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Have you ever heard of a Thunder Cake? You are in for a treat!
When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved thunder storms. I grew up in southern Florida and storms there are just plain amazing. the rain is warm and the drops are so big just a few of them will drench you to the core. There is nothing quite like a Florida storm. In the summertime they come nearly every afternoon. I used to go out and run, dance and play in the rain all the time. When the storms were over, the giant puddles left over were the best to stop in or ride my bike through as the water would fly up and get me all wet. I know that loving storms is not the norm, though. There are many kids who fear the thunder and the lightning. Some of my kids have feared storms at times.
I have a book that I just love called Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco that is a great way to help kids with their fear of storms.
Thunder Cake is about a little girl with her Grandma. a storm is coming so she hides, but her Grandma helps her overcome her fear of thunder by making a thunder cake. She teaches her about watching for lightning and counting slowly until you hear the thunder to see how close the storm is. For each number it is a mile away. (I used to love doing that as a kid!) If they count and know how far the away the storm is, they know how much time there is to make their thunder cake.
They go about gathering ingredients and counting the distance of the storm. They go to the barn to get eggs, and the milk from the cow. The lightning cracks but it is 10 miles away. They go to the dry shed to get the chocolate, sugar and flour. Each time the storm is a little closer. At last they gather the secret ingredients- tomatoes?! Now they are counting just to 5! They bake the cake together and now the storm is jut 3 miles away.
She and Grandma sit and look out the window together as the cake is baking and talk about how brave she is for getting out from under her bed and helping gather all of the ingredients around the farm. They enjoy their cake as the storm rolls in and she realizes she is no longer afraid of a sound. She now has a wonderful memory of thunder!
Thunder Cake Recipe:
1 c. shortening (I used butter)
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs separated
1 c. cold water
1/3 c. pureed tomatoes (I used canned tomato sauce)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. dry cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Beat together shortening or butter, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, water and tomatoes. mix in the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites separately until stiff. Fold them into the batter gently.
Pour batter into two greased round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Cool and frost with chocolate frosting. Top with sliced strawberries.