Tag Archives: cake

A Cider Cake Fit For a Governor

In 1850s America, anyone who wrote down recipes often measured in wine glasses and handfuls, if they measured at all. That’s true in a handwritten book kept by Sara Adelia Boutwell,

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In My June Kitchen

June greetings to everyone linking up kitchens around the world through Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. You know it’s spring in New England when you can easily find lobster

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For Mother’s Day: Grandma’s Chocolate Cake with a Surprise

When my Grandma Bertie was growing up in coastal North Carolina about 100 years ago, she dutifully wrote down recipes from her mother, her aunts, and the ladies of the town. She never baked this chocolate cake recipe for me, but … Continue reading

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Portrait of a Cider Cake

Anyone with an interest in 19th century art has studied American artist James McNeill Whistler’s iconic portrait of his mother, which now hangs in the Louvre. We’ve also heard Mr. Bean, the British comic character, call Mrs. Whistler in her … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Cake

Because this year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, I’m immersing myself this month in recipes from the 1860s. Most women of that time started married life knowing how to make a few dishes. … Continue reading

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A is for Grandma’s Apple Cake

I’m not sure what variety of apples my grandmother, Hanna, used in the Fresh Apple Cake recipe she clipped from the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper in the 1930s, but I wanted to try it this week because apples – especially when … Continue reading

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A Taste of Germany in Richmond: Family Kuchen Recipe

It’s hard for a Southerner to pronounce the word kuchen, which means cake in German. It ends up sounding like kook or cuckoo – not exactly the impression you want to make when baking a dessert for others. But I … Continue reading

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Blueberry Cake from the Land of the Pilgrims

Americans always think of the Pilgrims at Thanksgiving, but the first English settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts ate a far more extensive diet than cranberry sauce and turkey. The Plimoth Colony Cook Book, published in 1957 by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, … Continue reading


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Matzo in the Mountains in Charleston, West Virginia

My great-grandfather, A.P. Silverstein, an immigrant from Lithuania, traveled through the central United States as a peddler in the 1890s. As family legend goes, his horse dropped dead and he couldn’t afford another, so he stayed in West Virginia. He … Continue reading

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