Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

Fat and Sassy: Lemon Cake

Tuesday TalesWelcome to TUESDAY TALES! This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘check, or checked’.

In Fat and Sassy, my WIP, the Jones’ have moved back to southern California – again. They’ve finally settled down, without any moves for the past six years. The children are growing and the family is becoming a part of their small community as the base of the foothills.

Return to TUESDAY TALES for more snippets from developing books.



lemon cakeBea stood in the kitchen, holding cupboard doors open with each hand, surveying the shelves in search of ingredients.

Helen walked in, swishing her skirt around from side to side. “What’cha making, Mama? Are you going to make some green beans for supper after church tomorrow? I sure do like your green beans, Mama.”

“Why thank you. I’m glad you enjoy them. But, no, no green beans for tomorrow. We’re having a potluck at church tomorrow.”

“Goody! I like the potlucks at church. There’s always such good food. What are we taking?”

“I was thinking about making Aunt Melba’s lemon cake recipe,” Bea replied, closing the cupboard doors. “But we don’t have all the fixin’s.”

“What do we need? I can help you, Mama. I like to cook and bake. After all, I am nine years old now.” Helen pushed her brown locks behind her ears. “I’m going to be a really good cook one day. I’m going to cook every day. I’ll cook for my husband, and my kids, and even my grandkids one day.”

“I’m sure you will, Prissy. And I’m sure you’ll be a fine cook or baker. We need a lemon cake mix. We have the lemon flavored Jell-o and the powdered sugar.” Bea reached for her cookbook on the counter. “Wait, let me double check.”

She opened the cookbook up, rifling through pages looking for the envelope where she’d written Melba’s recipe on. She sure was glad that her brother, Sam, had married Melba. She was a fine woman and a good addition to the Goss family. “Aunt Melba shore can bake up a fine cake,” she said out loud, not particularly to Helen, just to the universe in general. “Oh dear, I forgot we need a lemon for the glaze. And eggs. We need four eggs too. Check the icebox and see how many eggs we have.”

Helen pranced to the corner where the ancient ice box sat. She looked inside. “Six eggs, Mama.”

“Go get my pocketbook and bring it to me, Prissy.”

When Helen returned with her mother’s pocketbook, Bea rummaged through it until she found her coin purse. Opening it up, she retrieved some coins, counting them into Helen’s small palm. “ … forty seven, forty eight, forty nine … fifty. Fifty cents – that should be more than enough. Run down to the market and get a box of lemon cake mix. Then, on the way home, stop at Mrs. Randolph’s and ask her if we can beg a lemon from her tree.”

“Okay, Mama. I’ll be right back. When I get back, can I help you bake it?”

“You shorely can.”

Helen left the room, repeating to herself, “lemon cake mix … one lemon … lemon cake mix … one lemon …”

Comments on: "Fat and Sassy: Lemon Cake" (14)

  1. I really love the tone of this tale. Life was harder but the simple things had so much more meaning back in the day. Well done!

  2. Jean Joachim said:

    I agree with Vicki. The simplicity of this scene paints the picture of how life was in early times when things were less complicated. There is a beauty in the interaction between mother and daughter. Nothing fancy, just an honest, gentle relationship. Well done!

  3. Love the dialogue going on between the two. It’s so real I can feel myself in the kitchen with them.

    • Thanks Lindsay. I have to keep reminding myself as I’m writing that kitchens were different back then. Now, I wish I would have listened to my mothers stories better lol

  4. Lovely! And could’ve been a scene from nowadays 🙂 I wonder whether the little kid will come back home with the correct ingredients though 😉

  5. I do the same thing going to the store without a list, I just keep repeating what I need in song form. happy TT this week, great job.

  6. As always another lovely scene. I can almost smell the ingredients she’s gathering together.

  7. I love seeing how you have put the cost of the supplies in. It certainly show how things were different back then.

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