After we left Michigan we headed west to St. Louis. Drew was a good little traveler, although Megan did work hard to keep him entertained.
We started our trip in the pouring rain, but eventually the weather cleared and we had a pleasant drive. We arrived at supper time and went to Rob's Aunt Janet's house where she had prepared a very nice supper for us. We visited for awhile and then headed to our hotel for the evening. We were very thankful that Drew fell asleep without too much difficulty considering we were all sharing a room.
The next morning (Sunday) we picked up Aunt Janet and headed to Godfrey, Illinois, just across the river to Faith Baptist Church, pastored by Tom Olney. The people there gave us a warm welcome and we enjoyed a very good sermon on the importance of words in our lives. After the service there was a dinner on the grounds and we were invited! We enjoyed a delicious meal and met a number of people from the church, including the mother of a guy we went to college with.
After lunch we headed back to Aunt Janet's to change clothes and then drove out to her son, Jeff's house. When we last saw Jeff he was a young teenager. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jeff's lovely wife, Donna and their two children, Joe and Danielle. Janet's daughter, Jody, and her husband, Karl, and their two children Makenzie and Connor also came and we really enjoyed seeing Jody again and meeting Karl and the children. The children kept Drew entertained and the adults were able to visit.
Jeff grilled some meats and the ladies prepared some side dishes to make up a delicious supper for us. Donna prepared what we learned is a St. Louis favorite: Gooey Butter Cake. Here is her recipe:
Gooey Butter Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick margarine, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar (remove 1/4 cup and set aside)
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix the dry cake mix, the egg, and the melted margarine and press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.
With a fork prick a line about 1/2" in from the sides of the pan to make a border and then prick the crust all over inside the line. (This enables the crust to puff up around the edges.) Set the crust aside.
Use the mixer to combine the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Pour this over the crust and then place strips of foil over the edges of the pan to prevent the edges of the dessert from getting too brown. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Sprinkle the reserved powdered sugar over the top. (I used a small sieve.)
This is a very rich dessert, so cut into small pieces. I made it last week for a ladies fellowship at church and added some blueberries to the filling. It would probably also be good with fresh berries served on top. The filling is sort of custardy after baking. I found some information about the origin of this cake on Wikipedia and I also found some variations on a Paula Deen website. Have any of you ever heard of this cake?
It was kind of a cool, rainy afternoon, so we stayed indoors until after supper when the weather cleared.
After we ate Jeff and the kids all went in the pool. Danielle, very graciously, took Drew in with her and he had a wonderful time playing in the water.
We had such a nice visit that we hated to say goodbye, but Drew was getting pretty tired. When we went back to the hotel he was thoroughly worn out and asked to go to bed!
The next morning on our way out of St. Louis we went by the Arch so Megan and Drew could see it.
We didn't have time this trip to go inside, but we did stroll through the park and take some pictures of the Arch itself.
Then we got in the car again and headed for our next destination: Kentucky
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