This month, July 11th, we had to say goodbye to another food icon: Marion Cunningham. She is best known for The Fanny Farmer Cookbook. She helped to rewrite this cookbook in the 1970’s, which was originally published as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer.
Born on Feb. 11, 1922, Los Angeles, Marion Enwright grew up in Southern California and graduated from high school in Los Angeles. In 1942 she married Robert Cunningham, a medical malpractice lawyer, and moved to San Diego.
Mrs. Cunningham spent the first half of her adult life raising her two children, and struggling with agoraphobia, which is a fear of open and public spaces. But with a friend’s invitation to attend cooking school in Oregon in 1972, she overcame her fear and the rest is history.
To say goodbye and honor Mrs. Cunningham, here is her coffee cake:
MARION CUNNINGHAM’S COFFEECAKE
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan.
2. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat for several seconds. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat for 2 minutes, or until light and creamy. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork to blend well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well.
3. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a straw comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes in the pan. Invert onto a rack and cool a little bit before slicing. Serve warm.
Yield: One 10-inch tube cake.
A statement she made in an interview back in 2002, “No one is cooking at home anymore, so we are losing all the wonderful lessons we learn at the dinner table.”