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A childhood favorite that my mother used to make. If you don't want to use the sauce on the cake-although it's sure good-it would be nice on ice cream as well.
- Cream shortening; add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy.
- Blend in eggs.
- Combine dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture alternately with milk.
- Stir in cherries (and nuts, if using).
- Pour into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes.
- Serve warm with: HOT CHERRY SAUCE: Mix together in a saucepan 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp cornstarch and a dash of salt.
- Blend in the juice from the can of cherries and 1 cup water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the starchy taste disappears, probably about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend in 1/4 tsp almond extract.
- Note: Sauce thickens unacceptably as it cools, so it really needs to be served hot.