Cooking Catastrophe Stories: Husband’s Birthday Cake Was Salvaged

A personal account of a cooking catastrophe.

| November/December 2011

HOH-Birthday Cake

Husband’s Birthday Cake Was Salvaged


During World War II, I met a handsome, young soldier from Indiana. Before he was shipped overseas, we became engaged. Months turned into a year, and he still wasn’t home. Finally, I received a phone call. He was back!

We exchanged wedding vows March 8, 1946, and then moved in with his parents for a year.

While my new husband farmed with his father, I helped his mother cook, clean, garden and tend the chickens. When I say I helped cook, what I really mean is that I peeled potatoes, set the table and washed the dishes.

As a bride of 17, I knew very little about cooking, so when my mother-in-law and I went to Lafayette, Indiana, to shop, I bought a cookbook. Every page was full of mouthwatering recipes I wanted to try.

Opportunity arises

My husband celebrated his 21st birthday six weeks after we were married. That weekend, his sister and her family planned to visit, since they hadn’t seen him since he returned from the war.

Although I was nervous about meeting the rest of his family, I really wanted to make a good impression. So, I decided to make my groom a birthday cake.

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