This Sunday, July 14th, the Avenue Family Network Auxiliary’s Annual Ice Cream Social will be serving homemade cakes and pies accompanied by scoops of ice cream on the verandah of the Whitcomb Senior Living Community from 10:30 to 4:30 p.m. Timed to coincide with the Krasl Art Fair, this is the auxiliary’s 51st ice cream social, their first being held Sunday, July 7, 1968.
The history of the auxiliary stretches back even further to its founding 103 years ago to support what is now known as The Family Avenue Network, Incorporated, formerly Child & Family Services of Southwest Michigan. The name change of this 127-year-old organization, long serving the community, is part of a new added focus, the addition of a sexual assault survivor service named after Cora Lamping, who replaced founder Dr. Amos Barlow after his retirement in 1906. Mrs. Lamping, as she was known, believed that even short-term institutionalization could be harmful for young children awaiting adoption and instead instituted a successful foster care system where orphans were boarded with families and received social worker visits to help with the transition.
Members of the auxiliary work hard to support the more than 1200 individuals and families in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties served by the following agencies: The Cora Lamping Center for Survivors of Domestic & Sexual Violence, Harbor House and Autumn House Adult Day Services, Shoremark Homecare Adult In-Home Services and West Michigan Guardianship.
The ice cream social is their major fundraising event and all the money raised goes to helping the above organizations.
Who doesn’t love homemade pie and cake? Particularly when it’s for a good cause (remember calories don’t count in that case). And the desserts the auxiliary members whip up are often made from tried and true recipes, some handed down for generations. Here are several favorites including Jean Hadaway’s Cream Coconut Cake and a blueberry pie recipe from Cheryl Williams’s well-used The Pillsbury Family Cook Book.
“My great aunt gave me the cookbook in 1972 when I was engaged,” says Williams. “I’ve made this blueberry pie plenty of times and it’s always a hit with a scoop of ice cream.”
The second recipe is an easy one that Russell’s nine-year-old granddaughter Molly Foster created.
“She really likes using the cookie dough for the base,” says Williams. “My Grands love to cook and bake so I try to make things I can teach them or have them help with. Four-year-old Emma Foster joined in, adding the mini chocolate chips and frosting the cake and sprinkling the white chocolate on it.”
Italian Cream Cake
½ cup margarine
½ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
A cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cups nuts, chopped
3 ½ ounces coconut
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
8 ounces cream cheese
1-pound confectioner’s sugar
` ½ cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream margarine, shortening and sugar. Add egg yolks, one a time and beat after each addition.
Add flour, buttermilk, soda, vanilla, nuts and coconut. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into 3 (nine inch) cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool. Make icing by blending above ingredients together and beating until smooth. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cake.
Molly’s Chocolate Overload Cake
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Use one package of refrigerated chocolate cookie dough, softened.
Press evenly into a greased 9×12 pan and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Mix a vanilla cake mix according to directions, except use softened butter instead of oil and add an extra egg. Gently fold a bag of mini chocolate chips into batter and immediately pour into pan on top of cookie dough.
Bake approximately 40 minutes or until toothpick poked in center comes out clean. When done, remove from oven and cool.
Frost with chocolate frosting and to with shaved white coconut or mini M & Ms.
1 recipe for double-crust pie
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, flour, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl. Add blueberries and lemon juice. Pour into 9-inch pastry-lined pan and dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough. Cut slits in top crust for escape of steam. Place crust over filling.
Fold edge under bottom crust; press to set. Flute. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then at 375°
When: Sunday, July 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: The Verandah at the Whitcomb, 509 Ship Street, St. Joseph
FYI: For more information about the Family Avenue Network, visit theavenue.ngo
On Saturday, July 20th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Round Barn Estate is hosting The Round Barn Artisan Market featuring wine, food, shopping and live music by Steely James and Red Deluxe Brand. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, visit roundbarn.com/events/
Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by writing to Focus, The Herald Palladium, P.O. Box 128, St. Joseph, MI 49085.