This is from my grandmother Ruthie, who I never met but whose name I carry. She was a thrifty Irish Catholic single mother of 7, who always managed to put a homemade dinner on the table while twin boys bullied small girls, and so on. She was a saint.
She also made this one-bowl cake with tomato soup, which is pretty brilliant, and adorably retro. Don't be thrown off, though -- it really just tastes like a moist spice cake, and it has an intriguing pink color. Serve it when you're feeling Irish, or Warhol-esque. —Marian Bull
one 8-inch layer cake
1 1/3 cups
1 1/2 teaspoons
(10 3/4-ounce) can tomato soup, preferably Campbell's
shortening (I use the organic stuff; Ruthie probably used Crisco; and yes, you can use butter)