Marian’s Chocolate Cake

Right around the time Hubby and I were married, a new recipe was floating around — Texas Sheet Cake.  It’s hard to imagine this, but back then the only way recipes were shared was through other cooks, cookbooks or the occasional one in a magazine.  So, Mama started making this wonderful cake and and then gave me the recipe.  It was the first dessert I remember making that I thought, “This is REALLY good!”

When Gunny was a baby, Hubby was a bricklayer and I was a stay-at-home mom.  We lived in a small town with a volunteer fire department and our next-door-neighbor asked Hubby if he wanted to join.  Well, when Hubby joined, I soon realized I had joined too!  There was a Women’s Auxiliary for the women and it was very active and planned lots of get-togethers.  So, when we started attending all the fire department potlucks, I took my favorite chocolate cake.

There was one older woman who belonged to the Auxiliary named Marian.  A very nice lady whose husband had actually died, but she still belonged and was much loved by all.

When Marian tasted the sheet cake I had brought to a potluck, she loved it and asked for the recipe.  I gave it to her shortly thereafter.  For the next potluck I must have decided I didn’t want to look like a one trick pony and taken something else.  Because, lo and behold, Marian brought the Texas sheet cake and received all the raves and more that I had received when I brought it.

Long story short, Marian then brought the Texas sheet cake to every potluck from then on … and people always looked forward to and raved about “Marian’s Chocolate Cake”.

This didn’t stop me from sharing recipes, but I do still think of it sometimes when someone in a group asks for a recipe.  And I have said a time or two, if it was someone in a group that gets together regularly, “I’ll be glad to give it to you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t bring it to this group, because I might want to bring it.”  That has always worked.

But, this has also made me very aware of how easy it would be, after receiving a recipe from someone, to inadvertently do what the sweet Marian did.  So I try to make sure that I don’t step on someone’s recipe “toes”.

One of life’s many lessons learned through, of all things, Marian’s Chocolate Cake.


8 Responses to Marian’s Chocolate Cake

  1. Linda says:

    My introduction to Texas Sheet Cake (I wonder how it got its name) was in the aftermath of my brother’s death in an auto accident, when a family friend brought one to our house. I hadn’t been able to eat anything…just no appetite…until that cake showed up. Being a devout chocoholic, even my grief couldn’t deny the deliciousness of that cake. No matter who’s name goes with the recipe, that’s one good cake. And it’s okay with me if there are two at any potluck I happen to attend. 🙂

  2. Sandra says:

    Linda — But, of course, our better version, the FUDGE cake, is even more irresistible. I’m going to post that recipe tomorrow (after I check to make sure I haven’t posted it before). 🙂

  3. C. Beth says:

    Oh, can’t wait for your recipe! I remember Texas Sheet Cake as a kid…so good.

  4. Vicki says:

    Oh, I do love that cake! Funny about Marian–I guess she just didn’t “get it” that it was not a polite thing to steal someone’s recipe thunder! I guess I am not really “known” for anything in particular–except my son might think that my garlic cheese grits are original! I suppose I should set him straight on that!

  5. Sandra says:

    Beth — I first tasted it over 40 years ago and it is still my favorite chocolate cake (or at least my Fudge Cake version of it is).

    Vicki — “My” recipe is such a a dangerous thing to say, isn’t it? Even though we sometimes become known for one, we hardly ever actually made them up ourselves. 🙂

  6. Hilary says:

    My family (sisters, cousins and I) have a recipe that seems to have mostly fallen into the category of Andrea’s Dip even though I believe I introduced it into the family. I don’t mind one bit. It’s delicious and I don’t care who brings it or gets credit for it.. as long as it’s there. 😉 (Andrea, is my sister, by the way.)

  7. Hilary says:

    PS.. I think any party with Andrea’s dip and Sandy’s/Marion’s chocolate cake would be perfect!

  8. Sandra says:

    Hilary — We have some recipes in our family that we pass around like that too. And I think Andrea’s dip and chocolate cake sound like a really well-rounded meal. In fact, I feel rounder just thinking about it. 🙂

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