Honey Cake

Honey Cake

A Recipe from The Golden Jubilee Recipe Book (1959)

About the Recipe

Tonight (September 6, 2021) at sundown, is the start of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year. It’s one of my favorite holidays. It means time with family, getting a little bit of wine even when it wasn’t supposed to be allowed, and of course – delicious food. One of the traditional dishes to celebrate is honey cake, so of course I went looking for a good one!

This one is delicious! Light and fluffy, and just the right amount of sticky sweet for a sweet new year. It’s already bubbling and rising by the time the batter goes into the pan, which is exactly what one looks for in a great honey cake. It’s got a very traditional flavor to it, without all the density that sometimes comes along.

Two quick changes – throw this one in a 9×13 pan. Otherwise you’ll end up with batter everywhere! And I went a little bit lighter on the added sugar, maybe a 1/4 cup less. I find the balance is a bit better.

L’shana tovah! And happy 5782!

About the book

This book is the gift that keeps on giving. As it turns out, this little B’nai B’rith book has filtered down all over the New York metro area. A friend of mine found the noodle kugel recipe that I shared previously and noted that it was the same one she used in childhood. The dishes in it seem to be all of the regional favorites of Jewish New York, and I’m not even a little bit upset about it.

On a more personal note, one of the ladies who submitted a “Similar recipe” above is Rose Dubinsky. My paternal grandmother was a Dubinsky. Her family came over through Ellis Island and lived in New York for awhile before relocating to the Baltimore/DC area. I can’t help but wonder if an old family recipe has just come back around to find me this time around…

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 lb. honey
1 t baking soda
1 cup strong coffee
4 cups flour
2 t baking powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup almonds

Directions:

Mix eggs and sugar together; add honey.

Dissolve soda with a little hot water and add.

Sift flour and baking powder; add alternately with coffee; add the juices; stir in almonds.

Line 8″ x 10″ (I used a 9×13 and barely had enough room) baking dish with foil; pour in batter and bake in 350*F oven one hour.

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

A Recipe from VIP Cook Book Vol. II (1977)

About the Recipe

When I opened this book to find a recipe, I did it with one goal in mind – Find the recipe from Rosalynn Carter! I had two thoughts when this was the one that I found:

  1. Well, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I guess it’s the perfect time of year for what’s sure to be a very pink cake
  2. Oh wow is that a lot of processed, pre-packaged sugar!

The good news is, that the result is magnificent. I’m sure the former First Lady wowed her parlor guests with this festive cake, chock full of nuts and personality.

I used fresh strawberries (had to get a little freshness in there somewhere), which worked marvelously, and I think gave the cake a little bit more of a pop. As much as it feels like you want to cut the sugar down in this dish, don’t cut it from the fresh strawberries! Sugar draws the juices out of the berries and stimulates the natural pectin that holds the cake together.

About the Book

As fundraising cookbooks go, this one must be one of the cooler ones. It came again from the big box from my cousins, and I was so excited to see it. The book itself is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The recipes come from all of the muckety-mucks in Washington and Virginia, from the media to the Senators’ wives to Mrs. Jimmy Carter! I’ll definitely dive into this one again, so for this first post I’ll leave you with some photos of the book as a teaser:

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix
3 oz. pkg. strawberry gelatin
3/4 c. cooking oil
1 c. chopped nuts
4 eggs
2 T flour
10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries, or 1 pt. fresh strawberries with 1/2 c. sugar

Directions:

Mix all ingredients and beat well; pour into a greased angel food cake pan and bake.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Old Fashioned Cake

Old Fashioned Cake

A Recipe from Kamp Kookery (198?)

About the Recipe

I’m always hesitant when it comes to cooking recipes from the ’80s. It was not a great time in culinary history – low-fat, low-cal, low-sugar, no sugar – the list goes on. The good news is, this recipe is none of these things. I can imagine that this cake recipe was first made in grandma’s kitchen in the 50’s/60’s when all things “Hawaiian” (aka banana and pineapple) were very in fashion, and nothing was low-fat.

This is a total winner of a recipe. It’s delightfully crunchy on the outside, with a moist, fluffy inside. The pineapple melts away and just leaves its sweetness behind to linger with the banana. All told, this tastes like an especially rich banana bread. It’s perfect for luncheons and dinner parties to go with a cup of decaf.

About the Book

Unfortunately, there’s not a ton to be found about this community cookbook, but here’s what I know: It was published sometime in the ’80s by the Ginter Park (Virginia) Junior Women’s League to benefit Camp Easter Seal – East. The camp was in the process of being built at the time and was set up to be available to all mentally and physically handicapped children and adults in the state of Virginia. It still is in existence today, and if you’d like to find out more check out the website here.

One more note on this one – there are nearly 400 pages of recipes in this book, and the Junior Women’s League had to turn people away! All that said to mean – these are truly the best of the best that this community had to offer. That’s the crux of why I love community cookbooks to begin with, and I’m so glad to find that this one doesn’t disappoint.

About the Glassware

What better use for the Federal Glass Atomic Flower snack plates, than a little bit of after dinner cake? It’s truly what these ’50’s era plates were designed for, and I swear it makes little snacks taste just a little bit better. Sadly, they’re without a teacup companion for the time being, but they serve as the perfect tiny platter all the same.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

3 c flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1/2 c. nuts (optional)
1 t. soda
2 c. sugar
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple (don’t drain)
1 1/2 c cooking oil
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 eggs
2 c. diced bananas

Directions:

Oven temp 350*F. Grease an 8 or 8″ tube pan; set aside, sift together dry ingredients. Add undrained pineapple, cooking oil, vanilla, eggs and bananas to dry mixture, mixing until blended. Do not beat. Bake for 1 hr. 20 min. Cake will crack slightly on top. Cool in pan on rack.

