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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nana's Raisin Cake

I love old recipes. When I'm out antiquing, I often buy vintage cookbooks. So many of the recipes sound so good and down home that I'm sure they never were supposed to be forgotten. Then again, some are better left in the dust. The last vintage cookbook I found, The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (circa 1943), had recipes for brains a la king and toast water. I think I can pass on those. But, I digress.

As I was saying, I love old recipes, and the ones that have been passed down within the family are the best. This is a cake my grandmother, Nana, made. I'm not sure of its origin. Perhaps a friend gave it to her... perhaps she clipped it from the paper. It is an unusual recipe in that there are no eggs and very little shortening, so I think it is probably a remnant from war time rationing. Nonetheless, it's a good recipe.

This "cake", while sweet, is almost more like a quick bread in its texture. I like to let it cool and turn it out on a board and slice it into nice squares with a serrated knife. But that's just me. It tastes just the same leaving it in the pan and slicing out one piece at a time!

Nana's Raisin Cake

Boil together for five minutes and then cool:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
3 TBS shortening
2 cups raisins

Stir together:
3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 cake pan. Boil raisin mixture and let cool. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add liquid to dry and stir to mix. Be careful not to over mix. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

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