I grew up in Iowa. Well, there was a seven-year interlude where I lived in Albuquerque. But culturally, I'm an Iowan. Or at least I thought so. I lived in Iowa City, a university town. So I had never heard of Poke and Pour Cake. Apparently it's an Iowa staple. You bake a basic yellow cake, poke holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon, and pour gelatin, caramel, or cake frosting down the holes.
I mention this because my daughter Anne goes to school at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Last week she went to a talk by Scott Simon of NPR fame. In his lecture, Simon said he had read up about Iowa, but thought Poke and Pour Cake couldn't be real.
Anne didn't stay for the question and answer session, but went to a nearby coffee shop. And they were selling Poke and Pour Cake. She quickly bought a piece for takeout and ran back to the lecture hall. Simon was still there. The master of ceremonies recognized her and said to Simon: "I think Anne has something for you."
Simon put his arm around Anne's shoulders and admitted there was such a thing. It made me feel better about Simon. (I suspect he's changed his tune on Bush's war--see archives.) And Anne has a wonderful story to tell.