And then in late 2003, Lee was nominated as a Cook of the Week, and I got to spend an entire afternoon in the kitchen with her and George as they prepared upward of 40 Apricot Nectar Cakes to deliver to friends at Christmas.
This was a couple whose love knew no bounds. They laughed together, teased one another and cut up the entire time I was there. They were seamless in the kitchen; each one anticipated the other's next move and the cakes came together in no time.
They made cooking look like fun.
After George died four years ago, we'd continue to see Lee at community events around town. She was always quick to ask about my children, my job, my life.
And then last week, Lee died after a long battle with cancer. I was sorry to hear the news, but happy to know that, at last, her suffering is over and that she and George are together again, laughing and cutting up.
Lee's Apricot Nectar Cake
1 box Duncan Hines lemon deluxe cake mix
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup apricot nectar
Combine ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour into a 12-cup Bundt pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and poke holes in cake with a fork. Glaze as follows.
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
1 pound box powdered sugar
Combine glaze ingredients and pour over cake while it's still in the pan. When pan is cool enough to handle, invert cake onto a serving dish.
Note: Freezing this cake enhances its flavor.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal's food/home/garden editor.