I can't remember a time when Mother didn't have a big bottle of Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract on a cupboard shelf, and she frowned at any other brand of vanilla. I know she frequently bought other flavorings and spices from the Watkin's product line, especially their black pepper. Normally, the housewives would place an order and the salesman would deliver it the next time he came around, but very often, the salesman was prepared to go back to his car where he had stocked up on many of the best-selling items, and would bring it back to the ladies immediately. He also had a large black "kit" which he carried with him to each home and that might have just what a lady needed right then.
After school started (the day after Labor Day), Mother would begin gathering up her supplies for making the fruitcakes (she made several at the time mixing it all in a huge stainless steel dishpan with her hands). Of course, back then, there was no such thing (to my knowledge) as buying nuts already shelled, so that was one of the things on her "to-do" list before making the cakes. All the nuts had to be bought or traded for, then shelled, chopped and kept in the "ice-box" until the cake-baking day. The fruits would be bought a little at the time as money permitted, and Daddy would start bringing home the various nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts), dried raisins still on dried vines, and dried dates and figs from wherever he found them when he was out on the road. He was an insurance salesman for the American National Insurance Company for a good many years, and knew so many people. He always knew where and when to buy whatever he wanted, some of it black-market during the 2nd World War days of rationing. For instance, I can't remember us ever running out of sugar or coffee. Both of those items were rationed, and carefully measured out and used by every housewife.
We used to crack nuts as we listened to the radio. We listened to the radio every evening, long before we even knew anything about TV. Radio brought us the news, the weather, and all our entertainment. We learned all the latest popular or country-western songs from listening to the Grand Old Opry or the Hit Parade. Both my parents loved music and sang to us. They both played the piano, and the harmonica also, and my father could whistle as well as any musician on radio. The evenings we spent cracking and shelling nuts of all kinds and listening to that little table model Airline radio were some of the best I can remember. It was what my parents called family time, something that too many children of today know very little about.
Mother also candied a lot of her own fruits such as lemons, oranges, pineapples, and mangoes when she could get them. She never used much citron, but candied watermelon rind after peeling away all the green skin. We lived in Florida, so the citrus was not a problem, but the pineapples had to be purchased. The mangoes grew in Florida, but we didn't have a mango tree, so my aunt and uncle in Ft. Myers sent us huge bushel baskets of them during the mango season. They arrived in an old green Railway Express truck. Watermelons were grown locally, and we either bought them or were given them by Daddy's insurance contacts. During some of the war days, he worked in Tampa at the shipyards, and would buy whole arms of bananas right off the banana boats coming in from the Philippines. He found pineapples in the same area probably also grown in the Philippines maybe. Some of our neighbors would give him money to buy arms of bananas for them too, and he'd come home with the car loaded with bananas, pineapples and often a bag full of Deviled Crab Rolls which were sold on every street corner in Ebor City, the Latin section of Tampa. They were spicy hot with peppers, but so good that it was worth getting my mouth burned a little. The green banana stalks were draped with flour sacks and hung in a dark closet to ripen. The pineapples were placed in brown bags in the same closet to ripen. Mother would boil the fresh or dried fruits in sugar water for hours, then when the fruits were done or translucent, they were removed and drained, allowed to dry, and squirreled away until time to mix everything together and make her delicious fruitcakes. Not too many people today will even eat fruitcake, simply because most of the commercial fruitcakes are just thrown together junk, and are made to sell, not eat. They are prettily decorated and they look good, but taste just terrible.
