You might not know this, but today is a national holiday. A day when our nation traditionally puts aside our differences, stands together in solidarity and brotherhood, from sea to oil-slicked sea, and we celebrate our most cherished national pastime.
That’s right. Today is National Pound Cake Day.
Frankly, I did not know today was National Pound Cake Day until a reader named Phyllis Ratliff, of Oneonta, Alabama, brought this to my attention. Phyllis reminded me that today is a critical day in our native heritage.
“We must ask ourselves,” writes Phyllis, “how many pound cakes sacrificed their lives defending our privilege to celebrate this day?”
Phyllis is absolutely right. Pound cake is an expressly American dish, right up there with Velveeta, and Budweiser. And yet nobody in the news media is even talking about this issue.
One columnist demands to know why.
Contrary to popular notions, apple pie is not our flagship American dish. Forget apple pie.
Apple pie originated in England during the 14th century, shortly after the birth
of Cher. Back then, English peasants were so poor that most historians believe the first apple pies were made with apples harvested from the stalls of nearby horse pens.
Pound cake, on the other hand, is an American cake. It originated right here in the North American colonies. The first mention of pound cake comes to us in a cookbook entitled “American Cookery,” published in 1796 (HarperCollins).
So this morning, I, for one, am choosing to celebrate this holiday by eating a wedge of pound cake that is roughly the same thickness as the unabridged edition of “Gone With the Wind.”
Pound cake is in my DNA. I have been eating pound cake since I was six minutes old, which was all my grandmother’s doing.
In the hospital delivery room, shortly after my birth, my Granny and her church-lady friends showed up with baked goods and greeting…