Thank you, Mrs. Brooks / Wedding Mints and Pound Cake

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When I was going to Asbury College, now known as Asbury University, located about twenty minutes south of Lexington, Kentucky, I had the pleasure of meeting two of the sweetest girls I think I’d ever met. They were sisters and “very” southern. They had that heavy southern drawl and loved their sweet tea!  Bobbie Brooks and Evan Picone clothes were in fashion and they wore a lot of them. Everyone thought they for sure came from money since these styles were on the expensive side, especially the Evan Picone. As time went by I had the opportunity of meeting their mother. What a charming southern woman she was. After one meeting with her you knew how her daughters possessed the delightful gentle southern charm they had.  Her voice was soft and her stature short, but she was far more than the country chicken farm she lived on. Remember the elite clothes her daughters, Barbara Brooks Johnson and Evelyn Brooks Barnard wore?  Well, Mrs. Irene Brooks would make them herself. She studied what was in style and then came up with almost an identical copy. I learned from her to add a touch of class when setting the table. Using silver and lace with your ordinary flat wear was okay. The important thing was to use your good things and enjoy them. She catered weddings and made delicious cakes and punch. She was the first person I ever saw put real fruit in ice rings and use them in her punch bowls. Her rosebud mints are now known world wide since both her daughters married men that served in the military, and they shared her recipe everywhere they lived. It’s now been passed down to their children. She was always willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn how to makes these delicate sweet treats that have adorned many wedding tables, including my daughter’s and step-granddaughter’s.

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I had to add Mrs. Brooks pound cake. I can’t ever remember going to her house or her daughters when she lived with them that I didn’t have a piece or two of her delicious cake with my coffee in the mornings. But it’s not just for mornings! I’ve had it for a snack and for an evening dessert with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Her family likes it with chocolate icing, but as for me, just give me a fork and I’ll eat it plain.

 

15 thoughts on “Thank you, Mrs. Brooks / Wedding Mints and Pound Cake

  1. I don’t remember ever meeting Mrs. Brooks or eating her pound cake but you always made those mints and the fruit in the ice rings for special occasions. Yummy memories.

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  2. She was my mother’s sister & my Aunt Irene was so special to me also! I loved your article, relived some great memories while reading it!

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  3. I may just be the Yankee that married into the family but am doubly blessed for my wife, Evie, and my mother-in-law, Irene. A gracious lady with such a sweet spirit. I have received the best of the south!

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  4. Thank you, LeAnna, for writing such a sweet blog about my special Mother. She had so many creative talents and loved sharing them! She always was so delighted to be around you and your precious Mother. Your blog was a blessing and a special gift to me. Thank you😍💕

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  5. Yumm…. I think I need to make a cake soon. I remember when Grandmother’s house always smelled like pound cake. Before she moved in with Mom, she would also bring the cake to us whenever she visited or make one while she was visiting.

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    • I can imagine the pound cake smell now😍! Mother was always so pleased when you girls baked her recipes. I love that LeAnna included the stories from the cookbook you and Krista wrote and published .

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  6. I remember meeting this lovely lady at your house, soon after Bob and Evie came back to the states. Her chicken farm was in Georgia, right?? Seems she was working in the flowers in your and Evie’s yard?? ( or am I totally off the wall??). Her tip was to always use “dusty miller” (a silvery plant) in every flower bed to give it a beautiful silvery glow. She was so very much a great southern lady!!

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