Story by Lindsey Chester.
Cary, NC- I recently flew back to my mother’s house in Eugene, Oregon to prepare her home for sale. Several intriguing pieces of memorabilia turned up, and one of them was my Grandmother’s recipe book.
My Grandma’s Recipe Book
Mind you, I never met my maternal grandmother. She passed away in 1943 when my Mom was a senior in high school (about my eldest daughter’s age). This book had survived all these years, through the many moves of not only my grandparents during the Depression, but moves by my Mom and Dad during my childhood.
Two the things I cherish are the magazine pages with dates like March 1932 from McCall’s magazine and the handwritten recipes in a penmanship previously unknown to me.
I discovered that most of the recipes contained desserts. Not the workaday meals I expected. Oddly, my grandmother was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes after giving birth to my uncle in 1928 and couldn’t actually eat any of these desserts.
Grandma Lydia “Jane” Lindsey enjoyed entertaining and hosted many parties as she headed up one organization or another. She famously hosted recitals of dramatic readings in her Springfield, Oregon living room.
Here is a classic recipe that I imagine she whipped up when her lady friends came calling.
Recipe: Grandma’s 1920’s Strawberry Whips
This recipe was cut out from a magazine, possibly in promotion of Crisco lard, a new product at the time.
It states: “Cakes made with Crisco have a fine even texture.”
- 1C sugar
- 1/2 C Crisco
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 C Milk
- 3 eggs beaten light
- 2 C pastry flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t vanilla
Cream the Crisco, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs. Mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add alternately with the milk.
Last add the vanilla. Bake in 16 greased muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
When cool, cut out the center of each cake and fill with this mixture:
1 quart of strawberries mashed with 1/2 C powdered sugar.
Drain all of the juice. Then mix in 1 C sweetened whipped cream.
Chill before filling the cakes and serve with a strawberry on top of each.
This recipe still sounds tasty, and with such an early strawberry season, I plan to give this a try.