Molly MacRae kicks off our food posts for 2016 with new cookbooks and another interesting recipe, though this one sounds pretty good! At least, it’s better than the Prune Whip she almost put up…What are your cooking – and reading goals for this year?-AA
What better way to celebrate the New Year than with new cookbooks? I have three, but I’m going to taunt you by spreading out the joy and only showing you one today. You’ll hear about the others in February and March. This month it’s Dutch Oven: a cook book of coveted, traditional recipes from the kitchens of Lunenburg, compiled by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lunenburg Hospital Society in 1953. A dear friend in Nova Scotia sent the book to me. Every recipe in it is handwritten, and many of them are illustrated with charming line drawings. The book is a gem. So is Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, by the way. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.
There are lots of fish and game recipes in the book, delicious-sounding baked treats, and a section called “Men’s Dishes.” There’s also a recipe called “A Curry” that starts out with this admonition: “A curry is never that vile travesty – a cream sauce disgustingly tinted with curry powder!” I thought about teasing Amy by sharing the book’s recipe for Prune Whip, but instead, because we both write and love mysteries, we’ll start the New Year out right with the recipe for Mystery Cakes. These sound awfully good, although I think I might add chocolate chips to the topping mixture. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like these cakes. Have you?
½ cup soft butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups sifted pastry flour
Cream butter and sugar, add flour
Blend together and turn into 9 or 10 inch cake tin. Pat evenly.
Combine 1 ½ cups brown sugar, 2 tbsps. flour, 1 ½ tsps. baking powder
1 ½ tsps. salt, 2 eggs, 1 cup chopped dates
½ cup coconut, 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Spread on top of first mixture in pan. Bake 40 minutes in a moderate oven. When cool frost with butter icing. Cut in size desired.