Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Mamaw!

Famous Omas (Grandmothers)

Martha Earnhardt was born today in 1930 in Concord, North Carolina.  She married Ralph Earnhardt when she was just seventeen-years-old.  Martha was present when Ralph started his racing career two years later.

Martha understood that racing was a lucrative way to support the Earnhardt family, but she later wished her children and grandchildren would pursue safer career than racing. While her husband supported the family in the car garage, Martha filled their bellies with her delicious southern cooking.

In modern times, Martha Earnhardt joined the mother of Jeff Gordon to publish the cookbook, Pit Stop to Southern Kitchen. Many of Martha's southern recipes were passed down to her by Dale Earnhardts grandmother, Effie.

Martha Earnhardt can't recall any particular dish that "The Intimidator" preferred.

"My children were raised to eat whatever was put on the table," she said. Dale Earnhardt Jr. likes her homemade vegetable soup. "I had some one day, and he was visiting me. He ate some, and he said, 'Mamaw, I need to take some of this home with me,'"

Happy Birthday Mamaw!

Ms. Earnhardt said "Secret Cake" was one of Dale Sr.'s favorite desserts.

Secret Cake 

  • 2 cups flour 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 2 sticks margarine 
  • 2/3 cup shortening 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  •  2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 

Mix flour and sugar. Heat margarine, shortening, water and cocoa, and let come to a boil. Let cool, and pour over sugar and flour. Mix well. Add buttermilk, salt, eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Mix together and pour into 11-by-16-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


  • 1/3 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 stick margarine 
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa 
  • 1 16-ounce box confectioners' sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 

Boil buttermilk, margarine and cocoa until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla and nuts. Pour over cake while hot.

Oma will have to try this recipe before Reef's First birthday in September.

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