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This recipe is remembered as a “Carter Family Favorite.”
As the world said goodbye to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, she is remembered as a pivotal force for change in redefining the role of first lady, a tireless advocate for mental health reform and someone who dedicated most of her life to humanitarian efforts.
Mrs. Carter was also the mother who took charge when a son’s attempt at baking a cake led to a kitchen fire and the doting grandmother who kept a stash of blueberries in the freezer for snacks.
Jason Carter spoke at the Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University in Atlanta to share his memories of the woman he knew as a grandmother. “She was like everyone else’s grandmother in a lot of ways.”
“Almost all of her recipes call for mayonnaise, for example,” he said. The assembled groups of family and friends laughed with acknowledgement.
Carter also recalled sitting on an airplane for a family trip when his grandmother pulled out ingredients to make sandwiches shortly after takeoff.
“We looked over and my grandmother took pimiento cheese and this loaf of bread, and she just started making sandwiches.”
“She gave it to all of us grandkids, and then she just started giving them to other people on the plane. And people were sitting there like, ‘Rosalynn Carter just made me this sandwich.’ They couldn’t believe it. But she loved people and she was a cool grandma,” he added.
As a baker and cook in her Georgia kitchen, Rosalynn Carter’s recipe box also included family favorites for a “Plains Special Cheese Ring,” date nut rolls dusted with confectioners’ sugar, and an eggplant souffle that calls for cracker crumbs from “good cheese crackers.”
Rosalynn Carter’s Strawberry Cake
Courtesy The U.S. National Archives
The U.S. National Archives released this recipe on the day of Rosalynn Carter’s memorial service.
“Today, we honor the remarkable legacy of Rosalynn Carter, whose warmth touched the nation. As we remember her, we share one of her favorite recipes—a classic strawberry cake—reflecting the sweetness she brought to so many,” the National Archives shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rosalynn Carter’s strawberry cake calls for a handful of ingredients to be baked and served plain or with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream. The recipe, a “Carter family favorite,” is printed on paper from the White House.
Carter’s approach to entertaining can be summed up in her own words: “If there’s any secret to hospitality, maybe it’s just that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.”
Originally Published: December 01, 2023