Heartwings Love Notes          



Heartwings Love Notes 995 - Cooking from Scratch

Heartwings says, "You can put more love into the food with scratch cooking."

My mother didn't cook from mixes, and the only canned food we ate was what she put up in mason jars, herself. There were few if any mixes of any kind on the market. Jell-O, of course was available, and commercially canned vegetables were common, however they didn't taste as good as fresh and while frozen foods came into the markets in the early forties, we mostly ate with the seasons.

She never wanted anything to go to waste. Green beans inevitably appear all at once, and much of her crop went into jars to be sealed with rubber rings and bathed in boiling water. I can still see my mother standing by the stove with the large canning pot steaming away. In the middle of winter, we always had vegetables to eat, carefully preserved on the shelves in the cellar closet. Peaches, too lined those shelves; they brought summer to a bleak winter day.

We never had TV dinners. They were first produced only in 1953, the year I graduated from high school. However, we did have some frozen foods. They were first available commercially in 1939, in Springfield, MA. They were more expensive, and my mother didn't like to spend extra money. Winter time meant we ate a lot of carrots and winter squash, available fresh. Today's families have a very different experience at the table. What a luxury of choices and eating experiences they enjoy.

This simple Vinegar Cake has been around for generations. Suitable for vegans it has no eggs or butter. Preheat oven to 350, grease an 8X8 square baking pan.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 Tbs cocoa powder plus more for dusting top, 1 Tbs vinegar, 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract, 1 cup warm water, 6 Tbs Vegetable oil.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mingle wet ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all of liquid ingredients. Mix well. For best results, use a hand mixer, or if not, a sieve and stir the ingredients through it. If batter isn't relatively liquid, add water a tablespoon at a time until you get a thin batter. This cake is very moist. Bake in greased 8X8 pan in 350 preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick in the center comes out clean and edges have pulled away slightly from the pan--this could take up to 35 minutes. Or bake in cupcake cups, a little less. Sieve cocoa powder over baked cake or frost. Serves 16 or however you cut it, or makes 12 cupcakes.

May your recipes nourish you and yours.

Got any easy recipes to share? Food stories to tell? I so appreciate your comments and thoughts. Please write to me at tashahal@aol.com, and for more love notes, check out www.heartwingsandfriends.com. Thanks!

I love to hear from readers and would be honored if you would comment and let me know any suggestions or thoughts. If a friend sent you this, you can sign up at my web site, www.heartwingslovenotes.com, where more love notes can be found in the archives.

Blessings and Best Regards,
Tasha Halpert

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