My father worked at the shipyards in Tampa until the war was over. He'd learned that because of an earlier brain tumor, he was classified 4-F and wouldn't be allowed to serve in the military. That nearly broke his heart, but he did the next best thing by working to help make the equipment that our soldiers needed to keep the war away from our American soil. He and Mother also taught us to save everything that could be used to make anything the soldiers might need to fight with. We hunted for and saved every scrap of tinfoil and metal of any kind. We'd load it all in anyone who's car had gas and time, so that it could be taken to our elementary school and added to the huge and ever-growing scrap pile on the school grounds. That scrap pile was a great source of pride to every student as we knew we were helping our country win the war. "A Clean Plate For Victory" was on a great long banner that ran the length of our school cafeteria which my mother and some other ladies painted and hung. No child would be caught throwing a bite of food away. Even if we didn't like it, we ate it since there were so many children in the world who were going hungry, even starving, and we'd have been ashamed to be found "uncaring". Many of us carried PB&J sandwiches to eat at lunch on the days when something was going to be served that we couldn't force ourselves to eat. It was a difficult time for so many, but it never seemed so bad since we were all in the same boat.
I've never known a time in America when we all pulled together for the common good and helped one another in so many ways. No one knew when the neighbor next door would get a letter "edged in black" which meant their husband, father, or son had been killed in action. I had older cousins and two uncles who were fighting for all of us. One uncle was injured and sent home with what was left of his right hand after a bomb exploded near enough to almost take his life. One cousin came home in a flag-draped coffin, and I'll never forget my aunt and uncle's faces as we all waited at the train station for him to arrive. They stood quietly and with such dignity and today I cannot help but think of how many people remember so little about those days.
If a neighbor's child needed new shoes, and they had no ration stamps left to get them, someone did without new shoes for a while longer in order to give their leather stamps to that neighbor. People traded sugar stamps for tire or gas stamps, gave up meat stamps and ate more beans and rice to help someone else. We never thought much about it and did it willingly knowing that those people would do the same for us should we be the ones in need. Kids did without gum and candy so that our soldier boys would get a care package from his family, the Red Cross, or some other service organization. Many families like my parents had Victory Gardens, and raised their own chickens for eggs and meat. What one family grew a lot of, was shared or often traded with someone who didn't grow that particular vegetable. Mother traded eggs and fresh dressed chicken for sugar to make jams and jellies, orange marmalade, and batches of tea cakes, then traded some of those things for something else she needed. She baked and shared her famous hot biscuits for syrup which a neighbor had purchased directly from the man who was making it in North Florida. After I was grown, married, and had 3 little daughters of my own, we went to that same place and bought homemade sugar-cane syrup from the elderly man who was still making it with the help of a faithful donkey almost as old as he was.
Anyone traveling to North Florida or Georgia was begged to bring back fresh peaches and pecans during their harvest season. We didn't grow sweet potatoes either, but we grew more green beans than we could eat, so we traded them for sweet potatoes grown in North Florida by someone's relatives. We traded tons of oranges and grapefruits for good fresh sweet corn grown on farms outside my home town of Lakeland, Florida. Mother made the best pickles with green tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and red bell peppers. Sugar, apple-cider vinegar, and whole all-spice were all she used to make them; I've never tasted such wonderful pickles since. A slab of sharp cheddar cheese, a biscuit, and those pickles would make a great lunch even today.
It's nice what memories a simple recipe can bring back. A person can relive the same feelings over again that remain sharp for the rest of their lives. I'm sure that much of today's news will live in today's children's' memories for years in the future, but for me, I don't think anything will ever equal the days of World War 2 and my own childhood. No doubt the same is true for so many others who lived through those days.
Note: I can't remember ever eating the rich fruitcake when I was a child, as there was always special cake for kids which only had raisins in it and was iced with a plain sugar icing that ran down the sides of the cake and had tiny slices of the red candied cherries on the icing. Since Mother's fruitcakes were so heavily laced with some kind of alcohol, I can understand why they were considered "adult cakes". :-) I do remember my father always eating some of what we called his "rat cheese" with the fruitcake. It was a super-sharp cheddar cheese which I did develop a taste for myself and still prefer it over all other cheeses.)
Now for that 1936 Watkins Pound Cake recipe as given from the salesman, as well as my Mother's Fruitcake recipe which she made using that basic pound cake recipe.
