Said the Almond to the Raisin,
Don't you think we ought to marry?
I am sure 'twould be as well,
though you have lost your juices,
and I have lost my shell.
from Dining Room and Kitchen, 1894
I am not a lucky person. In fact, most who know me personally, would agree that Murphy's law was written specifically with me in mind. Whenever something goes well for me, it's usually because I have worked hard for it. But, last week, the stars must have been lined up for me, because I won fun stuff in not one, but two blog giveaways. Subby, over at his blog, B. C. E., offered a prize to whoever guessed the gizmo attached to his car's gear shift. I supposed it was something to do with a submarine, from his Navy days, and happened to be right. He knows how much I adore vintage books, so he was sweet enough to send me Dining Room and Kitchen, Practical Housekeeping for the American Housewife, by Grace Townsend, Monarch Book Company, 1894. The fun thing about this big fat vintage book, was all great steel point illustrations and a bonus section of handwritten personal recipes from the previous owner of the book, Sarah E. Burleigh.
One of her recipes was something called "Plain Pudding" which I thought would be fun to try. It was, indeed, very plain, but dense and moist, and tasted something like gingerbread, without the ginger or sugar. I served it with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and as I ate it, imagined the Burleigh family eating this very thing a hundred years ago, maybe with fresh peaches and cream on a sultry August evening. I often wonder if anyone will think of me, a hundred years from now, about my thoughts, words, recipes, my face.
Anyway, here's the odd little recipe. It was fun trying it, although I must admit, it is not something I will make again, but I am pondering you today, dear Sarah Burleigh, God rest your soul. Your memory lingers on.
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
a little milk
Beat until light
and bake in a buttered mold 1/2 hour.