Canning Peaches

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, September 14, 1914: Did the washing this morning, while mother canned peaches. I helped eat some, too.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Here are the directions in a hundred-old-cookbook for canning peaches:

Canned Peaches

4 pounds peaches

2 pounds sugar

1 pint water

Pare peaches and cook in sugar and water, either whole or in halves, until tender. Arrange in jars, fill with syrup, and seal.

Pears, pineapples, and plums are canned in the same way as peaches.

Lowney’s Cook Book (1907)

I hope that Grandma’s mother was already very knowledgeable about canning because this recipe does not give me anywhere near enough information to even begin trying to can peaches.

 

Apple Unside-down Skillet Cake

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, September 12, 1914:  Made a cake today. It looked like having been made by a green-horn.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmm. . . what kind of cake did Grandma make? It’s getting to be apple season—maybe Grandma made an Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake. It can be a little tricky to successfully get it out of the pan in one piece—so if care is not used it can end up looking like it was made by a “green-horn.”

Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake

1 2/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 cups sliced apples

In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, 2/3 cup sugar, shortening, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Beat until there is a smooth batter. Set aside.

Stir 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add water and butter, and then pour into a 10-inch skillet with an oven-proof handle. Cook on the stove top using medium heat. Stir constantly until sauce boils and becomes clear. Turn off heat. Add the apple slices, and spread evenly in the skillet.

Pour the batter into skillet over the apple slices.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of cake is springy when lightly pressed with finger tips. Cool in skillet for about ten minutes; then turn out onto a serving plate.

 

Hundred-year-old Advice: What Should I Feed My Family?

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, September 5, 1914: Ditto

vegetables 1

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The previous day Grandma wrote, “Nothing much for today.” Since nothing was happening in Grandma’s life I thought you might enjoy some quotes from an article on nutrition in the July, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Since the members of the family have to be fed three times a day for each of the three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, how to feed them is a subject worthy of consideration, is it not?

The very best meal planning, of course, is that based on a thorough knowledge of human nutrition, but we housewives cannot all of us get that accurate training. The thing to strive for in feeding your family is what is called “the balanced rations.” Adults and children have very different food needs, brain workers and body workers have still different ones, and surely I do not need to tell you that the sick and the well require diets of quite opposite character.

Muscular work demands energy-and-iron-producing food, such as meats, starch-producing things, sugar, and fats. Therefore you are safe in letting the man folks have their buckwheat cakes and sausages, and pie and doughnuts in reason. Children need bone-and tissue-building foods, so see to it that they get plenty of milk, eggs, cereals, vegetables and fruit, with meat and sweets sparely. Brain workers need easily digestible foods and a lighter diet than people who work with their hands. Give the invalids mainly nutritious liquids, and your boarders whatever they want.

None of this is so difficult as it seems, if you keep in mind that certain kinds of food have uses for nearly all of the family, and can be served for general consumption at the general table. The foundations of all living tissues are in milk, eggs, cheese, meat, legumes, nuts, and cereals. This gives you a basis to go on, and you can add to the list foods for special needs and vary the menu with great variety. Keep in mind that the greatest medicinal agents are vegetables and fruits; include them in the family dietary the year round and you will not go far astray.

Crab Apple Muffins Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

crab apple muffins

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is the third of four days that Grandma combined into one entry. Since Grandma didn’t give me much to go on today, I’m going to share an old recipe for Crab Apple Muffins.

A hundred years ago farm family meals in August were generally based on foods which were in season. I wonder whether Grandma’s family had a crab apple tree.

Crab apples are ripe here. A crab apple recipe that I especially enjoy is Crab Apple Muffins. The chopped crab apples give the muffins a wonderful, flavorful, tart zest.

Crab Apple Muffins

2 eggs

2/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups chopped crab apples *

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine eggs, melted butter, vanilla, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir in baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, and stir until combined. Add the cropped crab apples. Grease muffin tins, and then fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full with batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes approximately 24 muffins.

*Core crab apples before chopping, but do not peel.

Hundred-Year-Old Devil’s Food Cake Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 3, 1914:   We had chocolate ice cream and devil’s food cake for supper. The ice cream was the remains of yesterday. The cake also.

Devil's Food Cake (Hundred-Year-Old Recipe)

Devil’s Food Cake (Hundred-Year-Old Recipe)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I’m going to repost part of a post that I originally posted on February 27, 2012 (1912) because it seems so appropriate for this diary entry:

Comparison of Hundred-year-old and Modern Recipes for Devil’s Food Cake

I recently bought a 1912 cookbook off eBay. My daughter glanced through it and noticed that the devil’s food cake recipe seemed very different from today’s recipes.

So we decided to compare a devil’s food cake made with a modern recipe with one made using a hundred year old recipe.

In the early 1900s angel food cakes and devils food cakes were seen as the polar opposites—one was white and light; the other dark and heavy.

The cake made with the hundred year old recipe was a dense chocolate spice cake. The recipe called for mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes ?!?!), cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts. It reminded us of gingerbread–though ginger was not an ingredient. I’ve never eaten anything exactly like it—but the cake was very good and I’d make it again.

100 Year-Old-Recipe

Calumet Devil’s Food Cake (Chocolate Spice Cake)

2 cups flour

2 level teaspoons Calumet (or any other brand) baking powder

2 level teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup warm mashed potatoes

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan, 13 X 9 X 2 inches. Melt butter and chocolate. Combine with all of the other ingredients except nuts. Beat until well-blended. Stir in nuts.

Pour into pan. Bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Adapted from the recipe in Calumet Baking Powder Reliable Recipes (1912)

The modern devil’s food cake recipe that my daughter made was from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. The recipe called for red food coloring—but otherwise seemed similar to other modern chocolate cake recipes. The cake was awesome.

Modern Recipe

Devil’s Food Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 teaspoons soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

2 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate (cool)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon red food color

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans. Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low-speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes high-speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).

Bake oblong about 40 minutes, layers 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

(Recipe suggests using chocolate or cream cheese frosting.)

Devil's Food Cake (Modern Recipe)

Devil’s Food Cake (Modern Recipe)

Spiced Blueberries Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Tuesday, July 28, 1914:  Nothing much these days.

DSC09175

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an old seasonal recipe for Spiced Blueberries. They make an excellent relish to serve with pork and other meats.

Spiced Blueberries

6 pints fresh blueberries

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons whole cloves

Combine blueberries, sugar, and vinegar in 5-quart pan. Put cloves in a cheesecloth bag and add to the mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 25 minutes, or until the liquid begins to jell.*

Remove cheesecloth bag, and ladle into hot pint jars, filling to 1/8 inch of jar top. Wipe jar rim, and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes approximately 4 pints.

*The Portland Preserve website has a nice description of how to tell when the jellying point has been reached.

Old-Fashioned Black Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, July 12, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Besse and Curt were out this evening.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s sister Besse and her husband Curt lived in nearby Watsontown, and probably came out to the farm on a pleasant summer evening. Did the family sit on the porch and chat about everything—and nothing?

I bet they ate some dessert while they chatted . . . probably something made with fresh fruit.

My black raspberries are ripe, so maybe they had something with black raspberries. . . maybe Black Raspberry Cobbler.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

1 quart (4cups) black raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons flour, and mix with the raspberries. Put into a 2 quart dish. In a separate bowl combine 1 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add all the milk at once, and stir with a fork until the dough clings together. Pat pieces the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and place on top of fruit mixture. When all of the dough is used, most of the top of the fruit will be covered, but there should be gaps here and there so the steam can escape. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 325 ° F and continue cooking until berries are hot and bubbly, and the crust is lightly browned. Serve warm.

 

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