Ice water. Would you ever believe that ice water is a main ingredient to a beyond-heavenly-homemade angel food cake? (Oh, there is a cake god!) Rather, there is a family—a three-generation Arizona family that turned water into…well, greatness! The story is so sweet and here it is in Arizona native Marta Owens’ words.
“Jan, my Mom Dorothy Millsaps made this cake during WWII. We lived deep in the Superstition Mountains while my father, Rollie Olson, worked as a cowboy. (Dad was one of the last original Arizona cowboys.) My mother was a city girl but was brave and innovative and adapted to ranch life living without electricity and indoor plumbing. Cooking was a challenge. Although we had no milk, the spring produced cold water. My mother made her own cake flour during those days using cornstarch and whole flour. We raised chickens for the eggs. She beat the egg whites with a fork and a pie pan and I loved the way she kept that pie pan spinning while she whipped up those eggs. Sugar was rationed and she used it sparingly. Mom came up with this recipe using angel food as a guide. It has been the Olson family birthday cake for the past 70 years as we pass it down from one generation to the other. (It is a bit tricky but has become easier with the use of electric mixers. My mother used a large wooden spoon.) We are long time Arizona natives and proud of the fact and our history is centered in the Payson area and the Superstition Mountains where we raised cattle in the Reeves Ranch, Tortilla Flat, J/F Ranch and Hewitt Station area. Life for us was full of adventure and love. I’m just glad that the security we shared was never based on money. Just a family of six doing the best we could in the wilds of Arizona. Mom left us in 1991 and is missed.”
Marta, now thousands more of us will happily keep your Mom’s memory alive with a Rescued Recipe that is absolutely heaven sent!