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White Cake Susie

I’ve been looking at this recipe for a long time. It’s probably one of my favorite recipes in the whole box because of the history attached to it. One of the things I’ve really come to appreciate about Grandma was that she was notorious for taking whatever paper was closest to her at the time to write her recipes on. Envelopes, bills … and even used bowling score sheets.

When I showed this recipe to my family, Mum said that my aunties Carol and Elma used to bowl together regularly and that this was one of their scoring sheets. My sister and I loved looking at the advertisements – amazingly enough, the dry cleaners is still doing business in town, though sadly it’s the only one. Looking at this sheet brings back such good memories of my childhood and the innocence that comes from being raised in a rural Canadian prairies community.

The recipe itself took a good chunk of time to interpret. I finally realized that the two recipes listed side by side were for the same dish, only using two sets of instructions. Thought the vague instructions and faded pencil scratchings still made it a puzzle to piece together. I looked online for some help but couldn’t find ANY White Cake Susie recipes. It was actually only after I made the cake that I realized Susie must the person whom Grandma got the recipe from. Silly me, lol.

WHITE CAKE SUSIE

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 4 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Unlike many of Grandma’s other recipes, the directions were there, though they were confusing at best. So I did what I could to follow them. I used my baking instincts as well, though … I was, after all, taking a chance, crossing my fingers, and making this for my sister-in-law’s birthday.

The recipe calls for lard, and although I would normally substitute shortening for that, I didn’t have any so I used softened block margarine instead. I creamed that together with the sugar, added vanilla, flour, corn starch, salt, and 1 cup milk. The recipe says to beat that for 2 minutes until it’s “soft like ice cream”. I wasn’t completely sure what that meant, but I beat it for 2 minutes and assumed that’s what soft ice cream looks like, lol.

I added the eggs, baking powder, and last 1/3 cup milk and beat for another 1 ½ minutes, as per Grandma’s instructions.

The batter looked good and tasted like white cake … I was becoming optimistic! I turned it into a 9×13 inch pan and baked it at 350° for 35 minutes. The cake came out looking and smelling wonderful – I was so pleased!

Once the cake cooled completely, I covered it with a thin layer of whipped topping and made a birthday greeting decoration out of buttercream icing that I found on pinterest.com. You can find instructions for this decoration at http://www.brasstacksandbasics.com/2011/08/super-fancy-cake-decorating-tutorial.html, and the buttercream recipe I used at http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing.

We had such a wonderful time and the cake turned out to be just as tasty as it looked!

Thank you Grandma!

White Cake Susie

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Eureka!!!

 

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Uh, I’m Gonna Say … Waffles??

Again, I chose another recipe blindly. And another – one of many, it seems – that has neither a name nor instructions listed. Only a list of ingredients. I could tell it was some kind of baked item. Perhaps biscuits, I thought … but the ratio of wet to dry ingredients wasn’t right. And it wasn’t cake or cookies either because it only called for a tablespoon of sugar (at least that’s what I think the recipe meant). The amount of baking powder told me it was something that was meant to rise a lot, but it had too many eggs to be pancakes. That leaves … waffles. At least, that’s how I decided to interpret the recipe. That was just fine by me, because I love waffles! 😀

As much as I love waffles, however, the absolute BEST thing about this particular recipe is that it was written on the back of an envelope addressed to my father’s sister, the original 2¢ stamp still on the front, and a postmark dated 1963. To me, this was more than just a recipe – it’s a piece of my family history.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp margarine
  • ½ Tbsp sugar

Since 3 cups of flour sounds like A LOT, I decided to cut the recipe in half. I mixed all the ingredients together as I would a regular waffle recipe. I remained true to the recipe with the small exception of adding a little salt.

What I ended up with was very thick batter – almost what I would expect for making muffins.

I thought I must have interpreted the recipe wrong, so I took a good long look at it again. And then I saw it – right at the very top was what looked to be a faint impression of the word “waffles” that had been almost completely worn away. I had gotten it right, and regardless how the waffles actually turned out, this was turning into quite a find!

I went ahead and put the waffle batter into my Belgium waffle maker and cooked for 4 minutes.

I wanted to taste the waffle right away, but anyone who knows Russian Mennonite waffles, knows they always come with “White Sauce”. I looked through Grandma’s recipe box for such a recipe but found nothing, so I used my own.

(White Sauce, for those uninitiated, is a homemade warm vanilla pudding that’s served over waffles. There are several versions out there, but mine is adapted from the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes)

WHITE SAUCE FOR WAFFLES:

  • ¼ cup waffle batter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Let it come to a boil and take off heat. Serve sauce over waffles.

In the end, the waffles themselves weren’t great (I actually prefer my own recipe over this one). But what an amazing discovery the written recipe was in itself. I’ll definitely treasure this one!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Meh ...

 

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