 

Pork Chop and Potato Hot Pot

Pork Chop and Potato Hot Pot

A Recipe from Elephant Stew (1980)

About the Recipe

Oh my, where to start with this one… Usually when there’s a marked down corner in a cookbook it means one of two things:

  1. I have tried a recipe on this page and it is very good. I need to save this page for later.
  2. I have not tried this recipe yet, but it seems like something I want to make.

I don’t know which one this was, but whew boy! This recipe needs some help. It’s a good method of cooking pork chops, but it’s super super super bland. A few recommended swaps from me:

  • Marinate the pork chops ahead of browning them. Your favorite barbecue sauce would work well, or even just a good pork rub with some olive oil.
  • Season the potatoes and onions. You don’t need much, some salt and pepper will do.
  • Ditch the canned soup for some sliced sharp cheddar cheese. If you’re attached to the creamy, processed feel that the soup brings, go for some American cheese slices or Velveeta.

About the Book

Usually when a recipe is such an uninspired dud as this one is, I ditch the book. It goes on my shelf or I give it to a friend who may get better use. But this book is just too adorable to give up on. My version is published in 1980, but I believe there are other years available. It’s a fundraiser book (which does mean that there are bound to be a few winners in here) for the Association for the Study of Childhood Cancer, and many of the recipes come from the Junior Women’s Club of Virginia.

The book is filled with illustrations from children and cute little tips at the bottom of the recipe pages. Check out the hot dog tip above to get a feel for those little gems. I’ll post some more when I cook out of this again. In the meantime, enjoy a few more pages from this delightful book.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 pork chops
1t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 med. onion, sliced
4 med. potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*. Trim extra fat from chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper and brown well on both sides; drain on paper towels. Place chops in shallow 2-qt. casserole. Arrange onion and potato slices on top. Spoon soup over all. Bake, covered, for 1 hour or until meat and potato are tender. Serves 4.

 

Molly Goldberg’s Noodle Cheese Casserole

Molly Goldberg’s Noodle Cheese Casserole

A Recipe from The Golden Jubilee Recipe Book (1959)

About the Recipe

Growing up, my mother always brought the kugel to family gatherings. And it was always the same (delicious, let’s be real) kugel – noodles, eggs, cinnamon, sugar, pineapple. As I got older, I discovered that there were other kugels in the world, and that a Jewish family’s kugel is just like an Italian family’s red sauce – personal, treasured, and shared over and over again.

This kugel is light and fluffy, unlike its heavier cousins. Separating and whipping up the eggs results in a light soufflé around the noodles. You’re left with this lovely, savory kugel with the snaps of sweetness from the raisins. A definite winner in the grand scheme of kugels. Molly Goldberg should be proud!

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

This book came from my favorite cookbook shop in the East Village in Manhattan. When my husband and I bought a house out on Long Island and started to say “goodbye for now” to our East Village apartment, this was one of the places we stopped by. I asked the proprietor specifically for a vintage, Jewish book and pulled this one out of a stack of them.

The book celebrates the 50th anniversary of the B’nai B’rith. It’s a compilation of recipes from earlier fundraising books and is just delightful. It’s sectioned out into traditional Jewish holiday menus, treats, and even has a special section for Passover. I feel so lucky to have given it another Jewish home and can’t wait to dive into it again.

About the glassware

This is the second time I’ve co-opted Becky’s Spice of Life dish for a kugel. It belonged to her grandmother and has been lovingly passed down. She’s got the whole set and I can’t resist using it whenever I can. This dish is a little bit larger than the average square pan (it’s 9 3/4 x 9 3/4) which usually results in a little more crispy top to go around, and who can get mad about that?

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 T butter, creamed
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup raisins
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 lb. of broad noodles, cooked and drained
4 eggs, separated

Directions:

Blend butter, sugar and salt together well. Add the cottage cheese, sour cream, raisins, lemon rind and juice. Blend. Add the noodles. Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon-colored. Fold into cheese and noodle mixture. Beat egg whites stiff and fold into all. Put into buttered casserole. Put casserole into a pan of hot water, and bake in a moderate oven 350F about an hour. Should serve 6 generously.

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Manicotti

Manicotti

A Recipe from The Dragon’s Fare, Drexel Women’s Club Cookbook (1972)

About the Recipe

Such a simple and delicious base recipe. Becky and I couldn’t find manicotti at the store (because… pandemic.), but we did find some shells so we just used those instead. We spruced up the filling with a little bit of additional spices (this garlic, rosemary, sea salt combo is delish!), and picked a good marinara for the sauce. And of course added a little bit of extra mozzarella for good measure.

All in all, this is a great recipe to have on hand and build from.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

Becky’s Pop-Pop, Jerry Gaines (my great cousin something something something…) used to own a printing company just outside of Philadelphia. A lot of what he used to print were community cookbooks. Every time he found one that he really liked, he just printed an extra – like this one!

Like any great community cookbook this one is packed with easy to follow home recipes. Whatever these ladies were most proud of landed in this giant binder ring of cards, and we were so thrilled to be able to use it.

About the platter

This was an unmarked glass dish, but another that was passed down through a generation or two. It’s one of those great dishes that was passed from person to person and ultimately mother to daughter and no one can quite remember where in the family it came from.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 pkg chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 egg
3 T grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Directions:

Combine ricotta, spinach, egg, and cheese. Stuff manicotti shells and arrange in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Using your favorite spaghetti sauce, pour over manicotti, move to be sure shells do not stick to each other or bottom of baking dish. Cover and cook at 350* for 45 minutes.

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