A sure sign of spring and Southern Carrot Cake

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Today’s Special

On Sunday morning, after the Friday night blizzard, it seems I forgot that three plus inches of snow were still on the ground, for when I opened the blinds I was taken back!  I had already moved on in my mind to a warm and sunny place. But spring is coming, I have seen a sure sign. Not the jonquils blooming nor my Yuletide camellia loaded with blooms, or the already blooming tulip trees.  

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No, it’s lawn and garden shows that are a true harbinger of spring!

DW and I recently went to one in Nashville on a warm “spring-like” day. A handmade bench first caught our eye, simply made but perfect in the Davidson County Master Gardeners natural setting with low maintenance plants and a raised bed herb garden. DW took note. 

The orchid pavilion made me drool.  Cheekwood’s display inspired me, as we meandered through a curvy garden path lined with tulips and jonquils, centered with a free-standing, extra-large, fern-filled metal bird cage, then punctuated with two huge agave plants at the end of the walkway..

The local FFA Chapter was there with plants and farm animals. Behind them was “Bees and Trees” with free info and local honey for sale.  I stopped at the next display for help identifying the mostly green and leafy house plants: the spotted rattlesnake plant was quite a standout with the more common plants all nestled in pine needle mulch. Down on the other end was The Butterfly Effect simulating a milkweed and honey farm. Their tree fern was over 6 feet tall but the show stopper was a 6-foot, clear bubble-like plastic butterfly enclosure surrounded by flowers for the pollinators and milkweed for the monarch butterflies. Ideas were mounting up!  

purchased a hoya heart, cat mint, a terracotta pot plant stand and DW found a yellow blooming butterfly bush to add to his backyard collection. 

I returned for a $9 monstera plant I had spotted first thing that morning, but it was too late, others must have seen the $90 one also.  But, I did find a bargain burro’s tail (a succulent) enough to get a start going.  

DW found a vacant bench and waited on me and pointed everyone who asked in the direction of where he found his tomato plants.  I found him and we ate carrot cake which I bought while shopping.  

When we arrived at our hotel in downtown Nashville we had spent no money except on plants, lunch and carrot cake.  Ahhh, spring! 

Recipe of the Week

Southern Carrot Cake

Garnish with green jelly beans for St. Patrick’s Day finale! 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

3 cups grated carrots


Sift dry ingredients together into large mixing bowl.  Mix in eggs and oil.  Stir in carrots. Mix well.  Line 3 9-inch cake pans with wax paper, lightly grease.  Pour batter into prepared pans; bake in 375° oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove from pans; let layers cool on wire racks. Remove paper liners.  Frost with cream cheese icing:  In mixer: cream ½ cup margarine and 8 ounces cream cheese.  Add 1-pound powdered sugar and mix well.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and 1 cup chopped pecans.  Mix well.  Spread icing between cooled cake layers, on top and sides.