My mother has long been famous for her carrot cake, but now her celebrity status has reached a new level. The Sedalia Democrat ran a story, “An Era and an Aura,” in April about the reopening of the J. Huston Tavern Restaurant in my home town, Arrow Rock, Missouri. The photo is by Sidney Brink. The new manager, Chef Liz Huff, convinced Mother to teach her how to make the cake. Mother was highly amused at the way Liz, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, “threw flour all over the kitchen.” M.K.’s Arrow Rock Carrot Cake is now featured on the menu. Liz is quoted in the story as saying, “It’s the best carrot cake in the whole world…The whole universe revolves around this cake!”
Maybe seventy-five people live in Arrow Rock, but it’s a charming place to visit and to eat a piece of cake if you are ever traveling through central Missouri. The village of Arrow Rock is a National Historic Landmark and on the Dozen Distinctive Destinations list. Besides the 175-year-old tavern, there are other historic buildings, a Missouri State Park and a summer repertory theater, The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.
Simply known as The Old Tavern when I was growing up, the J. Huston Tavern, a state historic site, has always been used as a community gathering place. My wedding reception and my parents’ fiftieth-wedding anniversary celebration were held there. Now when I go home to visit, I’ll have to decide whether to get my carrot-cake fix at home or at The Old Tavern.