I have a friend who is in the process of compiling two handwritten recipe books for her daughters. Sure, she could hand write one book and photocopy the other, but is it the same? No. A time will come when those girls will prepare a meal from those recipe books and think, "That's my momma's handwriting."
Paula Fisher offers this family recipe. She writes:
This was made during WWI when there was a shortage of eggs and milk. Our family tradition has been to have it for Christmas, Fourth of July picnics and special gatherings.
Great-Grandma Goodman's War Cake
Combine the following ingredients and cook on low in a large saucepan on the stove-top until raisins are plump.
2 C coffee
1 C sugar
1/4 C margarine
2 C large seedless raisins (Muscat are best, Sun Maid sells in 5lb bulk boxes, use some, share/freeze the rest or use "Baking" or "Golden" raisins)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
Remove and set aside to cool.
Sift the following ingredients together then mix with the cooled coffee/raisin mixture. Stir evenly to mix all ingredients and pour into greased and floured oblong (13x9x2) pan. Bake at 350 until done (about 45 minutes).
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Serve squares of cake with Hard Sauce.
Hard Sauce (Also called Whiskey or Brandy Butter)
1 C butter, softened (not mushy or microwaved)
1 C confectioners sugar
1/4 C dark rum (or Irish Whiskey or Brandy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
A dash of nutmeg
Beat butter until fluffy (2 minutes), sift in sugar, continue beating, add rum, vanilla and nutmeg, beat on high for 5 minutes. Serve at room temp over warm cake. Can be covered and refrigerated for days...it will harden there so bring back to room temp before use.
Paula also sent the following haibun:
We had much needed rain during the night and a change in temperature that announced the coming winter. Walking around the house this morning, I moved many of the potted plants into the sun porch to keep them warm. With the drought that has plagued south Texas leaving so many trees in critical shape, it's hard to tell without being up close, which ones are naturally losing leaves. Around my yard there are several crepe myrtles and a few will not be coming back.
the sun lights up
a weathered face
As we placed yellow ribbons in the old oaks around the church today, I realized just how badly they've been damaged. Before brunch, we raised the flag for Veteran's Day and gave thanks to the men of our community who have served. In my family, five generations of military service, all came home alive but not all unscathed.
grandma's war cake
a little girl sighs