Brookie Bunton, deliciously creative


By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@civitasmedia.com



Every inch of Brookie Bunton’s spacious kitchen is covered with the specialty pans which form the basis of many of her decorated cakes.


Bill Colvard | The News

One of Bunton’s favorite cakes is the Pirate Cake. This one was for her grandson, Rowan Bunton.


Bill Colvard | The News

This fondant-covered cake was one of the first that Bunton decorated, over four decades ago.


Bill Colvard | The News

A big slab of Grandma Boyd’s chocolate meringue pie as baked by Brookie Bunton is every bit as delicious as it looks.


Bill Colvard | The News

Brookie Bunton's homemade holiday bran muffins are delicious and easy. The batter will keep in the fridge for six weeks.


Bill Colvard | The News

Grandma Boyd's chocolate pie iis old fashioned and chocolatey.


Bill Colvard | The News

Bunton has had a lot of practice in deftly forming yeast rolls.


Bill Colvard | The News

Brookie Bunton's kitchen is covered in specialty cake pans for decorated cakes.


Bill Colvard | The News

A recent visit to Brookie Bunton’s home revealed these home baked goodies on display. Homemade yeast rolls are in front and going clockwise, peanut butter cookies seasonally decorated with candy corn, holiday muffins and Grandma Boyd’s chocolate pie. Home canned string beans can be seen in the background.


Bill Colvard | The News

Brookie Bunton may have retired from 25 years as a teacher’s assistant last spring but she’s still plenty busy. She has cakes to bake, decorate and sometimes deliver to South Carolina, a robin’s egg blue 1968 Ford Ranger pickup truck whose restoration is about to need a touch-up and mashed potatoes and monkey bread to make when her grandchildren come to visit.

The first step into Brookie Bunton’s kitchen makes her passion for decorating cakes clear. Her kitchen walls are completely covered in specialty cake pans of every description; several Winnie the Poohs, dolls, pirates, musical instruments, dinosaurs and lots of assorted cuddly critters. She has never missed decorating a birthday cake for her children, 41 and counting for her daughter and 39 for her son.

She is now decorating cakes for her grandchildren, Rowan Bunton, 8, Camille Bowe, 5 and Garrison Bryant, 9 and step granddaughter, Sarina Russo, 20. “I love doing it for the kids and now they expect it,” she says. Bunton has decorated lots of cakes for other relatives and friends. She prefers to give the cakes as gifts because people are so pleased. She doesn’t like to sell them because that introduces a level of stress that takes the joy out of it.

Bunton’s long history of cake decorating that has brought so much joy to her, her family and friends started completely by accident. Her husband was serving in the Navy and was stationed in Spain in 1973. To relieve the boredom of living in a country where she didn’t speak the language, she signed up for a cake decorating class on the base and the rest is history.

She was also having trouble finding the dinner rolls she wanted. Brown and serve rolls were simply not available in Spain at the time so Bunton learned to make her own. Her yeast rolls have become a family tradition and she makes a batch for every holiday where they quickly disappear.

By the time Brookie Bunton left Spain, she had not only learned to decorate cakes and bake yeast rolls, she had seen a bullfight where six bulls were killed and brought home a painting of the prison where Columbus procured the sailors for his voyages. It still hangs in her dining room with the rest of the art she collected in Spain. Bunton laughs and adds, “I brought a baby back home too.”

Long before her Spanish baking adventures, Bunton had already learned a lot from her mother and grandmother. She has recipes from both. She remembers her Grandma letting her bake her first cornbread at age 7. She says, “Mama liked to do desserts. Everything she made was so pretty.”

She adds, “My daughter doesn’t think one thing about cooking.” It’s too early to tell if her grandchildren will inherit the cooking gene. It’s very possible. Sometimes it skips a generation.

Yeast Rolls

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

3/4 pkg. dry yeast

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Wesson oil

1 tsp. salt

3 to 4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, oil and salt. Mix in enough flour to form dough (3 to 4 cups). Cover and let rise. Grease muffin pan. Pinch off dough and place in pan, 3 balls of dough in each section of the tin. Put oil on top and bake in oven at 450°F. for 15 minutes.

Grandma Boyd’s Chocolate Pie

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 tbsp. flour

4 tbsp. cocoa

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups sweet milk

1/4 cup margarine or butter

Meringue (recipe follows)

Pie Crust (recipe follows)

Boil thick and put in baked pie shell. Top with meringue.

Meringue

3 egg whites

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

6 tbsp. sugar

Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar til soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and glossy peaks form. Spread meringue over hot filling. Bake at 350°F. til meringue is golden. (I put my oven on boil and watch very closely instead of baking.)

Pie Crust

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup shortening

5 to 7 tbsp. cold water

Sift flour and salt together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender til pieced are the size of small peas. Add water. Toss until all is moistened. Divide dough into 2 balls (upper and lower crust or 2 single crusts).Flatten on lightly floured surface and roll until 1/8 inch thick. Prick with fork. If filling and crust are baked together, do not prick. Bake at 450°F. for 10 to 12 minutes.

Holiday Muffins

Mix keeps up to 6 weeks in refrigerator.

