This February has started out with a wham bang. Superbowl 54, Groundhog Day and Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat. I like to think of it as the Year of the Roaring Mouse, but no one has voted for it yet.

Then, as of Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs won with three touchdowns in about 9 minutes. The only reason I know this is I only watched the last 10 minutes of the game. Wow, that was exciting.

The Superbowl has special meaning for Bill and me. You see I met him in February 1966 while I was enrolling at the University of New Mexico. As I looked up, he looked down at the Student Union Building. There was a flash and we had a photo of the first moment we met. They put the photo in the weekly Lobo. When it came out and I saw it, I took the paper home to show my Grandmother Irene.

Cropped from a photo in the UNM yearbook. Photo courtesy of Jo White.

“See that boy, I am going to marry that boy.”

“What’s his name?” queried Grandma.

“I don’t know.”

“Have you met his parents?” We were from Iowa.

“No!”

“How are you going to marry him?”

“He’s a sophomore and I am a freshman. I have three years to find him.”

It only took me three months. And I got him! When we met again, I began the conversation I thought all young men would like to discuss, football: “How about those Packers, hey.”

“Did you see the game?”

I smiled! To be honest that first sentence was the extent of my entire knowledge of NFL football. “Well,” smiled Bill back, “Paul Hornung was most valuable player and I am a big fan of the Packers. They are from Wisconsin you know.”

I did not know, but since it was before Google, I went to the library at Zimmerman and got newspapers from January. I read all the sports sections. I was taking an English course at the time and we were assigned an essay on current events. I was running out of time. I wrote all about Paul Hornung and how well he ran. He ran well since he was a Running Back in the Hall of Fame. Most of it I made up! I do remember his Nickname, “The Golden Boy.” He played while they won four NFL titles along with the first Superbowl. I added that he also played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and even my really Irish grandmother liked Paul Hornung.

I got an A on my essay; the teacher was a Cheesehead too! And I got a date with Bill. So, 54 years later, how do you keep it a secret you are not a devoted football fan? Easy, bake. If they have their mouths full of cake or goodies, they can’t grill you on how you feel over a lost ball, an unfair call by the blind refs, or what type of defense should work best against the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. OK, I made that last part up. I have the perfect recipe for those still out there looking for that perfect guy to share the couch with while you watch your favorite show.

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast. You need more than store bought chocolates. You need something so great that people will be queueing up just to smell your kitchen. OK, I made that up, sort of.

After so many years you cannot depend on reading the sports page—you need this cake, the absolute secret cake to rule all cakes. You must do just as I have written here. Any deviation and I will disavow any and all word that you got the recipe from me.

You will need a bundt pan. You will need to butter it. Yes, with real butter. Get over it, you only do this once or twice a year. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Put the cake on the middle rack and cook 50 minutes or 55 minutes depending you your oven. DON’T OVER COOK. Check it with a long wooden stick; if the stick has cake on it, cook for two or three minutes more. Don’t forget the cake.

Ingredients: A store bought chocolate cake mix, a small box of instant chocolate pudding, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, (You put them in last after you have mixed them with a tiny bit of flour. It allows them to stay all over the cake and not drop to the bottom which becomes the top when you turn it out.) Four room temperature eggs, ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of PURE Mayonnaise, ½ cup of vegetable oil (Not olive oil, but Crisco is good.) ¾ cup of sour cream (Not light or part, all sour cream.) 1 cup of real Amaretto liquor, (it cooks out and does not leave any alcohol.) Mix all in together by HAND with a wooden spoon. (Don’t cheat and use a mixer. It is too delicate, and you need the exercise.) Add the chocolate chips after you have doused them in flour, when the batter is ready to go into the bunt pan. I put mine on a cookie sheet in case of drips. When you fill the bundt pan, slam it up and down on the table or counter two or three times. Stay in the kitchen and get a large bottle of real whipping heavy cream. Use about half a quart to begin with and YOU MAY USE A MIXER for this. Beat with 1/2 cup of white sugar till stiff peaks. You do not frost the cake; you serve it with whipping cream on the side. Believe me, it is worth it. It is very filling. But you may eat it all and have to make another. Buy two bottles of Amaretto just in case. Be sure the cake is very cool but not cold before you turn it out. This will save your life, your love and your marriage after a long fall of football. Now you know all my secrets. Roaring Mouse, full of cake, out.

Jo White
Jo White

From 1966 to 1971, Jo attended the University of New Mexico and Memphis State University, earning degrees in Communications, English, Journalism, Speech and Drama with history minors. At UNM, her hero was Tony Hillerman. She taught high school and middle school in city, country, and private schools for 30 years. Roaring Mouse is in its 25 th year. She can be reached at jomouse@aol.com