother's cooking so much that I would hang on her apron strings and watch her every move. She was truly an artist. I would pat my foot to my own rhythm under the table as I ate her cooking. I always wanted to show my appreciation and affection for her hard work and dedication to the art of making us happy.
I remember one Sunday night I came home late and saw a four-layer chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen table. Mother was up, as usual. (She would not sleep until the last of her children were safe at home.) I asked her if this cake was for a special occasion and she said no. She was always reading my mind, so she told me that I could have a piece but to save some for the other children.
Well, because I was the oldest in the house at that time, I felt special. And because I felt special, I decided to treat myself to a special portion of that good-looking chocolate cake. I ate half of the cake. Do I need to tell you the rest of the story?
Mother's Chocolate Cake
4 9-inch cake pans
4 cups sugar
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cup cocoa powder,
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk (evaporated mixed with half water)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups boiling water
2 sticks butter completely melted
1 cup cocoa powder
6 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grease and flour the cake pans or spray them with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Then add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for four minutes, and then stir in boiling water to make a thin batter. Pour into pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back upon touching it in the middle. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test for doneness. Let cool for about 10 minutes and turn out onto waxed paper. Let cool completely.
To make the frosting, stir in cocoa with melted butter. Add in powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.