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Lemon Lemon Loaf, a Lemon Pound Cake from “Baked” And a reminiscence about Sara Lee

        There’s something amazingly satisfying about a simple pound cake.  Especially when it’s perfectly made, as were these by Andrew.  The ‘crumb’ of the cake gives it a richness and depth of flavor that’s unlike any other cake.  Infused with lemon flavor and enriched with sour cream, this cake then is glazed with a lemon-y icing.  It’s a delight that we never grow tired of.  And it always brings back memories for me of my Advertising years because, at one time, I worked on the Sara Lee Bakery account and at one time, Sara Lee made a pretty mean pound cake.  That, unfortunately, was before the Butter Police and the accountants got in the way and Sara Lee’s cakes no longer cut it.  You only had to ask Sara Lee herself.  Yes, there was a real Sara Lee.

Sara Lee Schupf, nee Lubin, was the daughter of Charles Lubin, a Chicagoan who, with his brother-in-law bought a chain of neighborhood bakeries in 1935.  The men expanded their enterprise to 7 local bakeries. Charles, wanting to expand their business further, named a cream cheese cake after 8 year old Sara Lee and changed the name of the company to the Kitchens of Sara Lee.  

        When I met Sara Lee, the Kitchens of Sara Lee had become the Sara Lee Corporation and sold everything from Jimmy Dean sausage to Bryan Meats to, well, Sara Lee Baked Goods.  Sara herself was by then the mother of grown children and a well-known and well-respected advocate on behalf of women in science, technology, medicine and engineering.  I am not quite sure why she allowed herself to become the spokesperson for her eponymous brand.  Lord knows she didn’t exactly lack for this world’s goods.   But as I got to know her, I realized her motives for becoming involved may have had something to do with her disdain for what had been done to the baked goods with her name on them.     
        Sara Lee made no bones about it.  She could not believe how, in a effort to boost profits, the quality of the cheesecake had plummeted, the croissant had been morphed into something that wasn’t recognizable to her and how, in an effort to cut costs, butter had been reduced drastically from Sara Lee Pound Cake.  Her complaints, however, fell of deaf corporate ears. So she took the money, and the rather expensive wardrobe from our shoots and ran.  For years, Sara Lee was advertised with the following lyric:  “Everybody doesn’t like something but nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee”.  Well, I can think of one person who didn’t.  Sara Lee.
      I haven’t tasted a Sara Lee cake in years.  But then again, when you’ve got Andrew, why exactly would you?  Here’s the recipe for a superb Lemon pound cake that the Butter police can keep their paws off.  And wouldn’t you know it, it’s from those other refugees from Advertising, the boys at “Baked”, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

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