MABEL SLEDGE HICKS
...Mom's Memorable Boiled Spice Cake
She was born in south Texas to parents from Kentucky, and but she spent most of her life in
Oklahoma, much of the time raising six children, including my husband.
She enjoyed the finer things in life, but going through the scarcity of the Great Depression, the
rationing throughout World War II and the unpredictable economy as wife of a Panhandle
farmer, she learned to be efficient and cost-conscious in everything she did, including how she
She made feasts from what she grew in her garden and the meat they raised on the farm. By
the time I came along, I learned quickly that the place to be after church on Sunday was at
Mom's dining room table enjoying her remarkable fried chicken.
One of the things I remember most about her was that she
accepted me, a total stranger from faraway Pennsylvania,
into her home and life as if I had always belonged. That was
just her way.
I always called her Mom. She was easy to talk with and
always interested in what her children and grandchildren
were doing, and mostly concerned that each of them was
living for the Lord.
What a memorable woman! After she raised her family, she
worked as a nurse's aide, then moved into retail and
tailoring. At one point she co-owned a quilting business and
made custom-made works of fabric art for people throughout
the United States. She was active in her neighborhood home
demonstration club and a charter member of the Guymon
(Oklahoma) chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution, and loved the study of genealogy all her life.
Even during the latter years of her life, she volunteered
regularly at her church's outreach for the needy and taught
Sunday School for younger children.
At 75, she sold her house in the Panhandle and moved to Cushing to be nearer to family
members. Never missing a beat, she quickly found a place in the heart of her new hometown,
getting involved in her church and charity works. And she planted a garden, of course!
She dearly loved entertaining. She told me about the times when she was a child that family
members, friends and neighbors would drop in unexpectedly, and her own mother always found a
way to stretch the meal enough for everyone at the table. Mom was like that, too.
These get-togethers and family reunions, throughout her life, were among her most priceless
memories, for they were the thread that wove the fabric and legacy of her life together.
Even as she got older and endured the growing ravages of Parkinston's Disease, family events
remained vital and important. She was determined that as many family members as possible
should get together during the holidays. She did everything she could to keep the home fires
burning and the family connected, no matter how far away we lived from each other.
The memories from all those times have come back like warm, buoyant waves since she passed
away two years ago at 94. I often marvel at how much she accomplished during her life, despite
the challenges she faced and times she lived through.
One of the reasons I often use her recipes is to keep her memory alive among my own children
and grandchildren, plus many of the recipes I have used through the years have come from Mom
This boiled spice cake was always one of my husband's favorites. As with many of Mom's recipes,
it was efficient, quick and easy to make, and always tasty
Enjoy, and as you do, cherish the family or friends with whom you share Mom's Memorable Boiled
Spice Cake. She definitely did!
Mabel Sledge Hicks...Mom's Memorable Boiled Spice Cake
In a large sauce pan place butter (or margarine), sugar, raisins, water, spices and salt. Stir and
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar (or a
combination of granulated sugar
and brown sugar )
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Chopped nuts (optional)
bring to boil, then boil for 1 minute. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour and
baking soda. Beat into the boiled mixture and add nuts if desired. Grease and flour a 9" X 13"
cake pan (or used a Bundt or round cake pans if desired), bake at 350-degrees F for 20-25
minutes (35-45 minutes for Bundt cake). For Bundt cake, cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto
wire rack and cool completely. After cooling, ice with a butter icing, top with Cool Whip®, fruit,
nuts, or dust with powdered sugar.
...A Life That Truly Mattered