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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jennifer's Week Thirty-Nine Recipe: Red Cross War Cake

So a few weeks ago, Chris and I went to an event at the History Center that discussed food and rationing during WWI in Minnesota. Afterward we got to sample a couple of recipes from the companion book to the lecture (I hesitate to call it a lecture since it was really more of a performance!) and this was one of them. We tried a cookie, too, however the cookie did not leave nearly the impression that the War Cake did. I think part of it has to with the name.

This recipe is featured in Food Will Win the War by Rae Katherine Eighmey, published by MHS Press. (Hey, I need to pimp out the Society every once and a while, right?) The recipe was originally from Conservation Recipes by the Women's Committee of Minnesota Commission of Public Safety, 1917.

Red Cross War Cake

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons lard (I substituted shortening. I was going to be all historically accurate and use lard, but I could not find any in the grocery store that I was at and I did not feel like going on a hunt for lard.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package (8 ounces) raisins, chopped (or you can do what I did and not chop them because I can't read - I don't think it makes that much of a difference)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put everything but baking soda and flour into a 2-quart pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil 5 minutes after it bubbles, then cool. Stir in soda and flour. Put batter into 2 lightly greased mini-loaf pans. * Bake for 45 minutes. Cake keeps fresh for a long time and can be sent to men on the front.

*I did not have 2 mini-loaf pans and just put the batter into one 9x5 pan. I baked it for 45-50 minutes, testing the bread with a toothpick every 5 minutes after the 30 minute mark. (This kind of has to do with the love/hate-but-mostly-hate relationship I have with my oven.)

Would I make this again? Yes! It's easy and very tasty. I think it has a very Fall flavor.

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