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.)
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.)