Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finally a touch of Fall

I know many of you have been enjoying cooler weather and watching the leaves turn for several weeks. Here in the piney woods of Texas, it has still been hot, humid and summery, until today. Now we have a breath of cool air, might even have to put a blanket on the bed!

Fall always puts me in the mood to cook.... I love the aroma of good things baking in the oven. One of my favorite fall treats is my grandmother's spice cake.  Grace Colby Werst Branchflower loved to cook and to entertain. She was absolutely fearless in terms of the recipes she would try. After her death in 1973, I saved many of the recipe boxes and books we found in her kitchen. Recipes run the gamut from lobster to fig wine (I'm not sure the latter even sounds like a good idea).

Grace in her kitchen at Pine Lawn Farm. The galvanized pail probably contains produce from her garden.
Circa 1963
Here is her recipe for spice cake. You can be sure that I'll be making it for my family this fall.

Spice Cake
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sour milk (add 1 T vinegar to milk)
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/2 cups fours
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350'.

Cream butter and sugar, add molasses, stir in eggs, sour milk and soda. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Coat dates and nuts with flour, then stir in. Pour into greased and floured tube or bundt pan. Bake 35 to 40 min or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool then turn out. Frost with Maple syrup frosting*

*now, here's the problem. I did not find the recipe for the Maple Syrup Frosting. I usually just dust with powdered sugar. Of course, I'll bet that Maple Syrup Frosting is out there on the Internet somewhere.

Thanks, Hoo Hoo for the memories of all the wonderful meals you made for us. Now if I could only replicate your fried chicken!!!