Friday, July 1, 2011

Devils Food Cakes in Her Webster's Spelling Recipe Book - Family Recipe Friday

This is the second page from a recipe book that belonged to my grandmother, Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen. She wrote the recipes in pencil and they are now very faded. The "auto contrast" button on Picasa was helpful in bringing the images to readability for posting purposes.

Few of my grandmother's recipes have directions telling the kind or size of pans, the temperature for baking, or even how long to bake. Were there standard pans then? And could she set the temperature on the ovens she used? Probably not the ovens in the early 1900s.

The first recipe calls for mashed potatoes. No doubt my grandmother was frugal, a trait of many housewives of a hundred years ago.
1. Devils Food Cake.
1/4 cup Shortening
1 cup Sugar.
2 1/2 squares chocolate
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg.
3/8 cup milk.
1 1/4 cups flour.
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 " Vanilla
1/2 cup chopped Nuts

2. Devils Food Cake.
2 cups brown Sugar.
1/2 cup Shortening
Cream together.
Add 3 eggs.
1/2 cup Sour Milk
1 teaspoon Soda
1 " Baking Powder
1 " Vanilla
1/2 cup hot Water.
1/2 cup cocoa dissolved in Hot Water.

One of these weeks I will be ambitious and try one or two of Gramma's recipes.


  1. Nancy, I just want to try it because of the potatoes! Very interesting and a creative use for leftovers. :)

  2. Next time I have leftover mashed potatoes, I may try it.

  3. I used to cook on a wood burning stove and baked in it. Cannot remember how I knew when it was the right temp! Must have had something.


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