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That wacky cake is a great one to add to my arsenal for something to bake when I have run out of perishables! I will also use it as a jumping off point to search for Depression era recipes I might make from pantry items.

 

So many great stories here. I'm very touched. I tend to get bitter about losing my mother so early sometimes, but listening to everyone's stories here make make me realize how lucky I was to have a loving and mentoring mom for as long as I did. I had to wipe tears @Darienne's tales, and grin at Ed cutting her sandwiches into boats. :)

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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My mom never especially liked cooking, though she'd hammer out a serviceable meal when Dad was at sea. When he was home, and after he retired, he was always the one who cooked.

 

Mom was a pretty fair baker, though, and eventually (after my childhood) they did own a bakery. Her main cakes were a sultana cake (a sort of pound cake with raisins), a cinnamon-swirl loaf and a really good lemon loaf, and something called a "Katherine cake" which was baked in a tube pan and fell somewhere between a regular butter cake and a pound cake in texture. My birthday cake was always a Katherine cake, with a piece of cardboard over the hole in the middle so it could be iced as a large round.

 

She also made a cookie I especially loved, called "crisp & chewies." These were a sort of a spicy molasses cookie with currants, and they were wonderful. I really need to get that recipe from her, I haven't had them in years. To be clear, I say she "was" a good baker because she seldom does it any more, not because  she's dead. Dad passed away last year, and she'd mostly lost her taste for sweets anyway, and Parkinson's is making it harder for her to do anything in the kitchen. I always try to fill her freezer with ready meals when I'm visiting, so she can have healthy, balanced meals with zero effort.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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They look after us, then we look after them. That's the way the deal's supposed to work. :)

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I just remembered that for my Dad's birthday, his cake was a scratch Red Velvet with a Crisco-based fluffy frosting (that started with a sort of roux).   

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I got to thinking more about cakes after I wrote that post.  I really love cakes! xD     I did a lemon-raspberry one a few times, that (I think) was designed by Wilton.  I remember thin layers of lemon cake, a raspberry filling alternated with lemon frosting, and then frosted, I think- pale yellow. There were green vines piped all over, and then decorated with sugared raspberries.  Anyone ever see that one online anywhere?  I recall that it got rave reviews, but it was some work to produce. Beautiful though. 

 

As I got a little older, and refined the baking and decorating skills, I'd do cakes for the landmark birthdays- mainly for my parents and my Grans.   My Dad's mother was in a convalescent center at the time she turned 95.  All the sons, families, grandkids and great grandkids gathered at the center's big conference room for a surprise party. I was tasked with doing the cake. --Not really a task, as I was overjoyed to do this for her!   But, at the time, I lived a ways away, and transporting it was a bit of a nightmare.  It was huge- 4 tiers, (12 layers plus a tiny bundt on top), and decorated with a combination of fresh and icing flowers.  I was aiming for Grandma's favorite color scheme, and ended up using some purple statice to fit that brief.  In my haste to get the cake there on time, I forgot the candles.  So, I dropped the cake off, and ran up to the nearest drug store to buy candles. I did not read the package- I just grabbed the ones that had the right colors and quantity.    After everyone was assembled, we lit the cake, and rolled it into the conference room.  Grandma did a damn good job blowing the candles out.  We were all laughing and congratulating her on well she did, and then it happened.  Those candles were the re-lighting sort- which I was not familiar with.  As they began to relight, we didn't notice until it was too late....the flames had caught the statice on fire, cause quite a bit of smoke, which set off the fire alarms.  Grandma had a most memorable 95th birthday. Unforgettable. 

 

My Mom used to live in Hawaii in her 20's, and loved all things Pineapple themed. So, I made a cake shaped like a pineapple, using gum paste to create the green spikes,, and multi-shaded frosting with tools to create the criss-cross design and texture on the pineapple. That cake was a riot. My Mom didn't want to cut into it. She must have taken 20 pictures of it.  I loved giving her things that made her smile and remember all those happy times in Hawaii. 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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@Darienne...SMILE!!!  And laugh.  

