There’s something about old recipes that really clicks for me. I don’t think there’s anything quite so historically experiential than baking — having to decipher the recipe first, then mixing it all up and wondering what those people thought when they made it, and then, as most don’t come with pictures, the anticipation of what the finished product will look like. But of course, my favorite part is the tasting of said historical excursion! :)When I first read Our Mothers’ War and found this recipe, it was in the middle of hot July, when baking cakes in the oven for an hour is somewhat frowned upon. Unusually for me, I’ve kept it in the back of my mind all that time, and six colder months later, I’ve finally made it!
Between the brown sugar and the raisins, it was a bit sweet for me; next time I might use half the raisins. Following a suggestion in one of the book’s articles, I had it with milk, and it was a fantastic pairing. :D
1 cup brown sugar
1 1\4 cup water
1\3 cup lard (or other shortening)
2 cups raisins
1\2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1\2 tsp. cloves
-Mix in saucepan; bring ingredients to boil for three minutes. Cool <(This took what seemed like forever.)
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. water
-Dissolve salt and baking soda in water; add to raisin mixture.
2 cups flour
1tsp. baking powder
-Add flour and baking powder. Pour into greased and floured 8 inch square pan. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes.
Honestly, the dissolving part was odd for me, but it was fun watching how much it changed the batter. The original recipe (I shortened it some) can be found online here.