Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have been baking cake for the family every Sunday for the past couple of weeks. It is nice for Sunday's dessert and provides a treat for the upcoming week's lunches.

I hate using plastic containers or wrapping the cake in plastic wrap, so I checked out Ebay and won a lovely vintage aluminum cake saver. The top has an acorn handle and around the side it is embossed with oak leaves and acorns. I can't wait to use it for today's cake!

Today's recipe was found on Uncle Phaedrus, Finder of Lost Recipes and is a white cake with pineapple filling.

Ingredients :
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Crisco or oil
4 egg whites
2 1/4 c. plain flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Preparation : Cream sugar and Crisco together, add egg whites one at a time. Sift in 2 1/4 cups plain flour, add salt, baking powder and milk; mix well. Add the vanilla flavoring. Bake at 325 degrees until done (approx 30 minutes). Makes three layers (I made two 9" cake layers).

2 c. crushed pineapple
3 tbsp. plain flour
1/2 stick butter
1 c. sugar
Preparation : Cook in double boiler until thick enough to spread between the layers.

2 egg whites
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
Preparation : Put egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar and mix thoroughly in double boiler. Place over reapidly boiling water and beat constantly with rotary egg beater until mixture will hold a peak (about 7 minutes). Remove from fire, add vanilla, and beat until cool and thick enough to spread.

I had some difficulty with the icing as the original recipe was very imbiguous - they must have assumed the reader would know how to prepare it. I was about to throw it out as I couldn't get it to thicken. I began looking through another cookbook and realized it had the same ingredients as Seven Minute Frosting. So I put it back in the double boiler and followed the instructions for this frosting and it worked! The icing instructions above are for the Seven Minute Frosting.

The Finished Product

This is a very yummy cake! The icing was very sweet, but the cake itself had a very nice flavour.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Vintage Blog

I decided to start a new blog that will focus on vintage interests, instead of mixing it up into my family's blog. There will be some cross posting going on, especially when it comes to recipes and cooking and possibly some other items.

I will slowly start moving the sidebar items that concern vintage clothing, cooking etc over to the new blog during next few days.

If you want to check it out you can find me at Carpe Diem Vintage.

The Carpe Diem Acreage blog will continue just as it has over the past few years.


For the life of me, I cannot bake a reasonable loaf of white bread. I've been trying for about 16 years and just can't get it. Oh sure, my loaves look great on the outside, but once cut the interior is a damp heavy mess. It doesn't matter what recipe I try, they always fail.

Husband's mother baked great bread so last weekend he decided to give it try. He emailed his sister for the recipe and went to work. Of course HIS bread turned out wonderful - light, fluffy and very tasty. Guess what he will be doing every weekend from now on!

The bread was so wonderful that I didn't even want to give the heels to the chicken, so I saved them up for bread pudding. I used a wartime recipe from The 40's Experiment and it really is the best bread pudding recipe I have ever made.

Here is husband putting this weekend's bread into the oven....

Here is my mother-in-law's bread recipe which I think may have come from a Purity cookbook:

White Bread:
Yield: 4 Loaves (use 8 1\2" x 4 1\2"bread pans.)

2 cups milk

Pour into a large bowl and add
1\4 cup sugar
4 teaspoon salt
1\4 cup shortening
1 cup water

Stir until the shorting melts. Cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 cup lukewarm water
Over this sprinkle 2 packages active dry yeast*

Let stand for 10 minutes. Keep at a temperature of about 80 degrees. Then stir briskley with a fork.
Add softened yeast to the lukewarm milk mixture. Stir
Beat in 5 cups Pre-sifted all-purpose flour
Then add another 4 1/2 to 5 cups pre-sifted all-purpose flour
Work in last of the flour with a rotating motion of the hand. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
Shape into a smooth ball.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. grease top slightly. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk-about 1 1/2 hours.-keep dough in a warm place.
Punch down the risen dough and turn onto a lightly floured board. Cut into four equal pieces and form each into a smooth ball. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Shape each ball of dough into a loaf. Place in greased pans and grease the tops. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/4 hours).
Bake in preheated oven 425 oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1940's and 1950's Blogs

I've been reading a few blogs that have been extremely interesting and have gotten me thinking about the past (though not my past).

Destination 1940, and 50s times are blogs written by women who are changing their lives by 'living' in another era. I am interested in the era and am learning a lot of housekeeping/general life by reading their adventures. The 1940's are of interest to me, as are the recipes and the life of homemakers during World War 2. This is the era of my grandparents and my parents as children. I enjoy hearing stories of how my grandparents/parents survived during the war years and how they had to 'make do'. Unfortunately the citizens of waring countries have suffer, make do and survive no matter what 'side' they are on.
I can't help but to think that these women's experiment/journey is in fact very similar to my own journey. Namely, cooking from scratch and living a more simple (and perhaps more satisfying) life.

Jitterbug from Destination 1940 was totally unfamiliar with her kitchen and had basically no cooking skills. I often laughed when reading her posts as some of the things she did not know, which seemed to me 'no brainers' (such as where is the broiler in the stove? - in the oven or the drawer below?). I admire her for really taking a step to change her kitchen incompetence, to realize that cooking from scratch is actually very easy and more healthful. I also admire that she was able to add small 1940's housekeeping skills/methods to her weekly schedule and stick to it. So far I am about halfway though her blog posts and I enjoy them immensely. I am also learning about why certain things were done based on the culture and amenities of the time.

50sgal from 50s times has completely immersed herself into 1955. Last year she basically cut herself off from 2009 and only cooked recipes, read, dressed, watched tv and movies, and obtained news from 1955 and prior. I can't even imagine pulling off such a feat and sticking with it for an entire year! I have just scratched the surface of 50sgal's posts (as I want to finish the Destination 1940 first), but her writing is excellent and I'm very excited to read all the back posts.

Another blog I have been reading is The 1940's Experiment in which the blog author is trying to lose weight by following a regime of Britian's war time rations. Another adventure that I don't think I personally could follow. It is an interesting read and has some good/simple/healthy recipes.