Several weeks ago, I attended my daughters end of the year 5th grade program. They have been studying American History, as most 5th graders do and so the program consisted of many fabulous, all-American, patriotic, country loving songs. The Star Spangled Banner, Your A Grand Old Flag and The Armed Forces Medley were among the musical numbers presented by the students.
Have you heard any of those before? I thought you might have, especially if you are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As most of you know, The Armed Forces Medley is a tribute to all those who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. The anthem of each branch of the military is sung. As tradition goes, the men and women in the audience who have served in the military are asked to stand while their anthem is shared.
We were a fairly small audience and I wondered if there would be many among us that would stand to be recognized. As it turned out, there were! At least two or three for each branch of the military. And I was amazed, as I am each time I hear this medley and watch the service men and women stand and be applauded. Amazed at how quickly the mood in the room changes. Folks cheer and clap and whoop and holler out their gratitude and appreciation. There is an immediate sense of pride for those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and I have to admit…my eyes get a bit watery and I have to brush away a tear or two before my kids see me and whisper “Mom, you are SO embarrassing, pull it together.”
It was in my state of teary-watery-eyes-streaming-feeling-oh-so-patriotic that I happened to look up into the 5th grade choir. There was a darling boy among the students that had stopped singing all together. His face was scrunched up, his shoulders were shaking and big, fat tears were streaming down his face. He was trying to hide it, as most 11 year old boys would…but he couldn’t contain himself. The sweet thing cried through the whole number.
After the program, I quietly pointed him out to my daughter and asked if he was going through a difficult time or if he was shy and embarrassed to perform.
“No, Mom.” she said.
“He wasn’t embarrassed to perform. His Dad and his Grandpa both stood up during the song. They are both in the military. I think he was proud of them.”
I think she was right.
Made my day, it truly did. It was a beautiful thing to see.
A big gigantic shout out to all of you military personnel, today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My hat goes off to you, as well as to your families. Your sacrifice is an amazement to me.
Just a word or two about this fun Patriotic Almond Butter Sheet Cake. It happens to be one of the best cakes I’ve made in a long time. It’s very simple to put together, don’t get worried about it being from scratch and all. You can totally make this cake. It’s moist, buttery, tastes fabulous with strawberries and blueberries on top and will feed between 15-20 people. It would be fun to make for your upcoming 4th of July celebration. You might also enjoy Red, White and Blue Cookies, Red White and Blue Jello Salad or FireCracker Cupcakes.
Almond Butter Sheet Cake (Patriotic Style)
Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 15-20 servings
Recipe adapted from Sweet and Savory by Sarah
PRINT RECIPE WITH PICTURE
***NOTE: This cake is best when the berries are added an hour or less before serving. Which means, you can make the cake ahead of time and then add the berries before you drive to a potluck party, or church gathering, or firework watching.
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 C butter
1/4 C milk
4 C powder sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 (6 ounce) package fresh blueberries
1 (16 ounce) package fresh strawberries
1. Into your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt. Just toss it all around a bit with the paddle to be sure the ingredients are combined.
2. In a medium sized sauce pan place 1 cup butter and 1 cup of water. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium high heat.
3. Pour the hot liquid over the top of the dry ingredients and mix well. 2-3 minutes on medium speed should do the trick.
4. Add 1/2 c sour cream, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 tsp almond extract. Mix again for about 2 minutes or until the batter is glossy.
5. Spray a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray and pour the batter in. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. For a thicker cake you could use a 9×13 pan and increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
6. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. It doesn’t need to be completely cool when you frost it…just kind of cool.
7. To make the incredibly scrumptious icing put 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup milk into a small sauce pan. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat. When the butter has melted nicely, remove the pan from the stove top and add 1 teaspoon almond extract. Give it a nice stir to combine.
8. Into your stand mixer, or medium sized mixing bowl place 4 cups of powdered sugar. Pour the melted butter mixture over the top and mix it until it’s smooth and lovely.
You don’t want it to be too thick. It needs to be pourable. Add a bit more milk if it’s too thick, alright?
9. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and spread it evenly with a knife.
10. Slice some strawberries and lay them over the cake in a nice pretty rows.
Add some blueberries as well, if you are so inclined…and if you like blueberries. And who wouldn’t like blueberries. Delicious, truly.
Cut, serve and enjoy!