1 1/2 cups All-Bran cereal

2 cups 40% Bran Flakes

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 beaten eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups unsifted plain flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

Put cereal in large bowl. Add boiling water. Let stand while assembling other ingredients. Add sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Sift together all dry ingredients. Combine with other. Store in refrigerator overnight before baking. (Batter mix will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.) Grease and flour muffin tins. Bake at 400°F. for 20 minutes.

Burger stuffed Peppers

4 medium green peppers

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 (8 oz.) cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce

1 cup shredded cheese

Wash peppers. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Lightly mix beef, rice, onion, salt and pepper and half of tomato sauce. pile into pepper halves. Arrange in shallow baking dish. pour remaining sauce over peppers. Top with cheese. Bake at 350°F. for one hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings

Chicken Pie

1 or 2 chicken breasts

1 tsp. salt

1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 stick melted margarine

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup buttermilk

Boil chicken with salt until tender reserving 2 cups of chicken broth. Cut chicken into small pieces and put in a 12x9x2 inch pan. In a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil the reserved chicken broth and cream of chicken soup. In another bowl, combine margarine, pepper, flour and buttermilk to form batter. Pour broth mixture over top. Bake at 425°F. for 30 minutes.

Myra’s Fried Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup butter

4 cups crushed corn flakes

3/4 cup nuts

3/4 cup flaked coconut

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened

Heat sugar and butter in saucepan until melted. Add rest of ingredients except ice cream; stir well. Press half of mixture in 9×13 inch pan or glass dish. Spread with ice cream. Top with rest of mixture and freeze.

Grandma Boyd’s Butterscotch Pie

2 cups brown sugar

4 tbsp. flour

2 cups sweet milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 tsp. vanilla

Boil thick and put in baked pie shell (recipe above). Top with meringue (recipe above).

Lasagna

This recipe was given to Brookie Bunton by her lifetime friend, Barbara Love, 40 years ago.

1 lb. ground chuck

1 large onion

2 (15 oz.) cans spaghetti sauce

2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce

salt pepper

garlic salt

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 box lasagna noodles

2 (8oz) pkg. sliced mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Brown ground chuck and onion in a large pan. Drain all fat. Add all sauces and seasonings. Let simmer while boiling noodles. Slice mozzarella cheese into strips. Place in 13×9 inch pan in layers starting with meat, then noodles, then mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat in layers ending with meat sauce on top. Put any extra cheese on top. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Every inch of Brookie Bunton’s spacious kitchen is covered with the specialty pans which form the basis of many of her decorated cakes.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Bunton-24.jpgEvery inch of Brookie Bunton’s spacious kitchen is covered with the specialty pans which form the basis of many of her decorated cakes. Bill Colvard | The News

One of Bunton’s favorite cakes is the Pirate Cake. This one was for her grandson, Rowan Bunton.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Bunton-34.jpgOne of Bunton’s favorite cakes is the Pirate Cake. This one was for her grandson, Rowan Bunton. Bill Colvard | The News

This fondant-covered cake was one of the first that Bunton decorated, over four decades ago.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Bunton-44.jpgThis fondant-covered cake was one of the first that Bunton decorated, over four decades ago. Bill Colvard | The News

A big slab of Grandma Boyd’s chocolate meringue pie as baked by Brookie Bunton is every bit as delicious as it looks.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Bunton-54.jpgA big slab of Grandma Boyd’s chocolate meringue pie as baked by Brookie Bunton is every bit as delicious as it looks. Bill Colvard | The News

Brookie Bunton’s homemade holiday bran muffins are delicious and easy. The batter will keep in the fridge for six weeks.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Brookie_61.jpgBrookie Bunton’s homemade holiday bran muffins are delicious and easy. The batter will keep in the fridge for six weeks.Bill Colvard | The News

Grandma Boyd’s chocolate pie iis old fashioned and chocolatey.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Brookie_71.jpgGrandma Boyd’s chocolate pie iis old fashioned and chocolatey.Bill Colvard | The News

Bunton has had a lot of practice in deftly forming yeast rolls.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Brookie_101.jpgBunton has had a lot of practice in deftly forming yeast rolls.Bill Colvard | The News

Brookie Bunton’s kitchen is covered in specialty cake pans for decorated cakes.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Brookie_121.jpgBrookie Bunton’s kitchen is covered in specialty cake pans for decorated cakes.Bill Colvard | The News

A recent visit to Brookie Bunton’s home revealed these home baked goodies on display. Homemade yeast rolls are in front and going clockwise, peanut butter cookies seasonally decorated with candy corn, holiday muffins and Grandma Boyd’s chocolate pie. Home canned string beans can be seen in the background.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Bunton-14.jpgA recent visit to Brookie Bunton’s home revealed these home baked goodies on display. Homemade yeast rolls are in front and going clockwise, peanut butter cookies seasonally decorated with candy corn, holiday muffins and Grandma Boyd’s chocolate pie. Home canned string beans can be seen in the background. Bill Colvard | The News

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@civitasmedia.com

Nominate your favorite cook to share their love of food with readers of The Mount Airy News.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699, on Twitter @BillColvard.

Nominate your favorite cook to share their love of food with readers of The Mount Airy News.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699, on Twitter @BillColvard.

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