Monthly Archives: October 2014

Grandma’s Depression Cake

My grandma, my mother’s mother, was a very good home cook. She was an awesome baker and she had one other trait she was very noteworthy for.  She was very fugal!
Raising four children during the Depression of the 1920’s was no easy task and frugality was a necessity! Do you remember the ball of used aluminum foil?  The one that got reused until it had so many holes it.  Each piece that could hardly hold itself together, let alone protect anything in the icebox.
This recipe reflects the use of everything that was in the kitchen of that era. As a kid I can I remember asking for it on more that one occasion. The cake is similar in density to that of brownie that is chewy.
Most of the time the cake was eaten plain, but if needed to be dressed up for company, it got a covering of Royal Icing.


Coffee and Sugar the best way to start the day!

Coffee and Sugar the best way to start the day!

IMG_0783

Just out of the oven. Warm, spicy, and sweet!

One for me and one for you, and one for me.

One for me and one for you, and one for me.

Grandma’s Depression Cake

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup bacon fat, you can use shortening or butter, but it’s not the same.
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1/2 pecans (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Grease and flour a 8″ square baking pan.
Combine the water and raisins in a small pot and bring to a boil, remove from heat, then cool for 3-4 minutes.
Cream together bacon fat and sugar until creamy, the add egg and incorporate well.
Sift flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together onto parchment paper. Gently pour dry in small amounts at a time until it is all combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan, bake at 350 degree for 25-30 minutes. It is done when a knife inserted comes out clean.

Dried cranberries are also fun to substitute in for the raisins.


 

Pork Loin Braised in Milk

I’m getting inspired for my trip to Italy soon and thought you might like a little inspiration too.  This recipe is an adaptation of Maiale in Tegame al Latte, from Cooking the Roman Way. This recipe for many Italians is associated with childhood because milk was typically reserved for children. I hope you enjoy it.


 

Pork Loin Braised in Milk

IMG_0764

2 lbs. pork lion or roast
4 sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cups whole milk

Rinse and pat dry pork loin.  If it isn’t dry the meat won’t sear and obtain the crust you want to hold in the moisture during the long braise.  Make incisions along the length of the loin. Insert the rosemary and garlic into the incisions. Bundle the remaining rosemary around the loin and bind with cooking twine.
Heat oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat. Brown on all sides.
In the mean time heat the milk in a separate pan and bring it to a low boil, remove from the heat.

IMG_0767
After the loin has browned, pour off the fat and gently pour in the heated milk. Pouring in just enough to almost cover the loin. Bring back to a low simmer.  Adjust heat to maintain simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes turning twice.
Uncover, adjust heat to maintain the simmer. Cook uncovered for 1-1 1/2 hours. Turning periodically and add remaining milk as needed. Pork is done when juices run clear.
Remove and allow to rest.
Strain fat from milk sauce and bring to a heat and reduce the sauce. Stirring throughout until sauce has thickened. Strain through a sieve to remove any lumps. Serve with roasted Rosemary red potatoes.

IMG_0768

 

Buon appetito