Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Old is Old?

As I was wandering through my Grandma's Recipe boxes today, I found an old newspaper clipping that had a couple of recipes on it.  I could tell by the color of the paper that it must be very old.  It was quite yellow, almost brown.  As I tried to figure out how old these recipes might be, I turned the clipping over hoping to find some sort of date.  As luck would have it, there wasn't a date anywhere to be found, so I decided to do some research.  Now remember, my Grandma was a 1st grade teacher, and as I have been cooking my way through her recipe boxes, I often feel that she is still "teaching".  Today was one of those moments for sure. The clipping which was titled "Queries from Homemakers" by Mary Cook, included 2 recipes, one for an "Applesauce Fruit Cake" and one for "White Cake".  Mary Cook reminds us that it is always an excellent idea to have a fruit cake or white cake on hand as a refreshment during the Holidays.  Clue #1.  As I turned the newspaper clipping over, there is a partial news article titled "Seabees Get High Praise - President, Leaders Note Anniversary".  As I read through what is left of the article, the President, is none other than President Roosevelt (aaahh, but which President Roosevelt?) Well, there are a couple of clues to help me figure that out (but, my Grandma is making me work a bit on this). One clue is the reference to Pearl Harbor, which leads me to Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Not to mention that if this was   Theodore Roosevelt, this piece of newspaper would be over 100 years old.  Now, to narrow this down a little more, this article is about the 2nd anniversary of the creation of the 1st regiment of the Seabees.  Through the miracle of "Google", I was quickly able to learn that Admiral Ben Moreell, requested the authority to activate, organize and man a unique, very special organization that would support the Navy and Marines in remote locations on December 28, 1941.  This organization became knows as the Seabees.  So there you have it...these recipes are about 67 years old.
Applesauce Fruit Cake
Three cups sifted flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves, 2 cups chopped nut meats, 2 cups chopped raisins, 1 cup chopped dates, 1/2 cup shortening, 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 cup sliced gumdrops, 4 ounces mixed candied fruits, 2 eggs well eaten, 2 cups thick applesauce.
Mix and sift flour, soda, salt and spices; mix about one-half cup of this mixture with the nut meats and fruits. Cream shortening, gradually add sugar and cream until light.  Beat in eggs.  Add flour, alternately with applesauce (drained of excess juice) beating well after each addition. Beat in fruit-nut mixture.  Turn into greased loaf plans and bake in moderately slow oven 325 degrees, one and one-half hours or until done.  Makes two small loaves.  Place a pan of water in the oven during first 30 minutes of baking.

White Cake
One-half cup shortening, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup white corn syrup, 6 tablespoons milk, 2 cups pastry flour, 3 egg whites, 2 teaspoons double acting or 3 teaspoons single acting baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Cream shortening and add sugar gradually while creaming.  Add corn syrup and beat vigorously. Sift dry ingredients together.  Mix flavoring and milk and add alternately with dry ingredients to sugar mixture.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Pour into two greased, floured layer cake pans.  Bake in 375 degree oven 20 minutes.  For loaf cake bake 45 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees.

I won't be making either of these this week, but will keep these recipes in mind for my "fruit cake" loving friends...who I have yet to meet and one day I might make the "white cake" recipe as the sound of the cake and sherbet sound like a great combination.


  1. Great recipes and cool research.

  2. Yes, this one was an old one. Too bad I don't like fruit cake :)


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