And then I made cake!
DEVILS FOOD CAKE
2 C. WHITE OR BROWN SUGAR, 1/2 C. SHORTENING, 2 EGGS, A PINCH OF SALT, 1/2 C. SWEET MILK, 3 HEAPING TBSP. COCOA, 1 TSP VANILLA, 1/2 TSP. BAKING PWD., 2 TSP. SODA, 1 C. BOILING WATER. CREAM SUGAR, SALT AND SHORTENING. ADD EGGS AND MIX WELL. THEN ADD MILK. SIFT FLOUR, BAKING PWD., COCOA AND SODA TOGETHER. ADD VANILLA AND THEN THE BOILING WATER LAST. BAKE IN MOD. OVEN (350 DEG.)
ICING FOR DEVILS FOOD
1 BAR GERMAN'S SWEET CHOCOLATE, 1/2 C. SUGAR, 1/2 C. CREAM, 1 HEAPING TABLESPOON BUTTER, 1 TSP. VANILLA. BOIL THE CHOCOLATE, SUGAR AND CREAM FOR 4 OR 5 MINUTES. ADD TE BUTTER AND VANILLA AND BEAT WELL.
This recipe is from the old church cookbook, as we call it. It's from the mid-1950s and everything is set in uppercase, with signatures of the women who wrote the recipes - all in the same hand. There are advertisements in the back, too: "Compliments Of TIME THEATER Douglas Ingalls Phone 88-R11 Pepin Wisconsin." My grandma added notes, certain recipes have a box drawn around them (like the cake above), and some recipes from newspapers are pasted on the blank pages. My husband complains about the way I write recipes, but I write them just like these church ladies did, with estimates and shorthand and vagueness.
You'll notice (or will you?) another charming quirk: a total lack of proofreading. There's no amount listed for the flour in the recipe. 2 1/2 cups appears to be the correct amount. And you can substitute some whole milk (or maybe even non-whole milk) for the cream and it'll still work. I substituted three tablespoons of cocoa plus another tablespoon each of butter and sugar for the bar of chocolate (which I am taking to mean a one-ounce bar of chocolate), too. The icing will thicken as it cools, but no one'll kick you out of the house if you feed them this cake with drippy icing. It's still delicious.