Saturday, May 25, 2013

Family in Uproar Over Grandma's Apple Cake Recipe

Florence Cohen thinks her family is 'meshugeneh.'
Berkeley, CA

Florence Cohen, 91, is a Russian Jewish immigrant, a proud mother of three,  and grandmother of five.  As the matriarch of her family, Florence is known for being generous, kind and hospitable.  She is also known for her skill in the kitchen, most notably her other-worldly apple cake, which she has been making for her children and grandchildren since they can remember.

The cake is soft and flaky, layered with granny smith apples and then sprinkled with a goodly amount of cinnamon sugar. Florence prepares her heavenly apple cake for holidays and family gatherings throughout the year.
Ordinary raisins ignite family controversy.

This holiday season, Florence attempted something brand new: raisins in her apple cake recipe.  A friend suggested it.  "Why not?" she asked herself.  "Let's live dangerously." Little did she know what mayhem this little experiment would bring to her family.

"Mom really went off the deep end this time," complained Florence's eldest daughter Margie.  "I'm taking  her to see her neurologist ASAP."

Florence's eldest son, Eddie, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, could not emphasize enough how terribly upset he felt about the apple raisin cake.  "I felt that Mommy spit all over our family tradition this past Chanukah," he reported angrily.  "I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but I've begun to question whether she still loves me." Eddie  hasn't spoken to his mother since the night in question.  He has, however, resumed his own analysis to work on his "mother issues."

The Cohens have demanded to know who was responsible for the hideous raisin suggestion, however  Florence remains tight-lipped on the subject.  Her progeny will not rest until the accomplice has been identified.

"I've looked through her outgoing call log for that day," reported Charlene, one of the grandchildren present for the holiday dinner in question.  "The problem is that grandma called a number of her friends that day, probably to wish them a happy Chanukah.  It makes it impossible to narrow down."

Margie is suspicious of Florence's 90-year old best friend, Pearl Schwartz.  "Pearl is always butting in where she shouldn't.  Respirator or no respirator, there will be hell to pay if I find out that this was her big idea."  Margie's younger brother Andrew concurs.  "I don't mean to be profane," he began, "but that Pearl is a real nudnik."

So upset is Andrew that he has offered a $10 reward for information leading to the apprehension of Florence's accomplice.  "What, you want that I should spend my whole life savings on this?"

Florence Cohen had this to say about the raisin fiasco, "Oi gevald!  My family is completely meshugeneh.  So much tsores they bring me, I could plotz."

Written by Diana Shapiro
Photos courtesy of and


  1. If she really loved her family, she wouldn't have altered the recipe! Obviously this was a purposeful attack. For shame, for shame. Andrew, I will match your $10 reward. Let's find the culprit!

    1. Finally, someone who understands the seriousness of the situation...

    2. Finally, someone who understands the seriousness of the situation...