Aunt Lil’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake screams retro cooking doesn’t it? I’m sure many of you grew up enjoying this cake baked by your mother or grandmother. But sometime late in the 20th century the cake fell out of fashion. This was too bad, as it’s a delightful and easy to make cake that also looks beautiful. It’s [...] Read more »

Dutch Apple Cake Revisited – A Fall Dessert

Here in New Hampshire we are now in the midst of apple season. After a recent visit to a nearby orchard, I wanted to bake something other than apple crisp or apple brown betty, so I looked through my cook books for something that excited me. Ah, the infamous Dutch Apple Cake! Infamous, because in [...] Read more »

Rationing Desserts – Upside Down Blueberry Cake

I’m gathering quite a collection of World War II cook books that were designed to help housewives cope with rationing while still keeping their families happy. Blueberries from the grocery store spurred me on to look for a suitable recipe. I found one in a small pamphlet entitled: Your Share: How to Prepare Appetizing, Healthful [...] Read more »

Strawberry Shortcake – A Short History

Sorry I’ve been so out of touch. Quite frankly, I’ve had no time to cook as I get the museum ready for opening day. But two weeks ago, while in the grocery store I spied a huge basket of strawberries and couldn’t resist picking them up. Sure, they weren’t local. Our strawberries won’t be ready [...] Read more »

World War II Applesauce Cake

One of the dessert recipes that turns up frequently in my cook books from the first half of the 20th century is Applesauce Cake. The fad for this cake began during rationing in World War I and its popularity peaked in World War II. Once rationing was no longer needed, the cake faded from the [...] Read more »

Maple Syrup Time in New Hampshire

Now that we’re living in New England again, we are thrilled to be able to experience maple sugaring season right in the heart of maple sugaring territory – New Hampshire. There are loads of small scale sugar houses in our area and the sap is running as I write this. Last weekend we visited one [...] Read more »

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

I’m a sucker for any dessert that includes molasses. I just love that flavor. So naturally, gingerbread is a favorite of mine. Often just relegated to the holidays, gingerbread deserves a place on the dessert table at any time. The history of gingerbread is a long one. The gingerbread we eat today harks back to [...] Read more »

Banana Cake – Banana Bread with a Twist

I have to admit, I’m going kind of crazy with the banana bread recipes like grandma used to make. There are so many great vintage recipes for banana bread! And since Dan always has a few lying around that are past their prime (I don’t eat them in their “fresh” state), I always have plenty [...] Read more »

A Jiffy Cake for Harried Moms of the Past

Yep, even in those days that we look back at so fondly and say “oh it was better then….” , mom’s were harried. Perhaps it was the many P.T.A. or Club meetings to attend? For my mom, it was her need to juggle her every consuming passion for golf, with being a Girl Scout leader, [...] Read more »

Dutch Apple Cake – A Cook Book Failure

What I will never know about Aunt Lillian’s cook book is, how many of these hand written recipes did she try or even use on a regular basis? Like many of us, she probably had good intentions and either copied recipes from her mother, another relative, or a friend, or from another cookbook with every [...] Read more »

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