Once I found out that Issy’s favorite cake is Red Velvet, well I just knew I would have to do what I could to make her birthday extra special. It proved to be an enlightening experience for me as well, delving a bit into the history of this hotly contested favorite. Different accounts claim that it was developed in the Victorian era; that it originated in the Southern part of the US; or that it was invented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1930s. I’m not about to step in to contest any of these claims. I will say that I was determined not to add any artificial food colorings to my recipe, so – as usual – I wound up taking a bit from this recipe and that to develop my own version. Apparently the original recipe got its red hue from the cocoa powder used, but I found a version that added a bit of beet powder as well, resulting in a beautiful, but subtle and natural shade of red.
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1-½ cups sugar
2-½ cups flour
2 eggs, separated
3 tbs beet powder (I ordered mine through Amazon)
1-½ tbs baking powder
2 tbs red cocoa powder
1 tps white vinegar
1 tps vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
For best results, pull your butter, eggs and buttermilk out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature before starting.
Preheat your oven to 325˚. Thoroughly butter and flour three 8” baking pans, or line with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they are nice and frothy. The best way to do this is to start at a low mixing speed and gradually increase it until you get a nice foamy texture. Then add this to your butter and sugar mixture, as well as the vinegar, vanilla and egg yolks.
Combine your dry ingredients – flour, beet powder, and cocoa powder.
Gradually add your dry ingredient mix and your buttermilk to your previous ingredients, alternating each and mixing well all the while.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from pans.
A note about the frosting: Most modern versions of this cake use cream cheese frosting. Although I do love a good cream cheese frosting, I decided to go with a more traditional frosting, which – though not quite as sweet – seems to set this cake off beautifully.
5 tbs flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter, softened
1 tps vanilla
1 cup powdered, or confectioners’ sugar
Combine the flour and milk in a saucepan and gradually warm over medium heat, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Allow to cool completely.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until you get a nice fluffy smoth consistency. Then frost between layers and over the top and sides of the cake.
Now, Sunday at 9pm, tune your radio to KNVC 95.1 FM Carson City – or if you’re not in range, you can pull it up on their website: https://knvc.org. If you happen to miss it for some reason, they will re-air it next Friday at 8pm.
R Mike Kelley (Agent Matheson) spent many years behind the scenes as a lighting and sound technician, before first appearing onstage in Lysistrata’s War at the Victoria Fringe Festival. He has been featured in the short film Three Clicks, as well Proscenium Players, Inc.’s Twelve Angry Men, The Taming of the Shrew, and Dealt a Deadly Hand. His most recent role was on the VT&T Railway as Barton Blackburn in She Wouldn’t Harm a Fly.
Secrets of Harridge House is Stormy’s debut as a performer. A naturally talkative terrier capable of a broad variety of canine sounds on command, she was a shoe-in for the role of Cooper in Season Three.
Cary minored in Theater in college and DJ’d an indie rock show for KXLU in Los Angeles. Her favorite acting role was Lady Catherine de Bourgh in a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Cary has worked as a summer camp counselor, a barista, and as a divemaster at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center; she learned how to dive in India and Honduras, and has spent over six months volunteering at animal sanctuaries in Southern Africa. However, dogs are still her favorite animal.
Rachel Anderson grew up in Gardnerville, Nevada where she fell in love with the world of theater and dance while also cultivating her passion for the sciences. Her favorite roles include Sara in Stop Kiss and Purity in Anything Goes, Honey in Go-Go Beach, and Romaine Patterson in The Laramie Project, and a dancer in Lysistrata’s War. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology, Rachel performed professionally as a showgirl, lead dancer, and magician’s assistant in Kevin & Caruso’s production shows, Magique, Magique Encore, Madame Houdini, and Holiday Jubilee, touring in Atlantic City, Reno, and Niagara Falls. Currently, she works as a medical laboratory scientist in an emergency room lab. She is grateful to be a part of this cast, and she would like to extend her gratitude to her supporters, including her wife Tina, her parents, and her two dogs.
Asher Honor Hwang lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He has acted in school productions of “Cinderella” and “Baba Yaga.” This is his first professional acting job, and he is thrilled to be playing a ghost. When he grows up, he hopes to become a singing-acting-comic-drawing voice actor.
Kyle Littlefield has worked on PPI productions of The War Of The Worlds and The Odd Couple. He has also been involved with several CVCT shows since 2016. Kyle enjoys foosball and working on the old Dodge.
ANITA KELLEY (Roxie) has performed in numerous stage productions in Tahoe and Carson Valley, and in the short films 10 Syllables and Three Clicks. Favorite roles include the eccentric Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Hannah and Diana in California Suite, Johnna in August: Osage County, The Grand Duchess in You Can’t Take It With You, and The Pedant in The Taming of the Shrew. Her most recent appearance onstage was as Mrs. Phelps in WNMTC’s production of Matilda, the Musical at the Bob Boldrick Theater in Carson City.
HALEY HWANG lives in Chicago and spends her days drinking coffee and weaving tall tales. She has a passion for writing Asian historical fiction, often infusing her stories with diverse characters, martial arts fighting, and concubines. Her short fiction has been published in Volumes 7 and 8 of 72 Hours of Insanity and The Horror Tree’s Trembling With Terror Anthology. Her creative nonfiction has been published in The New York Times, which was included in the print anthology Tiny Love Stories. She has won screenwriting competitions and is currently writing her first feature screenplay.
FREDERICK HAMPTON grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Now, he is a transplanted Nevadan, working at an accidental career in administrative services. His short fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review. He has written and directed a few short films, and works often with PPI and Brewery Arts Center. A graduate of UC Davis, he studied fiction writing and poetry with Clarence Major, Carolyn Kizer, and Charles Grosel. He lives in Carson City with his son and is at work on a novel and other short stories.
SCOTT YOUNG is a filmmaker that specializes in short films. In the last 8-years, many of his films have taken top awards in the competitions for which they were produced. He spends his down time between films writing and taking odd jobs as film editor. Currently, besides overseeing the writing on Secrets of Harridge House, he is also putting the finishing touches on a new television pilot and getting ready to break ground on a new comedy screenplay. A film school grad from Cal State Northridge, Scott resides in Los Angeles.
JOHN ADAMS (he/him/his) is an author from Kansas City. He writes about teenage detectives, pelican-people, robo-butlers, cursed cowboys, and bear nuns. His plays have been produced by Alphabet Soup and the 6×10 Play Festival and selected for readings at the William Inge Theater Festival and the Midwest Dramatists Conference. His short stories have been published by Australian Writers’ Centre, Bowery Gothic, Dream of Shadows, Fat Cat Magazine, Intrinsick, SERIAL Magazine, and Weird Christmas. He won the Johnson County Library Imagine Your Story Writing Contest, was Runner-Up in The Story Engine’s Microfiction Contest, and has been shortlisted by Furious Fiction and The Molotov Cocktail’s Flash Monster Contest. He performs with That’s No Movie, a multi-genre Improv team. Find John at John Adams, Writer and on Twitter.