TAYLOR - - Growing up on a farm near Taylor, Becky Smith spent a lot of time in the hay fields with her father. She fondly remembers the food her mom used to prepare for them to take to the field, and a special chocolate cake.
“Mom liked this recipe because it didn’t have very many ingredients and you don’t have to have the oven on very long to make it. She didn’t handle the heat very well,” Smith recalls.
She now refers to her recipe as Mom’s Chocolate Fudge Cake. The chocolaty, simple recipe sounded so good that it was selected as this year’s winning recipe in the Holiday Recipe Contest.
For Smith, cooking has always been a way of life. Her mother worked in local cafes, so by the time she was 7 or 8 years old Smith had started learning to cook herself. When her mom was off to work, Smith would prepare the food for her father in the field. Cooking for others is something she says she still enjoys.
“I cook for anybody and everybody,” she laughs.
Like her mom, Smith has also worked in the food industry as a waitress and a cook at the steakhouse in Taylor. But in 2006, her life took a drastic change when she was diagnosed with uterine and cervical cancer.
“I almost didn’t make it,” says Smith.
She underwent five chemotherapy treatments and 50 radiation treatments to fight the cancer.
“I would have three days of chemo, then 21 days between. Finally about three days before my next treatment I would feel like eating, so I would just cram everything I could in my mouth. Then after the treatment I was just deathly sick. I couldn’t even stand to hear people talk about food.”
Along with enjoying to cook, Smith also likes working with her florist friend in Sargent and loves to decorate. But her true passion is, and always has been, horses. Her cancer forced her to give up her own horses in 2009.
These days Smith works on remaining positive, and filling her time doing the things she enjoys. That includes attending horse shows, volleyball and basketball games for her niece and nephew, Sophie and Roy Eberle. Another one of her favorite pastimes is cooking.
“I’m cooking something for somebody almost every day!”
And Smith says that is just the way she likes it.
Here is her winning recipe.
2012 RECIPE CONTEST FIRST-PLACE WINNER:
Mom’s Fudge Chocolate Cake
1 - 3-ounce package cook type fudge pudding
1 - chocolate fudge cake mix
1 - 12-ounce package chocolate chips
1 1/2 - cups chopped walnuts
Cook pudding according to directions for pudding. When cooked, add dry cake mix and stir until cake is blended into pudding - then poor into a greased 9x13 cake pan and top with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake comes clean on a toothpick.