Good Sponge Cake

I think the “Good” refers to the recipe being a good one, rather than the name being “Good Sponge Cake.” This recipe is from the “very old book” I have. Another recipe in the book is dated 1932. Based on the rest of the book contents, I think the owner took a home economics class as a young woman with beautiful handwriting, then later in life clipped recipes from newspapers and magazines. It will be fun to explore more of the home ec notes in some future posts.

Good Sponge Cake

5 eggs beat good

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon BP

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 teaspoons water hot

There isn’t anything else with this recipe. It looks like a classic sponge, similar to a Victoria Sponge, although some ingredients are different. I’ll combine a few methods here and hopefully this will work!

Preheat oven to 350. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick. Add the vanilla and hot water carefully – do not deflate the eggs – and beat until combined. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then carefully fold that into the egg mixture just enough to combine. Immediately transfer to greased jelly roll pan (like a cookie sheet) or tube pan (like for angel cake), and place on center rack in the oven. Bake 30 minutes or until sponge springs back when you touch it, or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool by hanging. If you make two cakes, you can turn this into a classic Victoria sponge by placing a layer of raspberries & whipped cream in between them. Dust the top with powdered sugar.

When life gives you lemons…

Make lemon sponge! This clipping from a newspaper comes from a very old book I have. The pages are falling apart and falling out, but there is a wealth of recipes and notes in it, so I hope I can get them scanned to save them. The book is terribly damaged from years of use and neglect. There are many recipes that fall under the “Today’s Recipe” heading. Based on other clippings in the book, the owner lived in Wisconsin.

This recipe appears to be similar to a mousse once made.

Lemon Sponge

1/2 cup granulated tapioca

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 cups boiling water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 egg yolks

4 egg whites, beaten

Mix tapioca, salt, sugar and water. Cook in double boiler 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Add lemon juice and yolks. Cook 2 minutes. Fold in beaten egg whites. Cool and chill.

Fruit Salad (From Geneva)

This typed up recipe card was taped into a book. Hopefully there isn’t anything on the back side because it would have ripped either the book or the card to remove it. But, it seems like a complete recipe for an interesting pudding fruit salad. I don’t know if you would put this in a mould or just leave it in a bowl or what. What do you think, readers?

Fruit Salad (From Geneva)

1 reg Cool Whip

1 pkg (sm) Butter Pecan Instant Pudding

1 cup butermilk

Mix together the above 3

1 can mandarin oranges (drained)

1 can pineapple bits or chunks (drained)

Green or red grapes and 3 bananas (I assume you chop up the bananas)

Add above fruits. Half an hour before serving, ad 1/2 package chocolate covered graham crackers broken into small pieces

Chow Mein Hot Dish

Chow Mein as a hot dish is not something I would have expected, but this recipe from an old notebook delivers the goods. Chow mein is often confused with chop suey – both dishes have a vegetable mix and sometimes meat included. The difference is noodles vs rice, and the fact that chow mein is an actual dish in China, whereas chop suey was infamously created by a Chinese chef in America who had a bit of this and a bit of that left over to make into a stir fried dish. The original words “tsa sui” mean “miscellaneous broken pieces.” Interesting! There was a famous Chinese food company here in America called Chun King, which was founded by an Italian man, and sold canned chow mien among other things. The crispy fried noodles found at American Chinese restaurants and in grocery stores is what this recipe calls for.

Chow Mein Hot Dish

Brown 1 1/2 pound hamburger

1 cup celery & onion


1 can chicken rice soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 packages frozen mixed vegetables

2 T soy sauce

Bake 1 hour – add chow mien noodles

Tomato & Cheese Salad (Elsie Norton)

Today’s offering is what would be called a Jello salad or gelatin salad. These are not my favorite dishes, but in general I don’t love jello or jellied things. Other people will likely enjoy it, so I’m not judging. I posted one of Gram’s recipes for a similar salad early in the days of this site. A site reader back on my previous post explained that Tomato Aspic similar to the recipe above is very popular in the South of the US and it is served for all holidays and events. Traditionally, Aspic is a jellied dish that includes meat, vegetables, even eggs, and is served to be visually pleasing as well as taste good. These dishes go back hundreds of years, with the earliest recipe for a meat aspic recorded in the 1300s! As I understand it, the jelly added moisture to meats and fishes, making them more pleasing to consume. They are found in kitchen across the globe with regional variations. Jellied salads and aspics had a resurgence in 1950s America, and while I’ve ┬áhad my share of the sweetened types, I haven’t tried a savory one.┬áHave you had this or something similar? Tell us what it’s like in the comments.

