Some recipes become memory makers. They are the ones handed down from grandmother, mother, great-aunt or whomever. When those recipes are prepared, they spark memories and stories of the person who created them.
Last week, I made a chocolate pie with meringue, and my husband said, "Mammy's in the house." Translation: My grandmother, who we called Mammy, made the best pies. He thought my chocolate pie was pretty close to hers. A compliment for sure.
For Rosalie Rosenfeld of Bradenton it is her mother's orange sponge cake.
"In Iowa farm country during World War II, dessert recipes using modest amounts of sugar were prized because of sugar rationing," Rosenfeld said. "My mother, Ella Hofstra, and older sisters baked a cake every Saturday for the family to enjoy after Sunday church. This was a favorite.
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"When I left home, she copied the recipe for me. I still have it, in her handwriting," Rosenfeld said. "My husband, brought up in New York City, preferred pie to cake, but he loved this one."
Orange Sponge Cake from Ella Hofstra, 1895-1981:
ORANGE SPONGE CAKE
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sifted granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup strained orange juice
Line the bottom of an angel food tube cake pan with brown paper. (The inside of a clean paper bag works well. Cut it to lie flat, trace around the outside of the pan and cut out the circle. Fold the circle into eighths, mark and cut the tube opening.)
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add sugar to yolks. Beat until crystals are dissolved.
Stir in orange juice.
Fold in flour.
Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. (Add the salt after the eggs become frothy, then continue whipping.)
Pour into ungreased angel cake pan.
Since this is a sponge cake, I think we baked it at 300 degrees for about an hour.
"We removed it from the oven and turned it upside down until completely cooled, then loosened the cake by sliding a table knife around the outside and around the tube, put a cake plate on it and turned both over together. A multi-pronged cake slicer works well, and they're available on Amazon.
"Conserving sugar during World War II, we didn't make frosting, but my mother included the directions," Rosenfield said.
ORANGE BUTTER FROSTING
4 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
4 tablespoons orange juice
Dash of salt
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about)
Cream butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add salt and orange juice and grated rind. Add enough more sugar so the mixture will spread.
-- Recipe by Ella Hofstra, submitted by Rosalie Rosenfeld
Oh, the memories that cake makes. Readers, what foods trigger your memories? Send them my way to share these with your fellow readers. Holidays and birthdays always remind me of special foods that my grandmother made. What about you? Email or write me about yours.
"Some time ago, a reader requested recipes using kale," said Bernice Strickland of Bradenton. "I use it in a nutritious smoothie, and here is the recipe. This is a very flexible recipe. Other ingredients such as broccoli, cauliflower or frozen strawberries also can be used."
Place in a blender in this order:
1 cup almond milk (dairy milk can be used)
1 package sucralose (such as Equal; honey or sugar can be substituted)
1 heaping teaspoon powdered barley greens, if available
2 teaspoons flax oil
1/2 apple, if it is a large one (cut in chunks, but not peeled)
Kale, a large serving
1/2 frozen banana, sliced
Blend until liquefied.
-- Submitted by Bernice Strickland
"I saw the request for the strawberry jam, and I think it may be the one on the Sure-Jell box," Kay Scott said. "There are easy recipes for a freezer jam that is wonderful and also cooked ones."
Virginia Farrell asked for recipes for strawberry jam that is made with gelatin. Readers, if you have good strawberry jam recipes, send them to me.
SURE-JELL STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
2 cups crushed strawberries (buy 1 quart fully ripe strawberries)
4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 package fruit pectin
Rinse 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
For strawberries, discard stems. Crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 minutes or until most the sugar is dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
Fill containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator before using.
-- Recipe from SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
Still need recipes
Farrell also wants recipes for green tomatoes, as well as the strawberry jam made with gelatin.
Mable Craig of Gulfport, Miss., accidentally picked up a can of grated coconut in heavy syrup instead of Baker's flaked coconut.
"I have no idea what to use the coconut in syrup for," she said. "I hope some of your readers can give me a few ideas."
Readers, please search for recipes for these women.
Andrea Yeager, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and takes requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.