And don't worry your pretty little head - there's no actual ox blood in this recipe... silly.
2½ Cups Flour
2 t Salt
2 t Baking Soda
1 Cup Milk
Drop of White Vinegar
⅔ Cup Crisco
2 Cups Sugar
¼ + Cup Margarine
¼ + Cup Crisco
1 (16 oz.) Box Confectioner's Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract
A Little Bit of Milk
Mix your baking cocoa and boiling water in a bowl to make a nice chocolatey paste, and set aside.
Sift (or mix with a fork) your flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl, and set aside.
Put a drop of white vinegar into your cup of milk, and set aside. The vinegar is to slightly sour the milk.
In a bigger bowl than the one you have your flour mixture in, either with a mixer or a whisk, mix your shortening, sugar, and eggs, until it's creamed together. Add in your cocoa paste, and mix until creamed together. Now start adding in your flour mixture and milk, a little bit at a time, alternating, and being careful not to over mix it (you'll be hard pressed to do this, but/and you don't want to or the cake will be far too dense).
Once your batter is all mixed, pour into a margarine greased tube pan (or some other kind of margarine greased pan(s)), and with a spatula smooth it all out so it's even in the pan. If you have more batter than will fit in the pan, that's OK - you can make some cupcakes. Or lick it out of the bowl. Your call.
Put your cake in the oven, and bake for about 55 minutes. Be careful not to go jumping around in your kitchen while it's cooking, so that the cake doesn't fall on you. The cake will be done when a cake tester or a sharp knife can go in and come out without anything sticking to it.
When your cake is done, remove from the oven, and set on a cooling rack. I tend to let the cake sit for around a half hour before removing it from the pan.
Now for your frosting. Take your margarine and Crisco, and cream together, either in a mixer or with a whisk. Start adding your confectioner's sugar, about ¼ cup at a time. Once you've got half the box mixed in, add your vanilla extract. Once you've got the rest of the box mixed in, add a little bit of milk, so as to get a nice frosting texture and consistency.
To frost the cake, wait until it's good and cooled off (a couple of hours on the counter), and with a spatula, frost away, smoothing it over the surface of the cake. If you want to get fancy, break out the food coloring and a pastry bag and decorate away. If you don't have a pastry bag, putting some frosting in a Ziploc bag and cutting a small hole across one of the bottom corners will work as well.