Jeanne, Lois (Nana) and Shelly

From left to right: Jeanne, Lois (Nana) and Shelly at a wedding in the late 90s.

Oh Dear Reader, I’ve missed you!

You didn’t even know I was gone… typical, just like a cat.

However, I’m willing to let it slide because I need your help, especially from my more “seasoned” readers.

I am hunting for a family recipe. Now, I can already hear you.

“Ask your family,” you say. And, I have, promise; the recipe we have isn’t quite right.

Now how do you play into this? Let me go back some.

My paternal great-grandparents, J.B. and Lois Cockerham, lived in Duncan

J.B. was a manager at Bogg Stephens for many years and Lois was an owner of the Spots Shoppe.

For most special occasions, Lois would make “Her Orange Cake,” and it was well loved.

My aunts and my dad all have some very strong and fond memories of this cake.

By the time I got around to being able to recall memories, my own journey with the cake ... altered somewhat.

I remember Lois, or Nana, when she was starting to forget; she had dementia and as I grew up – she went down hill. And the cake  got, well... downright gross. Nana “didn’t need the recipe,” she sassed. She had been making it since “before your father was born.”

I remember a lot of bitter and half cooked cakes.

I have spent the last few months in my house baking. I don’t make the rules. Pandemic = baking.

I’ve made bread of all kinds, tarts and cakes and quite a lot of regular food, too. My Easter roast was, I think, the best thing I’ve ever made. So cooking has been fun for me.

My sister and I wondered if we could make “Nana’s orange cake,” so we asked for the recipe.

My aunts, Jeanne and Shelly have the recipe but what we realized later, is that it was written down after she started to lose her memories.

So, this is where you come in. 

Nana went to First Baptist Church for many, many years and I figured there must be at least one church cookbook with it in there. Or maybe Nana gave the recipe to someone.

Sally, J.B. and Lois’s daughter may have used it at the Catholic church (my grandpa Ken is Catholic and I don’t know if Sally was before or after she met him).

So, if you have a spare moment and can search a bit, I would be very grateful. I may even bring you a slice.


Linda Provost is a former reporter for The Duncan Banner and freelances for the publication occasionally. To contact her, email to

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