Greenpoint, October, 2015

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let Them Eat Mormon Cake

"Mormon Cake" (contributed by Mrs. Linda Brown)
Roll 1 box Vanilla Wafers--put half of the crumbs in a 9x12 cake pan (do not grease). Cream 2 sticks oleo and 1 lb. Confectioner's sugar together. Beat in 3 eggs. Spread carefully on the crumbs. Drain No. 2 can Pineapple or frozen Strawberries--spread in pan. Whip 1 pint of cream and spread on top. spread remaining crumbs on top. Put in refrigerator overnight or longer. Cut into small squares and serve.

What does this delicacy have to do with Staten Island architecture (or Mormons for that matter)? Reader, I'm glad you asked me that. I found this gem on a FaceBook site dedicated to memories of Vality Department Store in Gales Ferry, Conn. In the 1970s, Vality's ran a weekly feature in the New London Day (I think), called "Who's Who" profiling a customer and sharing one of her (rarely his) favorite recipes. The profilee received a $5 gift certificate and we got, well, Mormon Cake.

The Church at Vality
Now, adjacent to the Vality's parking lot on Rte. 12 was a church built at more or less the same time (late 60s) in more or less the same style as the Vality store. In fact, we called it "The Church at Vality." It was my introduction to that particular post-Vatican II church architecture that embraced open spaces, light wood pews, dinner-theater style seating in the round. My favorite Staten Island example is Our Lady of Good Counsel* (above) on Victory Boulevard. Check out the bell tower! But there are many others.

The churches are still with us but, sadly, Vality, like Apex in Pawtucket and so many one of kind department department stores, is long gone. An Ocean State Job Lot occupies the space now.

(*Interesting choice of name for a place with long-rumored Mafia associations.)

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