Saturday, August 11, 2012

Penny, try this icing: Remembering Murphy's Cake Shop

Reader Penny Daigle hoped to get the recipe for Murphy’s Cake Shop icing, from the famous Murphy’s that baked the cakes Port Arthur residents served at countless weddings. Joyce Pedigo has come to the rescue.

If you search Murphy’s Cakes in Port Arthur, you can find News Reporter Mary Meaux’s story that serves as Murphy Chatagnier’s obituary. It mentions how he developed his business after keeping costs low on a military ship, how area church goers could smell his bread baking and how he did share those recipes.

I missed Joyce Pedigo’s call, so someone else took notes and passed them to me.

When I finally got her on the phone, she said she explained to the note taker about Bake Rite shortening, because we don’t have it around here anymore. I wanted to verify that the chocolate called for was cocoa powder. She said she’s assuming it was, because she never made it that way. In fact, she said that while Murphy’s was famous in the area, her budget called for more “from scratch” recipes, so she was pleased as punch she just called up the bakery and a man there shared the recipe. Hope it helps Penny:

Icing that may taste like Murphy’s:

2/3 Bake Rite (like Crisco) shortening

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 cups powdered sugar

1/3 to ½ cup milk

If chocolate, add 5 teaspoons chocolate (cocoa powder) and tree teaspoons sugar

Corn bagel?

I had my mother close her eyes and inhale. She thought she was sniffing cornbread, but it was new Thomas’ Corn Bagels. I served them to my husband and he said “Smells like doughnuts.” That’s high praise, but I think it was more of a sweet cornbread aroma. We each had a half bagel with egg and cheese on top. Tomorrow, I’m thinking toasted, with peach preserves. These are new, and worth a try.

Texas Artists Museum

The Nederland Art Guild’s show reception at Texas Artists Museum drew a crowd with the Southeast Texas Dulcimer Friends performing “Amazing Grace.” Portraits, including a Native American, cowboy or two and a young woman in a tiara are among highlights, as are Bobby Pastorella’s drawings that look like photographs. My food note here is that sugar snap peas dipped in guacamole kept luring me back to the refreshment table. I mingled with talented and friendly artists, and family members who love them. But now I’m getting a hard time for not recognizing area photographer Clem T. Webb “under all this hair” he has accumulated.

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