The Ladies Page


| March/April 1969


It is one of those winter days when you say to yourself, 'What could I cook up that would be different?' and then you find yourself going back into the past to revive what has at one time been familiar and common. Perhaps it was so common that you have forgotten how it was made. This happened to me recently. Finally, when I found my mother's old recipe for SOUR CREAM CAKE I came to the awful realization that it had been in my cookbook for over 35 years and never once had I tried to make it.

My mother had a recipe for boiled cake, too, but that I can not find. So I had to settle for SOUR CREAM CAKE but there wasn't any sour cream in the house. It is either four or six miles to our nearest towns and it is cold. So, I reasoned, sour milk and cooking oil should work just fine. Then, says I to myself, put in a lot of dates and some nutmeats and you will have next thing to a fruit cake. So I did. And the results were most gratifying. Here is the recipe as I found it.

DARK SOUR CREAM CAKE 1 cup sugar, cup butter, 2 eggs, cup of cold coffee, cup molasses, 1 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon soda in sour cream, 2 and cups of flour, cup nutmeats, teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice, salt as you prefer it, and raisins if desired.

There was no method given but I started out creaming the butter, adding the sugar etc., then the eggs, sour milk and a generous dash of oil out of the bottle without measuring. I had poured quite warm water over a good supply of dates and had let them stand. Now I drained off this juice and made it the half cup of liquid needed and dumped in a half tea spoon of Instant Coffee.

(Dear me! What we modern cooks do to an old recipe!)