PS Happy birthday to my mommy, GrammaA!

I’m going to list the ingredients and then the method because it becomes a smidge confusing when I try to take it apart.

Tomato & Cheese Salad (Elsie Norton)

2 tbsp Knox’s Gelatine soaked in 1/2 c water

1 green pepper

Piece of onion

1 can Campbell’s tomato soup

2 pkg Philadelphia cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups celery cut

Season, mould & chill

Grind together the green pepper and piece of onion. Combine the ground pepper, onion and tomato soup in a sauce pan and heat to boiling. Stir in the gelatin. Mash up the cream cheese, then gradually add it to the hot soup mixture. Then add the mayonnaise and celery. Season to your taste. Pour into desired mould and chill until set. Turn out on a plate to serve.

Crumb Coffee Cake (Judy Bingham)

I’m not sure why I never posted this recipe. I borrowed the cards from my friend Pauline when I started up this website. At the time, I had a nice little chat with her mom Judy when I returned them to their house. Judy has since passed, and this is a nice reminder of the many times we saw each other. Being the mom of one of my friends, I often called her Mom or Momma. I love it when my daughter’s friends who aren’t sure what to call me say “Melody’s Mom, can we do….” heh.

I tend to think of coffee cake as part of a more civilized and slower time. We ate coffee cake on Christmas mornings before opening presents (Dad had to have breakfast and coffee first, of course), and I picture people having drop in company or social visits with coffee and coffee cake offered as courtesy back in the days when women wore heels and pearls to do their housework. I jest, I jest, it was house dresses and sturdy shoes all the way in my family! My friend’s mom Judy was always gracious and kind to us girls. Please enjoy her coffee cake with a friend or relative, share a moment together in an “old fashioned” style, sit together and be present in the moment.

And because this is ME you are dealing with, there’s a history aspect to it LOL. I always assumed it was called “coffee cake” because it is intended to be eaten with coffee. Turns out there is a long tradition of business people breaking for coffee at a local coffee shop going back to the 17th century. Coffee arrived once explorers learned of the bitter brew from local native peoples. The additions of cream and sugar made the drink palatable to English and European consumers. Coffee houses became a place of gathering. We see this today in every Starbucks or independent coffee shop. They all serve pastries of some type. Plus there is no denying the magic flavor of a donut with coffee. Mmmmm. More about the German coffee and cake tradition at this blog: Meet The Germans

Crumb Coffee Cake

2 1/2 c flour

1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 c brown sugar

3/4 butter

1/2 c raisins

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 c sour milk

1 tsp baking soda

Combine dry ingredients on left (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar). Cut in butter. Reserve 1 cup aside. Add raisins and soda to rest. Combine remaining ingredients, add to rest until just mixed. Spread in greased 9″ square pan, top with reserved crumbs mixed with 1/4 brown sugar. Bake 1/2 hour. 350 oven.

More German

If you didn’t see on my recent post An Incomplete Gift, site reader Sarah Hasker translated all the vintage German writing and gave us some really interesting information about it as well. Since Sarah seemed interested, I have been inspired to scan the rest of this lovely but damaged little booklet. Over the next few posts I will add the pages and hopefully our dear reader will wander by to do some translation.


Today, one of the painted folk art pictures. This picture is actually the second page of the book, backing up to the Introduction page.

An angel oversees a mouse threading a Christmas ornament. So sweet, and the writer of the book was really quite gifted. I wonder if she used it in parts of her life. Let’s hope her family was able to enjoy her art at least. Next, a recipe for….something…Haselnussschnitters? You can see where she sketched in her drawings so she could write out the recipes, I’m sure fully intending to go back and paint over them before presenting the book as a Christmas gift. It would have been darling had it been finished.