Ah, grade school lunches, the stuff of many a fond memory. One of my favorite grade school lunches was tuna boats with a cheddar cheese sail and crumb cake with milk. Don't know if it was the cute triangle of cheddar cheese or the tuna salad in a hot dog bun or the delicious buttery crumb cake that made this particular lunch stand out, but I seem to remember it with great fondness. The lunch room in my school had a stage on which different color flags stood. Green meant all was well in the lunch room with the noise level at a acceptable level. A yellow flag meant beware the noise level was rising and red of course meant shut your traps or else! One sunny lunch day, happily ensconced with my favorite tunaboat lunch, crumb cake and carton of milk, I remember I was blowing bubbles in my milk carton, engrossed in this activity for what a few seconds, maybe minutes, when I noticed the lunch room become eerily quite. As I looked down into my carton which seemed to have an unnatural hold on my attention, I noticed two black sensible shoes tapping rapidly by my side. I automatically look toward the stage where a red flag stood like a terrible exclamation point. I quickly looked at Miss Sensible two shoes, whose prickly red fingernails pointed to the principle's office. No words needed to be exchanged as a pitying hush filled the cafeteria, as all eyes spied my leaving my lunch and my beloved tunaboat with it's cheddar cheese triangular sail and buttery crumb cake as I headed for the office where I would spend the remainder of my lunch hour stomach protesting in it's emptiness. All these years have been spent in search of that crumb cake recipe of which the following comes pretty darn close and at least gives me some sort of redemption solace when eating it.
2 1/2 c flour
1 c brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 t salt
1 t nutmeg
3/4 c oil
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 c buttermilk
Combine flour, sugars, salt, nutmeg and oil in bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture from bowl and add to it 1 t of cinnamon and set aside as topping.
Combine remaining 1 t of cinnamon, baking soda, egg and buttermilk (or milk and yogurt/sour cream combination) and blend well. Add flour mixture, do not over mix.
Spoon batter into greased 13x9" pan, sprinkle with reserved topping and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.
Let cool slightly before cutting and sit back, enjoy and reminisce!