Archive for May, 2012

Making Cakes from Scratch

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, Butter in the Well book series

Eggs & butter photo from recipe book Egg Gravy, by Linda K. Hubalek.Today is my mom’s 88th birthday so I made her favorite dessert, an angel food cake to enjoy for her celebration this evening. I just added a cup of water to a packet of dry mix out of a box, turn on the mixer for a minute, put the whipped mixture in a tube pan and slid it into the electric oven.

Then I thought of the old recipes I came across while researching my recipe book, Egg Gravy. Not only did the pioneer women make their cakes from scratch, they had to produce the ingredients first.

The old photo of cartons of eggs and big balls of butter was taken back in the early 1900’s, showing products ready to take into town for trade at the grocery store.

Enjoy reading these recipes, and Happy Birthday Mom!

Angel Food Cake
Whites of 11 eggs
pinch of salt
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon vanilla  

Sift sugar and flour together 7 times. Put cream of tartar and salt in eggs and beat very light, fold in sugar and flour, add vanilla. Put in cold oven and bake slowly 1 hour.  (Make your own cake flour by sifting 4 cups flour and 1 cup cornstarch together four times.)  

Sunshine Cake
1 cup butter
11 egg yolks, beaten light
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour, sifted 3 times with 2 tps. baking powder
1 cup sweet milk

Bake in tube pan 45 minutes. Use any flavoring desired.

Pour ripened cream into butter churn and churn for about 30 to 35 minutes until the butter is about the size of wheat grains. Draw off buttermilk and add cold water. Slowly churn for a few minutes, then draw off the water. Put the butter in a wooden bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons of salt per pound of butter. Let stand a few minutes, then work butter with wooden paddle to get the last of the liquid out and the salt in. Press in crocks or butter molds and store in a cool place.

(Excerpts and photo from Egg Gravy: Authentic Recipes from the Butter in the Well Series, © by Linda K. Hubalek.)


Happy 160th Birthday to Singers

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog, quilts and quilting

Singer Sewing Machine ad, "The First Lesson".I just read an article about the 160th anniversary of the Singer sewing machines. Sewing machines had been around for a while, but in 1852 Isaac Merritt Singer adapted an existing machine with changes that made it practical for home use.

Mr. Singer’s new sewing machine design was unveiled at the 1855 World’s Fair in Paris. Singer also introduced installment payments for his $99 sewing machine so it was affordable for homemakers around the world.

It made me think of the sewing machines I’ve used in the past, and those that my ancestors used.

I learned how to sew on a 1940s model black Singer sewing machine. When my parents were first married, Dad brought a newborn sick calf into their farmhouse and told Mom if it lived, Mom could have the money from its eventual sale to buy whatever she wanted. She nursed the calf back to health and bought a new sewing machine.

A few decades later Mom upgraded to a Singer Model 337. It was fun to do all kinds of “fancy” stitching on pillowcases and tea towels. We made almost all of our clothes on this machine through my school years.

Currently I still use a Singer Graduate Model 714 I bought when our high school sold their sewing machines to buy new ones for the Home Ec. classroom. I googled it on the internet and here it pops up as a “Vintage Sewing Machine” on Ebay—reminding me it was about 35 years ago when I got it.

Even though it is now considered old—it still works fine—so I’m happy with it!