The Great State of West Virginia

Today we celebrate the great state of West Virginia. West Virginia, forged from a slave state in order to stay loyal to the Union. That’s a bit of American history most of us are familiar with.

But did you know originally another name for West Virginia was considered. When West Virginia was first breaking away from the Commonwealth of Virginia, some wanted to call the new state Kanawha, to honor the Native Americas. However; those who wanted Virginia to remain a part of its name won out.

We can thank West Virginia, and in particular the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company for outdoor advertising. The Bloch Brothers began painting bridges and barns throughout Wheeling with “Treat Yourself to the Best, Chew Mail Pouch”. Yeah, thanks a lot.

The first Rural free delivery of mail took place in 1896 in Charles Town, West Virginia. It was a pilot program of the US Postal Service to determine the feasibility for rural delivery throughout the rest of the country.

If you visit the Historic District in Harrisville, be sure to stop in Berdine’s Five and Dime. Opened in 1908; the Five and Dime moved to its current location in 1915. It has been in operation ever since, making it the oldest continually operating Five and Dime in the country. Today they sell novelties and historic items, including tin toys and handmade glass Christmas ornaments for the Czech Republic.

You don’t have to travel far to see the world if you are in West Virginia. Seems West Virginia holds the record for having the most towns named after recognized cities in other countries including Athens, Berlin and Cairo, just to name a few.

Aren’t you glad we got to take a look at West Virginia? I know I am. And did you know that West Virginia has an “official” state birthday cake? It’s baked up in a skillet, as any Southern knows skillets are perfect for every kind of cooking – from baking to frying and everything in between. This amazing Upside-Down Skillet Cake recipe comes to us from Martha Stewart. Can’t go wrong with a Martha recipe.

Martha’s West Virginia Blackberry Skillet Cake
10 tablespoons Butter, room temperature, divided
1/2 cup Milk, room temperature
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 cups Blackberries
1-1/2 cups Flour (spooned and leveled)
1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Brown Sugar

Allow butter, milk and eggs to come to room temperature. Zest lemon, set aside. Rinse blackberries, let drain well, set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure flour using spoon and level method. Place in a bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt. Set bowl aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream 6 tablespoons butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and zest until combined. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with milk, and beat until combined.

Place a 10-inch Cast Iron or oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add brown sugar, stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat. Arrange blackberries evenly on the bottom of the skillet, set aside.

Pour batter over berries and smooth top. Place skillet in the heated oven and bake until cake is deep golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Let cake cool in skillet on a wire rack 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge and carefully invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Lord is gracious and merciful

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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