Friday, July 13, 2012

Stepping Back in Time

From time to time my cousin keeps us up to date with old family photos and bits of information. Everytime I see one of these old photos I step back in time and imagine what it must have been like.

This photo shows my great-great grandfather and grandmother along with their children. The woman in back on the left is my great-grandmother Bertha. The others are her brothers and sisters. I was fortunate to get to know my great-grandmother. The family lived on a farm outside of Scranton, Kansas - a small farming community south of Topeka (where I was born and raised). We would take trips to visit them on occasion.

Going to Scranton for a visit in the 1960's was like stepping back in time to be sure. The fact that the house had no indoor plumbing until late in the 60's was a fascination to me. The old cookstove was unlike anything we had at home and I loved to watch my great grandmother and great aunt use it to create some of the most incredible homecooked meals.

One of my favorite things to eat was her Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. I've included the recipe here. Of course, you need to remember that the mayonnaise had to be handmade prior to making the cake. My mother still rants about how great that homemade mayonnaise was. I don't remember it, but I do remember the cake. It was so moist and could either be frosted, dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream. My hubby likes it with regular milk poured over the top. Sorry I don't have a picture to share.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 c. mayonnaise
1 cup pecans

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the water and beat 1 minute. Add the mayonnaise and beat. Add the vanilla and beat. Pour into a greased, floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool before frosting.

And yes, this cake is made without eggs.

Stepping back in time definitely has its benefits, especially when it involves delicious old-fashioned recipes. I hope you get a chance to make this cake. If you do, let me know how you liked it. And if you have some old recipes you'd like to share - send them my way. I love stepping back in time. God Bless You!

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