Thursday, October 14, 2010

Grandmother’s Cookbooks

A couple of months ago, my aunt had asked me to help her clean out some closets and drawers.  You know, that fun job of organizing and getting rid of clutter.  Well, as we were going through a drawer, I began to find loose cookbook pages.  By the time we got to the bottom of the drawer, I had found pages from three different cookbooks that had belonged to my Grandmother.

My aunt said “just throw that junk away”.  Excuse me!  I don’t think so!  I scooped up those pages faster than you can blink!

I brought all of them home, bought a binder and several packages of sheet protectors and now…VOILA, my Grandmother’s cookbooks are ready for my kitchen!


The three cookbooks worth of pages filled up an entire 3” binder.  There are handwritten notes throughout the pages.  There are even some pages that a child had written on.  I won’t name any names (Mom!), but it looks like this child was practicing her handwriting. 

I put photos of my Grandmother in the binder and a note telling how the recipe binder came to be.  Hopefully some day one of my grandchildren will appreciate having this binder of recipes as much as I do.   

One of the books dates to the 1960’s.  The other two are harder to date exactly since the covers were missing and we couldn’t find any references to the names of the cookbooks.  We do know however, that they are both much older and one of them definitely dates at least to the 1940’s if not earlier.

Also with the cookbooks was a loose page of recipes torn from The Progressive Farmer magazine.  On this page was a recipe for a Lemon Gold Cake.  I’m pretty sure this recipe was the reason my Grandmother kept this page since she loved the flavor of lemons.

This cake was the first one I made from her recipes.

Lemon Gold Cake

Ok, I totally can not frost a cake, but my husband says I’ll get better with practice!

Would you care for a slice?

Lemon Gold Cake slice

To share my adventures in cooking my way through Grandmother’s books, I’m joining in over at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday and Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen for Cookbook Sundays.  Hope to see you there!

Lemon Gold Cake

2 1/4 c sifted flour

1 1/2 c sugar

1 T baking powder

1 t salt

1/2 c oil

6 eggs, separated

3/4 c cold water

2 t fresh lemon juice

1 t grated lemon rind

1/2 t cream of tartar

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Make a well and add the oil, egg yolks, water, lemon juice and rind.  Beat with a spoon until smooth.  Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until very stiff.  Gradually pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg whites; fold until blended, but do not stir.  Pour in an ungreased tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Turn cake out of the pan and cool completely.  When the cake is cool, slice it into 3 layers and put the cake back together with the Lemon Filling.  Frost the cake with a 7 Minute Frosting flavored with lemon juice.


Lemon Filling:

4 T flour

3/4 c sugar

dash of salt

1/4 c lemon juice

1/2 c water

2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg

2 T butter

2 t grated lemon rind

Combine all except the butter and rind in the top of a double boiler.

Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thick.

Ad butter and lemon rind; cool and spread between the cake layers.


Kathleen said...

It looks delicious, DG. I would love a piece!

Jacqueline said...

Oh, this sounds delicious and what a treasure, even your mom's childish handwriting. Trust me, there is no way to learn to frost a cake than to frost a ton of cakes. Just today someone asked me about the cake I posted and asked if I was a professional baker - not! I wish I had a picture of my first cake, it was to be 2 layers and was 1 1/2 inches high. Of course, I wanted purple frosting and it was mud brown. I would love to show people that one! Yours is lovely and sounds fantastic, I love lemon.

Really Rainey said...

That cake sounds delicious! I always freeze the cake just a little before I frost it... that really helps! Yes, I'm ready for a sweet slice of cake! Yum

~Really Rainey~

ButterYum said...

That lemon "filling" is actually "lemon curd". Bet you didn't realize that - yummy stuff!! Don't worry about your cake decorating skills - rustic is in!! Actually, each cake gets a little better looking, so make lots of them!!

Your cake sounds delish, and I'm so glad you saved those recipes. It would have been such a shame if they had been thrown away.


HollyC said...

Yummo! I think the cake looks wonderful! I've never been able to ice a cake, but I've never had a problem with anyone eating it;0) Thanks for sharing.

Sherry said...

I can't think of many things I would love more than my Grandmother's cookbooks. I actually got a few clippings from my one grandmother's collection of recipes. They were both excellent cooks and they influenced me a lot. Your cake looks delicious and knowing your Grandmother made the same cake is a wonderful thing. Love this post. Thanks for stopping by.

Anita said...

I LOVE old cookbooks and I love them even more if they belonged to ladies in my family. I have one of my great aunts and one of my grandmother's. What a treasure you found!! Your cake looks wonderful!

Sandi (Meme) said...

That looks great, and I know for a fact that you will never be sorry that you made this book. What memories it has! Sandi

Joanne Kennedy said...

What a wonderful thing to have and pass down through out the years. I think your cake looks wonderful and YES I will have a piece :)

shannon i olson said...

Love lemon old cookbooks, your cake looks divine. I love it with 7 minute that what you made?

Entertaining Women said...

I love that you've saved your grandmother's will bring an extra ounce of sweetness each time that you prepare one of her recipes. Thank you for the lemon cake recipe. I'll give it a try. When icing a cake, some cooks apply what I believe is called a 'crumb layer.' They don't worry a great deal about the crumbs breaking through the icing. Then they go back and put on an additional layer which will come out clean. Hope that helps. I appreciate that you stopped by my post. Come visit any time. Cherry Kay

Lori E said...

My mother passed away 29 years ago and I kept her handwritten binder of recipes for a few years but couldn't stand the smell of tobacco smoke that met my nose every time I walked by the cupboard. Silly me at the time didn't know how to get rid of the smell and I finally threw it out. I am now so sorry I did that.
What a treasure you came across. And by the way the reason your husband says you will get better with practice is so he can have more cake but I guess you new that.

hip-chick said...

Oh how lovely a find! I love old recipe books and am in the process of copying some of our favorite family recipe's into a little book for my daughter who recently moved into her own place.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

how wonderful that you have kept these pages for future generations. In the meantime, I know you will enjoy looking through the pages and creating food from the recipes. I know I would enjoy a slice of that beautiful lemon cake. Thank you for sharing the recipe. laurie

Brenda said...

I would absolutely love a piece! It looks and sounds delicious! I know how special it is having your grandmother's cookbooks as I have one of my grandmother's. It's from the 1930's and it means so much to me. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe at Cookbook Sundays.

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What a treasure you found! I have one of my Grandma's cookbooks (and several of her handwritten loose recipes). In fact, I'm planning to feature it later this week for Pink Saturday. I hope you'll stop by again.

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

How wonderful for you recognize such a treasure! These kind of cookbooks copied and given to family makes a great christmas gift too. And thanks for sharing that recipe!

Nancy said...

Mmmm, yummy! Yes, I would LOVE to have a slice of this lemon cake!