By Margaret Thomas – Special to the Navarro County Gazette

When our daughter, LeAnn, turned 9 she happily joined 4-H and purchased her first show heifer. The animal was purchased at an Angus Sale in Fittstown, Oklahoma, owned by the Stoneybroke Ranch. Later, we met the owners of the Ranch, Carlton and Geneva Corbin. Mr. Corbin explained the name of the ranch was chosen because at the founding of the ranch, he was “stone broke.” I knew immediately these were my kind of people.

Through the years, LeAnn bought additional livestock from them and we developed a very happy friendship. One year while at their ranch, we were invited to join them for lunch. For dessert, Mrs. Corbin served a delicious cake she had made.

Turns out the cake was called a “Blackberry Wine Cake.” She gladly shared the recipe with LeAnn, and on the way home it was decided when the next Youth Expo Food Contest was held, she would enter this cake in the competition.

In the meantime, her Grandmother Thomas learned of the cake story and asked for the recipe, especially after we carried a cake to a family get-together and she got her first taste of the cake. We politely told her no ma’am, we are not sharing the recipe until after the Youth Fair. This was definitely not to her liking.

The Youth Fair finally came in March and her cake was entered in the competition. When final results were announced, she had placed as Reserve Champion in desserts. Later that afternoon, after the judging was over, students were required to pick up their food item, along with container. As a rule there would be a few bites missing of your dish due to the judges sampling your food item. LeAnn said this time, not a single slice of her cake remained. All that was remaining on the plate were a few cake crumbs.

Shortly thereafter, she shared the recipe with her Grandmother Thomas and strange, even though highly coveted earlier, not one time did she ever mention, nor did we ever see, a Blackberry Wine cake she had made. It had to be because it was made with actual wine and she was having none of that. We do know that in cooking, the wine is not active, but apparently she was not aware.

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