I wake up every morning thinking this must be a dream or all this nasty virus has gone away. As we all know, it has not, and we don’t have a clue as to when it will be a bad dream.

My son Mark gave me a hint the other night while we were talking on the phone. Take your shoes off before entering your house after you have been out and about. Keep a pair you can slip into by the door. It makes sense. Like he said, these germs can settle on the floor.

So, I just got back from Kroger and came home and walked right into the house without thinking about it. I was so proud that I didn’t touch my face while I was out, I guess I got too complacent to remember to do that. So I mopped the floor.

I can’t express enough how thankful I am to the men and women who are keeping the stores we need open, as well as the gas stations. We owe them a big debt of gratitude. And they are doing it so lovely and graciously. The stores I have been in are Kroger, Dollar General and H-E-B. Again, thank you so much! We are all stressed to the max and a friendly face is a blessing.

I don’t know about you but, now is the time my freezer will get cleaned out. I’m down to cooking — can you believe it? Quite a shock to my system. But it will keep me off the streets and at home. Like they keep trying to get into our thick skulls, stay home if possible. I would love to, personally.

I did wear plastic gloves while I was out. But the minute I got home and unloaded the car and got everything put away, I tossed them. Then I scrubbed my hands while singing the Happy Birthday song three times. Then I wiped off the counters with a disinfectant wipe.

n n n

I got a note from my pretend sister in Baton Rouge, Charlotte Prouty, telling me she is making … well, let me let her tell you what she has been making.

Hi Sis,

When I go to the store, I wear a mask. I’ve been making them for the hospital. They are asking quilters to help by using up their scraps. Takes about 30 minutes or less to make one. The ones that I made at first were from three jackets that I cut up — two LSU and one Saints. Why not?

Sis

I am so proud of her! Her jackets that she so lovingly makes sell for about $600. (Or it could be $300. I’ve slept since she told me one time.) How hard would that be to cut them into pieces? She made me one and I love, love, love it. It has such detail.

People like her are the ones we want around us during a crisis. I think that was a very large thing for her to do.

n n n

This Key Lime Pound Cake recipe was sent in by Becky, who has nothing but time in her home state of Washington but to stay home, off the streets and bake. It’s about time she did some cooking!

Key Lime Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake

2 sticks of butter (1 cup), softened

1/2 cup shortening

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lime zest

4 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice.

Key Lime Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

Prepare Key Lime Glaze, and immediately brush over top and sides of cake. Cool completely (about 1 hour).

Key Lime Glaze

Whisk together powdered sugar, fresh Key lime juice and vanilla until smooth. Use immediately.

Becky,

Thank you so much. That sounds so good. Just when you thought a pound cake couldn’t get any better, it does. I think I could eat about half of that cake right this very minute. I’m not hungry, but lemon, lime and I’m there.

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX. 77531, or ginscolumn@hotmail.com.

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