Georgia Gilmore worked at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama, cooking her renowned fried chicken for both white and black patrons. During the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, she brought home-cooked meals to mass meetings. This evolved into what became known as,“The Club from Nowhere,” an underground fund-raising effort built on her delicious cakes and pies. Georgia and her fellow bakers would sell fresh baked goods to local Laundromats, beauty parlors and cab stands. Montgomery citizens who supported the boycott could now contribute to the cause anonymously. Georgia always said that the money came “from nowhere.” Take what you have, do what you know to do and make use of it. The cost of change is mitigated by the cost of staying the same.
Aunt Mae’s Simple Pound Cake
This cake was popular locally for church suppers, Sunday dinners and family reunions, among other events. It was easily made, as all of the ingredients (except vanilla) were easy to find and locally produced.
1 pound butter
3 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
Vanilla to taste
Cream butter and sugar and add eggs. Beat until light. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add slowly to butter mixture alternating with milk.
Bake at 325 for about 1 and 1/4 hour
Photo: “One Cake Can Make a Difference” from Alabama Chanin’s Revolution catalogue, 2008, photographs by Robert Rausch (learn more about Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere via The Kitchen Sisters’ Hidden Kitchens series and NPR)