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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Victory Cakes (Contains Recipe)

Klecko isn't old, but he is old enough to have friends who lived through the second world war.

I find it intresting to talk to people from different parts of the world whose countries participated in the big one.

When war is current, often times people will discuss politics.

But one thing I've noticed is when wars are in the past, people tend to focus on their families connection, and after they exhaust that topic.....often times they'll turn to food.

I remember several years back talking with a couple of old bucks at a public park in Novosibirsk / Siberia.

These guys sat in the shade and dropped lines in a small lake in hopes of catching supper.

I had to laugh when I noticed that these guys were baiting their hooks with kernels of corn, when I asked why?

They responded with.......

"Just habit, we've been doing it since the 40's. Things were so tight back then, you couldn't even find worms. You think I'm joking huh? But nobody had jobs, every resource around was depleted. For some reason corn was available. We used it, and although we've got nothing here today, I can assure you corn works well at attracting fish."

Then there was Mel, a Dutch baker, mentor and friend who told me years ago....

"During the BIG ONE, my father went over 5 years without tasting chocolate. He mentioned it often, even up until he passed."

At the State Fair I've had historians give presentations on how America created Victory Gardens. I was amazed to hear how giving Americans were, how much sacriface they embraced. Truth be told, I am not certain my country mates would fare as well if a 3rd World War took place.

Now days all of us...you, me and the Nun down the street with the pet monkey, all of us whine over the slightest inconveniences attached to food.....

"I didn't get enough ice."

"That's not gluten free"

"What is the caloric count on this Almond Joy bar?"

"Is that pear organic?"

Blah-Blah-Blah.

If you look back at what the worlds previous generations had to endure, doesn't it almost shame you?

At least a little?

Anyways, I'll get off my soap box now that I have determined that I am sensitive to global plight, and most of you are not LOL (Klecko Grins).

But seriously here's just one recipe that people used to make cake.

I hate when people say to me....

"I'd really like to challenge you to...."

And it doesn't even matter what the challenge is, it just sounds so pompus, as if the person issuing the challenge is Mr (or Ms) Pontificate.....right?

But I don't care, I'm gonna do it in 3-2-1........

Klecko challenges you to bake this recipe. It would be even better if you spent a couple hours Googling about war rations and how the world had to eat during WW2, if you did, I am certain you'd be thankful for even a Hostess Ho Ho.

Alright, enough....here is todays recipe.

Victory Cake was designed to make use of fewer eggs and less sugar and other rationed items during WWII. When it comes to the sweetener you can substitute light corn syrup for the honey. The original 1943 recipe was published by the makers of Royal Baking Powder (you can certainly substitute another brand). So bake for Victory, and let us know how you liked it.

One-Egg Cake

1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1 cup milk
2 cups cake flour
2 ½ teaspoons Royal Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Cream shortening well; add sugar slowly, beating in well. Add beaten egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Blend honey and milk. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with liquid to first mixture. Bake in greased square pan (8 x 8 x 2 inches) in moderate oven at 350 degrees F about 1 hour or in 2 greased eight-inch layer cake pans at the same temperature about 30 minutes. Makes 1 eight-inch or 1 two-layer cake.

OK kids, lets love each other and coexist.

The Last American Baker.

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