Food Gifts for Friends and Neighbors & Cherry Almond Cake Recipe

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

Tuesday, December 15, 1914: <<no entry>>

Front door decorated for Christmas

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

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

What was keeping Grandma so busy that she had no time to write in her diary? Maybe she was baking holiday treats to give friends and neighbors.

I have warm memories from my childhood of neighbors knocking on the door holding a tray of cookies, homemade plum pudding, or a tin of candy—and I’m guessing that food gifts were even more common a hundred years ago.

The many readers who are participating in the Bake-a-thon are giving Grandma a wonderful send-off to live the rest of her life as the diary winds down. As part of the Bake-a-thon, Pam (Quiall) at Butterfly Sand included a wonderful recipe for Cherry Almond Cake in a comment several days ago. Here’s her story and recipe.

My Mother and I would make several batches of Cherry Almond Cake. Some were small loaves for the neighbours and a big round one for us. Wonderful memories of Christmas,

CHERRY ALMOND CAKE

1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almonds
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cups glazed cherries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

First:
Slice cherries and nuts (buy almonds already blanched and sliced). Combine 1/2 cup flour with cherries and almonds in bowl. Mix until fruit is well coated.

Second:
Combine remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

Third:
Cream butter until fluffy, add flavourings. Gradually add sugar, mixing until creamy. Beat eggs until light and lemon-coloured. Add to creamed mixture. Beat together well.

Fourth:
Add dry ingredients to butter, etc., alternately with almonds and nuts, folding in gently until well combined. Add lemon juice and then milk.

Turn into prepared tin. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

If using small loaf pans (4 will do) bake for 1 hour and then check. Time will vary because of the size of the loaves.

Candy Cane Memories

Sheryl:

Friday, December 11, 1914 :<<no entry>>
Readers participating in Grandma’s Bake-a-thon have shared many wonderful memories. We are giving Grandma a great send-off to live the rest of her life after the diary ends.

Today I’d like to share the awesome post that Sharon at Dirndl Skirt Gatherings did about her memories of baking Candy Cane Cookies with her mother.

One of the things that I most enjoy about Dirndl Skirt Gatherings is how Sharon infuses her art and artist’s perspective into many posts. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to see her awesome holiday drawing of a woman wearing a candy cane skirt.

Originally posted on Dirndl Skirt Gatherings:

Bettcandycan credit: Me and My Green Bin

Growing up in the early 1960s, and being a kind of girly-girl, I do remember I liked my food pink. And sugary. When standing in line with my mom at Acme Supermarket, the impulse buy of choice near the cash register was those awful (to me now) pink marshmallow cookies with white coconut sprinkles. This was before red dye #2 was banned.

vintage mom &amp; me My mother, Shirley, and me in her state-of-the-art kitchen, 1957.

But at Christmas time, we made cookies. Mom did like to bake, if not actually cook. (Hey, it was the Atomic Age, and she had better things to do, like paint!) One of my favorites from that era was candy cane cookies. We had to divide the dough, and color one half. Then keep it moist until we twisted the braids together and curved them into the cane hook. Some baking…

View original 139 more words

Christmas Fudge

Sheryl:

Thursday, December 10, 1914:  <no entry>

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

Many readers of A Hundred Years Ago are participating in Grandma’s Bake-a-thon, and are sharing a family recipe story that is special to them. This Bake-a-thon is being held to give Grandma a wonderful send-off to live the rest of her life after the diary ends. On several days when Grandma didn’t write anything, I plan to reblog some of those stories.

Today, I’m featuring a post by Lillian at Lillian’s Cupboard. She directed me to a wonderful post she wrote about Christmas Fudge.

Originally posted on Lillian's Cupboard:

During the rationing of World War II, we children craved sugar

As we watched Mother sprinkle carefully measured spoonsful over our oatmeal.

We wanted more sweetness in our hot chocolate, in our pudding;

We longed for a bottomless sugar bowl.

But in the fall Mother stood in long lines that coiled around the city tenements

To get an extra bag of sugar allotted for canning and preserving.

She squirreled this away until Christmas

When it was transformed into the most glorious pecan studded fudge,

Sweet enough to make up for a whole year of rationing.

“Christmas Fudge”, by Lillian – 1997

My mother was famous in our family for her homemade fudge, made without benefit of a candy thermometer and cooked and beaten until it was perfect.  Then, it was placed in a special rose-bedecked tin to be brought out on Christmas Eve, opened and squares of never-to-be-forgotten goodness placed…

View original 325 more words

Unfermented Communion Wine Recipe

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

Sunday, September 20, 1914: <<no entry>>

communion cups a

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought you might enjoy this recipe that I found in a hundred-year-old central Pennsylvania cookbook for unfermented communion wine.

Grandma attended a Baptist church—and 1914 was the era  right before prohibition when the temperance movement was at its peak—so my guess is that her church used grape juice (or “unfermented communion wine”) for communion.

Unfermented Communion Wine

Stem fifteen pounds grapes, boil in three quarts water until they come to pieces, then press out the juice, add four and one-half pounds of sugar, boil, skin and can or bottle the same as fruit.

