Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Southern Treat

"Often times what makes a recipe southern, is as much a state of mind as it is a matter of geography-Southerners simply decide a particular food is southern, and that's that."  
-Rick Mc Daniel, Food Historian

Dish up some southern comfort. You don't have to live in the South to appreciate one of its most prized exports:food. The tastes of the South are diverse from barbecue dishes to spicy Cajun fare, stews, delectable desserts to sides of okra, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, sweet potato fries and cornbread. These are just a few of the classic southern favorites. 

Ever Ready will explore southern cuisine in the next weeks and some history behind the dishes.

Pig Pickin' Cake a.k.a. Mandarin Orange Cake a.ka. Pea Pickin' Cake is typically served at southern barbecues. Pig Picking Cake gets its name from the feast where the pig is cooked outside, usually on large gas cookers. The cake is baked in three layers or in a 13 x9 pan.  

Cook's notes: I baked the cake in two layers but next 'go around' I'd use a 13 x 9 pan. It would be easier for storage and/or bringing the cake to an event. I read several reviews of this recipe and many suggested substituting orange cake mix for the yellow cake mix and adding 1 tsp. orange extract to the batter. Another idea would be using lemon pudding instead of vanilla. There are lots of possibilities for Pig Pickin' Cake
For maximum flavor refrigerate cake 24 hours before serving. 
recipe adapted from
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges (reserve a few oranges for filling)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 oz.) frozen whipped topping thawed (extra creamy)
  • 1 (15 oz. can) crushed pineapple drained well
  • 1 (3.5 oz.) package instant French vanilla pudding mix  
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • Mix together cake mix, canned oranges with juice, eggs and oil
  • Divide batter between greased cake pans
  • Bake at 350 for 22 minutes for cake pans-25 minutes for 13 x9 pan or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • While cake is baking make filling and refrigerate it an hour
  • To frost layers divide pecans and coconut and add over filling 
Filling: Mix together whipped topping, drained pineapple, chopped oranges and instant pudding mix 

Cooking tips: Make sure pineapple is squeezed dry. Cool cake layers on a wire rack.

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