It was not always known as Ronnie's Apple Cake. Originally, it was simply known as the delicious apple cake that mom baked. We all loved it, but Ronnie, my brother, loved it the most and let it be known that it was his favorite dessert. Only later did that matter, because that apple cake would be the very last food item of moms that Ronnie would ever eat. It was on the late afternoon of May 6, 1981. He died the following morning in a car accident just five-tenths of a mile from home. Not long after that, mom announced that she could no longer bare to bake another apple cake again and that was the end of it. We understood.
President Dwight David Eisenhower once said, "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." But, one day, 30 years after my brother's death, one memory did come back. It was Sunday, Thanksgiving Day week. J.D. and I had driven to mom's house for lunch. I wasn't expecting to see that apple cake sitting there on the food bar that day, but there it was. Naturally, a ton of memories came flooding back. I never expected things to remain the same after Ronnie's death, but who would? I'm not real sure when exactly it happened, but somehow, over the years, I had found a place in my mind to store the memory of him and those days, and eventually had won the struggle to go on with my life.
I suppose the same thing could be said for mom. Standing there, staring down at the apple cake I said to mom, "Wow, you baked that apple cake!" She said that she had found the recipe in her box, but did not know why she had not baked it. I reminded her how much he loved it and would always say he it was his favorite dessert. It was on that day that I renamed mom's apple cake, 'Ronnie's Apple Cake.'
For those of you who are curious as to why my brother loved that apple cake so much, here is mom's recipe. I hope you will enjoy it as much as he did.
Ronnie's Apple Cake
3 cups diced apples
1 1/2 cups of oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs well beaten
3 cups self-rising flour
1 tp cinnamon
1 tp vanilla
1 cup raisins or nuts (mix well)
optional -1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup of milk for a glaze
Using a baking pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.