Lycoming Valley Cook Book compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church Trout Run PA (1907) reprinted by Williamsport Printing and Binding Co. (1992)

Hundred-Year-Old Suggestion for Serving Watermelon

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

Monday, August 11, 1913:  Am busy planning.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (July, 1911)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (July, 1911)

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

Grandma was planning for the Sunday School picnic. The previous day she wrote:

We have decided to have our S.S. picnic next Wed. .  .

I wonder what she needed to plan. . . . activities? . . . what food to bring?

August would be the perfect time for watermelon.

Grandma probably wouldn’t have done anything as fancy as the suggestion for serving watermelon in  Ladies Home Journal:

An  unusually nice way to serve watermelon is to have the pulp removed from the whole melon which has first been cut in halves, and replaced on cracked ice in half of the rind arranged in bowl fashion. Cone-shaped portions may then be served individually in sundae glasses, or cut in cubes in sherbet-cups.

 Ladies Home Journal (July 1911)

Hundred-Year-Old Directions for Making and Marketing Sun-Preserved Preserves

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

Wednesday, August 6, 1913: That’s all.

Strawberries

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

Yesterday, I shared an article about “new’ gadgets a hundred years ago that can be used to making canning easier. Since Grandma didn’t write much in this diary entry, I’m going to dig deeper into one statement in that article. It said:

Canning is a great improvement over the old-fashioned way of preserving fruits pound for pound, and if canned properly fruits will retain their fresh and natural flavor.

Ladies Home Journal (May, 1913)

I wondered what that meant and then came across another article about Sun-preserved Preserves. That article contained a letter from a reader explaining how to make and market sun-preserved preserves.

Sun-preserved Preserves

The thing I knew I could do better than most people was to make preserves. My specialties were sun-cooked strawberry and cherry preserves.

I chose only the finest, most perfect fruit, seeding the cherries carefully by hand. I weighed the fruit and made a syrup of an equal amount of the best granulated sugar, using just enough water to melt the sugar and prevent burning. When the sugar was melted I dropped the fruit in carefully and let it boil, about five minutes in the case of the strawberries and ten minutes for the cherries.

I then removed the preserves to a large platter and placed them out in the sunshine, covering closely with large pieces of glass. It may be necessary to use mosquito netting also. About two days of direct sunshine usually cooks the preserves sufficiently. I tried to put them in glass jars while still hot from the sun’s rays. This is not necessary, but they are nicer if canned before the juice sets.

The next problem was to find a market for my wares, which were strictly first class, and, beautiful in shape and color. For these I must ask a good price.

I lived about a hundred miles from a large city, in a village where there was no market for my goods at any price, so I took to scanning the society columns of the city papers and thus listed the names and addresses of the people I wanted to reach. To these I wrote personal letters describing my preserves and setting my price. To a few prominent ladies I sent small samples. The responses were numerous enough to give me several very busy summers.

Ladies Home Journal (July, 1913)

Sometimes when I read old recipes like this one I just roll my eyes and throw up my hands.  These directions don’t sound like they would produce a safe, sanitary food—yet Sun-preserved  Preserves apparently were considered a gourmet food a hundred years ago. So I googled “Sun Preserves” and found a New York Times article that explains how to make them  using modern processes and procedures.

Hundred-Year-Old Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce

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

Monday, February 3, 1913: It was simply enchanting this morning. The snow came down in fluffy flakes. It was an unusual sight. Had a pain this morning. Guess four dishes of ice cream was most too much for my capacity.

van.ice.cream

Caption: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce Plate XX. For Receipt see pages 247 and 299. Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

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

The previous day the Muffly’s made ice cream. It must have tasted really, really good if Grandma ate four dishes (even if she’s paying for her indulgence).  Maybe she ate it with warm chocolate sauce.

Here is a hundred-year-old recipe for vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce:

Vanilla Ice Cream

4 cups milk

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/3 teaspoon salt

This is the simplest and cheapest ice cream made. One pint of cream added is an improvement.

Scald the milk in double boiler. Mix eggs, sugar and salt; added scalded milk to them; return to double boiler and cook until mixture thickens and is of a smooth and creamy consistency.

Strain into a cold dish. Add vanilla and cool before putting mixture in ice cream freezer.

Chocolate Sauce

2 ounces Lowney’s  Premium Chocolate

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook all the ingredients except vanilla twelve minutes; add vanilla, and serve hot. This sauce is especially good served with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

Lowney’s Cook Book was published by a company that made baking chocolate. I assume that any brand of unsweetened chocolate could be substituted for the Lowney’s Premium Chocolate in the chocolate sauce recipe.

For more old ice cream recipes and related information see:

Old-time Vanilla Ice Cream Recipes (These recipes are different than the one above. It’s interesting to see the variation in the old recipes.)

Hundred-year-old Chocolate and Fruit Ice Cream Recipes

Old Lemon Water Ice Recipe

Old Ice Cream Freezer Advertisement

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