Rum Bundt Cake and a Jailbird named Thomas

Family – you can’t choose it – it just happens.  This is a story about my cousin Thomas-also known as the black sheep of the family or jailbird.  The cast of characters back story– Aunt Edna, who was married to Uncle Bernie, who drank her vanilla extract; their three sons – Jack, Thomas and Billy; Thomas’s wife Marjorie; and Aunt Rosie, who came to live with Aunt Edna.

aunt edna and aunt rosie

Aunt Edna watched over me during the day while my Mom & Dad worked.  All of Aunt Edna’s sons were much older than me and were married with children.  I was raised with some of their kids.  My cousins’ families, along with other aunts, uncles and cousins, would come and go regularly at the old homestead.


The Old Homestead

Cousin Thomas drank heavily and tended to get into trouble.  His temperament ranged from funny and sweet to angry and violent.  His violence landed him in the local jail and eventually a federal prison, and ultimately dead while serving time.   When I came across this picture of Thomas in a striped jail suit, I thought to myself, how ironic that he chose to have his picture taken in that suit.  It was foretelling of his lifestyle.

Elvis Jail House Rock and Thomas Jailbird

Jailhouse Rock-Elvis & Cousin Thomas

Thomas had a family, a wife named Marjorie a/k/a as “Foxy.”  She was called this because she was blonde and very Marilyn Monroe-ish.  They had two sons, Tommy and Johnnie.  Both boys had drinking and criminal problems, just like their father.  It followed them their whole lives.  Marjorie put up with Thomas as much as possible, and the family tried to protect her as much as possible from Thomas.  One day Thomas showed up very drunk, and all hell broke loose.   He was accusing Foxy of cheating on him.  She ran to their car, got in and took off.  Thomas chased her to the Stop sign, a short distance from the house, and with a lead pipe in his hand proceeded to bash in all the windows of the car.  The cops were called and he was arrested.   I did not witness this episode, but it is a story that lives on in our family’s history.

Pictures of Thomas also known as Country

Thomas & Sons-Tommy & Johnnie (front)

One afternoon Thomas arrived at Aunt Edna’s house, drunk as a skunk, and wanted dinner.  My sweet Aunt Edna fixed him a plate of food, while Aunt Rosie hovered over Thomas at the table.  Aunt Rosie was a woman of largeness and considered herself the designated dish washer.   As Thomas sat with his head hanging over his plate, Aunt Rosie constantly asked, “Thomas, are you finished yet?”  I sat at the end of the table, just watching.

About the fourth time she asked him if he was done, I watched in horror as he picked up his plate and dumped the food on the table, muttering “…here goddammit, wash it!”  I immediately ran out of the kitchen to find Aunt Edna.  I thought for sure Aunt Rosie was going to pick up a frying pan and hit him in the head with it.

Aunts & cousins around table from JimD

In honor of  my Mom and these strong women that raised me and helped me develop an understanding of the evil effects of booze, I offer my Mom’s favorite lightly boozed cake recipe:

Rum Bundt Cake with Orange Zest

1 box yellow cake mix

1 (3.3 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding

½  cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

¼ cup water

½ cup dark rum

½ cup orange juice

Rum Glaze with Orange Zest

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2+ tablespoons rum

Zest from 1 orange & a squeeze of juice

Bundt cake-orange zest glazed

Rum Bundt Cake with Rum Glaze Orange Zest

Remember, please drink or eat your booze responsibly.

Respectfully, Susan

6 thoughts on “Rum Bundt Cake and a Jailbird named Thomas

  1. Susan, Another day brightener. You always make me smile with these blogs. So many of yor pics look as if you took them from my family albums. Happy Monday. Karen


  2. Goodness Susan… This recipe looks fabulous! I think it will be a great “Spring Fling” treat in May! Thanks for sharing!
    You hit the nail on the head to appreciate the good in the family you have – they are struggling to do the best they can – even when it turns out badly. Role models come in all forms – the good, the bad and well… this was the ugly part (I suppose) for this family!
    Best to you… and thanks for the inspiration and sharing these great gifts of family recipes – and those from your adventures!! Yummy!

    • Thanks Wendy. I forgot to put the procedure in for mixing the cake, but as you know dry stuff then liquid stuff. It’s a box mix. Mom use to tell me that she loved baking cakes and was always tempted to just sit there and eat the whole thing. When she was by herself in Rockville, she had to give them away immediately so that she would not do that. Take care, Susan

      • Hi again! I bake extensively at Christmas – actually from October until Dec 25th! I make dog cookies for Steve to share with clients as an appreciation gift! I am not tempted to eat them. The dogs love them… and they are not on my hips! I also make Ginger Snaps, caramels and Food for the Gods – these could pack it on… but most also go to clients – I just make enough extra to have a few during the ‘festive season!’ The rest of the year, all I bake is for gatherings or for others for birthdays! Yep, your Mom had it perfectly arranged… and her friends or neighbors were blessed to know her! It is wonderful when it all works so perfectly… and oh, the memories!! Love to you all! w

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