One of my kids’ all-time favorite children’s books is a picture book called The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman.
I checked it out from the library years ago, and in a completely out-of-character move on my part, ran to the book store to buy it for ourselves. We loved it THAT much.
Synopsis of The Seven Silly Eaters
In the Seven Silly Eaters, a very devoted mother, Mrs. Peters, has a baby (or two) every year until she has a house FULL of seven little ones. Each child has their one particular dish or drink that they prefer….and nothing else will do.
Mrs. Peter spends her days wearing herself out over homemade applesauce, warm milk, strained oatmeal, freshly squeezed pink lemonade, eggs specially prepared, and homemade bread. Like so many moms with picky eaters, she is worn out.
On the eve of Mrs. Peter’s birthday, her 7 children decide that they are going to make Mom all of the foods that they love…the foods that Mom usually spends all day making for them. As expected, though their intentions are good, the kids can’t quite make everything like Mom, so in frustration, they dump all of their favorite foods into a pot together and hide the mess in the oven.
When Mrs. Peters wakes up on her birthday, she finds a “pink and plump and perfect cake” waiting for her in the oven.
The Seven Silly Eaters has been on the frequent request list recently, and on Sunday the kids asked it we could try making Mrs. Peter’s birthday cake at home.
It didn’t take me long to find a recipe on the author’s website: MaryAnnHoberman.com
Luckily, we had all of the ingredients at home. The kids were thrilled to help mix and bake the cake….and it has been a very popular treat to eat, too!
Mrs. Peters’ Birthday Cake
½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup oatmeal, quick or regular
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
4 drops red food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 10-inch tube pan.
2. Warm milk to 70 degrees and add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Let sit 10 minutes until milk has thickened.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well.
4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in oatmeal.
5. Blend applesauce with thickened milk and red food coloring.
6. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with the milk/applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
7. Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan.
Makes 8 to 10 portions
Have you read The Seven Silly Eaters? If not, run to the library (or the bookstore!) and read it this week!
Note: the links to the book are Amazon affiliate links.
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