Note: Citron was often used because it was cheaper and often available when other candied fruits were not. Feel free to substitute golden raisins (my personal favorite and what my mother used in place of citron which she really didn't care for anyway). You could also substitute the citron with a combination of candied pineapple and cherries which would make an ideal cake for any occasion and are usually available all year in today's food markets.
By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour and milk alternately, then the flavoring. Pour into a greased and floured tube cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour and 15 minutes or until done. Enjoy. If you use plain flour instead of cake flour take out one tablespoon of flour per cup used for the same results
Source: My mother
By Earl from Moriarty, NM
Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour tube or bundt pan. Beat shortening and sugar until creamy; add eggs, one at a time. Sift flours together and add alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Add flavoring and mix well. (I mix the flavoring and milk together). Pour batter into pan and bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees F. and then turn oven up to 350 degrees F and bake 10 minutes more.
Frosting: Cream all ingredients together with electric mixer and spread on cooled cake. Use more milk if frosting is too stiff.
Source: this is an old recipe from a long-ago friend of mine that I used to work with
By indianlady from Boonville, NC
Make pudding using 1 3/4 cups of milk. Cut pound cake or angel food cake in half (middle of cake). When pudding is set, spread half the pudding between the layers. Spread the remaining half on the top. Top with the blueberry pie filling (or your fruit choice). Top the pie filling with cool whip. Yummy!
Easy and delicious. Would make a great Easter dessert. Hope you enjoy.
By Dorothy from New Creek, WV
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine cake mix, oil, sour cream and sugar. Add eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed. Stir in vanilla. Spray (or grease) Bundt pan and sugar coat the inside of pan (this creates the crisp crust found on the old fashioned pound cakes). Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until cake test is done.
TIP: Instead of vanilla, experiment! I have used lemon or orange or raspberry. I'll try another flavor next time!
By Donna Rae from Elkhorn, Wi.
Mix the sugar, margarine (or butter) and 1/2 cup crisco together with a mixer and cream together. Then mix in the 6 eggs one at a time.
To these add:
WHICH YOU HAVE SIFTED TOGETHER 4 TIMES!
Bake in a tube pan at 325 degrees for 90 minutes.
This is a WONDERFUL Pound Cake recipe passed down from my Sister-in-law's Mother.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at the time, mixing really well after each addition in order to obtain the maximum volume of the eggs.
Sift flour with mace and fold into above mixture, mixing well, but do not over beat. It will toughen your cake.
Spoon thick batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, then testing for doneness. It may take longer (an additional 10 minutes or so) for your cake to reach the desired doneness. Check it again after 10 minutes.
When done, remove from oven and allow to cool on in pan on wire rack for about 5-8 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool thoroughly.
You may choose to lightly glaze this pound cake with a mixture of undiluted frozen orange juice and confectioner's sugar. Use about a cup of confectioner's sugar with 2 Tbsp. orange juice. Add more sugar or juice to get desired pouring consistency.
Pound Cakes are the most versatile cake to keep on hand. It can be served with sour cream, whipped cream (flavored or unflavored), ice-cream or fruits (fresh, canned or frozen).
By Robin from Washington, IA
By Robin from Washington, IA
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine sugar and butter in a bowl, beat on medium speed with your electric mixer until creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir in 1-1/2 cups of flour, add whipping cream
Beat in remaining flour and vanilla.
Pour into two buttered and floured loaf pans. Bake until golden ans a tester inserted in the center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 loaf cakes,
|Time:|| 25-30 Minutes Preparation Time|
60 Minutes Cooking Time
By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA
I am hoping that one of you cooking and baking enthusiasts has a recipe for 1-2-3-4 Pound Cake. My 84-yr. old father-in-law now lives with us, and has mentioned this particular treat from years. I'd love to be able to make it for him.
