I have been meaning to write for a long time about Nana.  And, well today just seems like the right time.

Nana is my husband's Mother. and I consider her to be the matriarch of our family.  You know, the one everyone wants to be like, the one we look up to, and the one we admire so very much.  Our Nana is 85 years young.  And when I say young, I mean it.  Nana has more strength – mentally, and physically that I can only hope and pray to possess. 


Since I married her son 36 years ago, my goal has been to become the same type of mother-in-law to my son's wives as she has been to me.  I'm sure I'm not measuring up to her, but it's nice to have such a loving, sweet Christian woman with such a giving heart to strive to be like.



This is Nana in the picture above meeting her very first Granddaughter, Ava.  So very precious!

Nana just happens to be the best cook EVER!! 

Her hometown is Iva, South Carolina, and in this small town, everyone knows
"Nana" will be there with food whenever they need it. 
When they have bake sales at her hometown church, all of her goodies such as cakes,
cookies, banana breads, etc. are reserved and sold before she even arrives with them.

So… I have decided it would be nice to start posting Nana's recipes from time to time on my blog. 
These are just too wonderful not share them with the rest of the world.

The first recipe I want to share with you is:

Nana's "First Place, Award Winning – SWEET POTATO SURPRISE CAKE !"



This Sweet Potato Cake was the Grand Prize Winner at "Depot Days" in Iva, SC in 2007. 

Nana always has entries in these festivals which come in First Place, or at least Second Place. 
She was not able to enter this year because of a serious fall. 
She was walking on her treadmill and fell off dislocating both shoulders. 
That was four months ago,  and she is back at home, but needs your prayers to fully recover. 
This has been very traumatic for a woman who is as involved as she is in her church, and her hometown.
So… Please… Won't you Pray for our "Nana"!




OK, I know you're waiting on pins and needles for this wonderful recipe so here it is:


Sweet Potato Surprise Cake:

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 2 cups sugar 4 eggs – separated 4 Tablespoons hot water 2 1/2 cups cake flour – sifted 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 1/2 cups grated raw sweet potatoes 1 cup chopped nuts 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cooking oil, sugar and beat well.  Add egg yolks and blend well.  Add hot water then the dry ingredients which have been sifted together.  Stir in grated potatoes, nuts, and vanilla and beat well.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.  Bake in 3 greased 8" layer pans (she puts down a wax paper liner), and bake at 350  D. for 25 – 30 minutes.  Let layers cool good before frosting.



1 lg. and 1 sm. can of evaporated milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 sticks margarine 3 egg yolks 1 3/4 cups coconut

Combine milk, sugar, margarine, egg yolks and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat about 10 or 12 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add coconut.  Beat and let it get almost cold and it will spread better.

The ironic part is that, since I have Celiac disease, and am allergic to wheat, I have never been able to taste this cake.  But I can tell you that it smells absolutely scrumptious, and everyone wants more and more – one piece of this cake is NEVER enough!


Thank you Nana for loving me and welcoming me with such love into your family when I married you son!

I love you Deeply!       Nancy 

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