 

I realized when typing this out, how much fun, joy and laughter was had during these times. Its quite powerful- recollecting moments that involved cake. Who knew?!      The heartache of losing my parents, and my grans is eclipsed now by these joyous memories.  

 

I lost many of the photos that memorialized the occasions, however, the smiles are etched in my mind- and make me laugh when I recall these events.  If I could find a pic of that particular Grandma, I'd post it for you to see. Her bright blue eyes twinkled when she laughed and I was overjoyed  to see her in that state of utter happiness and silliness.   At 95 she could giggle and snort. If that's not something to laugh about, I don't know what is! xD

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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My mother was and is a good baker and Home cook. 

  That said, my birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day. I loooved Carvel ice cream as a kid. I was scared of the owner of the local store for some reason but Carvel ice cream cakes are a thing in NJ. 

  Instead of getting a Cookie Puss  or Fudgy the Whale cake, I got a “Cookie  O Puss” for my birthday. I favored the frosting and vanilla/ mint chocolate ice cream parts with the cookie crunchies. I told my husband all about this. I hope he listened! 

 

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On 6/19/2018 at 9:27 AM, ChocoMom said:

The homemade cake- and I can eat a whole one shamelessly, is a Wacky cake.  It needs no frosting.  One of my college friends taught me how to make it, and said it was an old Quaker recipe passed down for generations in her family.  There are no eggs.  The dry ingredients included flour, cocoa, baking soda and sugar.  Once that was mixed together, it was poured into a square pan, and you'd make three "pools" in the dry ingredients. One for oil, one for water, and one for white vinegar. You'd mix it all together with a fork, and it would bubble like crazy because of the vinegar and soda. Then into the oven.  The combination created a sticky, crater-like top to the cake, and it was incredibly moist and delicious. 

 

On 6/19/2018 at 3:33 PM, JeanneCake said:

@ChocoMom!  This is the Wowie cake!!!   My mom didn't do the 3 pools thing, she just mixed it up and poured it in a and we cut and ate it from the pan.  I use this exact recipe now for our vegan chocolate cake; and if you sub out the cocoa with an equal measure of hazelnut flour (or almond flour) you can make a non-chocolate version and it's really good!  We do the almond flour and add spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) for a vegan spice cake. Yum!

 

On 6/19/2018 at 3:58 PM, ElsieD said:

The recipe I use for Wacky cake is actually called Crazy cake and I have also seen it referred to as Lazy Daisy cake.  My recipe also calls for spices - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.

 

In coastal New England this was introduced to me as "Boat Cake".  (Made with ingredients you could have in the storage bin on the boat.)  

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Growing up where I did cakes weren't a thig in my family...NOW pies!!

That said we had coffee cakes around to have with our coffee before going out to do chores and before breakfast on weekends.  For many years my sister insisted on a yellow layer cake with purple frosting for her birthday, a black walnut cake with black walnut frosting for my grandfather and strawberry shortcake made with Bisquick biscuits at home for my mom.  We would always make a HUGE yellow cake-3 Duncan Hines boxes-in the blue marbled milk pan for her to take to school and share with her students.  

I really don't remember any cakes for my birthday except that any time Aunt Honey came for a family celebration we made dure there was an angel food cake for her.

.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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More on the WWII wacky cake.  I made the chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache topping and we loved it.

 

And then I made a lemon one (recipe here) but topped it with a chocolate ganache.  There is something quite unusual about the texture and taste of the cake I feel.  Together we ate half the cake at one sitting...which is completely unheard of...something just kept on pulling us in.   Lemon and dark chocolate.  Compelling.

 

Thanks for the head's up on this cake recipe. ❤️ 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Soneone up-topic mentioned Baked Alaska. I did it once!  I was about 16 and "baby-sitting" a brilliant 10 year old; trying very hard to keep her interested and engaged. The kind that goes on to be accepted at several Ivy League universities. I pulled out the Betty Crocker and suggested we try it. I'd never made baked meringue before other than those crunchy meringue drop cookies. It turned out quite well though none of the adults had ever heard of it and thought I was a bit "odd'. The girl was happily engaged in the lengthy process for the duration. This was the inspiration from the book:

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