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND THE 1-2-3-4 CAKE RECEIPE ON THE BACK OF THE SWANS DOWN CAKE FLOUR BOX. I HAVE TO BAKE THIS FOR MY MOTHER EVERY YEAR AND SHE IS 78 AND WON'T EAT ANYTHING ELSE. FOR SOME REASON I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN DOWN THE RECEIPE SINCE IT IS THE SIGNATURE RECEIPE FOR THAT FLOUR. LIKE THE BANANA PUDDING RECEIPE ON THE NILLA WAFER BOX. ENJOY!
Editor's Note: Here is a link for it:
http://www.prestoflour.com/Portals/ ... abid=14&rid=364&crumbs=false
Does anyone have the recipe for Tastefully Simple Chocolate Pound Cake?
Susan from Dallas, TX
Million Dollar Pound Cake
1 lb Butter, softened
3 c Sugar
4 c selfrising Flour
3/4 c Milk
1 ts Almond extract
1 ts Vanilla extract
1/2 c cocoa
Preheat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, cream the butter;cocoa, gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating after each addition. Gradually add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mixing well after each addition. Mix in the extracts. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.
How can I make a pound cake out of ordinary cake mix in a box?
By Marilyn L.
1 b.ox box of Duncan Hines most deluxe classic yellow cake mix
1 package (4 serving vanilla instant pudding mix.
4 large eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Pre heat oven 350 degrees, grease & flour a 10 inch bundt pan, combine cakemix & pudding mix, eggs, water & oil. Beat with mixer at med speed for 2minutes.(I add a little coconut to the batter) pour in pan and bake50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean cool completely. Invert onto plate.my family has been making this cake for about 50 years. It's great.
I am looking for simple but good pound cakes. There are some that can be made with mixes. If you have any great simple ones, could you please share with me?
Deebee from Sicklerville, NJ
I don't have a recipe but a tip. After each egg you add to the batter, if you mix for a full minute, the result will be even better. I forgot why this is necessary for a truly great pound cake, but I know it works!
I am looking for a recipe for peach pound cake. The ones I have all contain cinnamon, which makes the cake dark. I want a different color batter.
Bertie from Ohio
When I make pound cake, I love to use different extracts such as orange, raspberry to name just two. The orange in a yellow batter, is light and flavorfull. Sometimes I use just plain old vanilla. I also do not like cinnamon. Experiment (don't be afraid!) and you will love the outcome! Happy baking!!
Does anyone have Billy Graham's mother's pound cake recipe?
By Becky from Taylorsville, NC
Billy Graham's Mother's Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups butter ( 3 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon mace or flavoring of your choice.
1/2 pint of whipping cream
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat butter, sugar, and egg mixture thoroughly. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder, Gradually add to batter, mixing well. Add mace and blend thoroughly. Then slowly add the cream and stir in well, but don't beat. Pour batter into a 10 inch well greased and floured tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until cake tests done.
If I have a pound cake box mix, what can I add to make it moist?
By Carolyn from Aurora, IL
EasyInstructionsThings You'll Need:
1 box Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla or French Vanilla cake mix
1 box Betty Crocker 16oz pound cake mix
5 large eggs + 1 egg white
1 stick solid margarine
extra solid margarine
1 3/4 cups water
Spray cooking oil
Step 1I use certain brands of cake mixes to obtain an unique flavor that I prefer. You can use other brands of cake mixes that are available in your area.
Step 2In a bowl or measuring cup:
Melt 1/2 cup solid margarine
Add 1 3/4 cups cold water
Allow to cool to at least barely warm
...Pour cake mixes into a large bowl.
.....Add the cooled margarine and water mixture.
Beat on high 2 minutes.
..Be sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl while mixing.
.....Add 5 eggs and 1 egg white.
Beat on high 2 minutes or until well blended.
Step 5Pour into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees until knife or toothpick insert into center comes out clean.
After baking is completed, remove from oven and cool.