Grandma Valentine raised 8 children, 4 girls and then 4 boys. I don't know when the picture above was taken but it shows Dad with all four of his sisters and his brother Tom. The inset is Uncle Bill who died a few years earlier. His other brother, Uncle Burr, died in World War II. From left to right they are Uncle Tom (Richard Thomas, Aunt Viola, Aunt Helen, Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Tress, Dad. I always thought it was interesting that Grandma's four sons had the same names as Eleanor of Aquitaine's sons --- William, Henry, Richard and John. All she was missing was Geoffrey...
Grandma Valentine’s Applesauce Fruit Cake
By itself this is a delicious, moist cake but it is also the base for the most wonderful fruitcakes. My mother never liked fruitcake until she tasted the fruitcakes that Grandma Valentine made from this recipe. It is best to make them in September and then soak a teatowel in rum and brandy, wrap the cake in it and place in a sealed tin. Check now and then to re-moisten the towel if needed. By Christmas you will have a treasure.
Combine: ½ cup margarine, 1 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup apple sauce, 1 ½ cup flour, 1/4 tstp salt, 1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon, ½ tsp ground cloves. Stir well and pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350̊ for an hour.
Fruitcake: Add ½ cup each of raisins, walnuts or pecans, sliced candied cherries, and candied fruit. Add ½ tsp grated orange peel.
Anne’s Cherry-Nut Pound Cake
Our sister Anne is an amazing cook. This is from her:
Blend together 3/4 cup margarine and 4 whole fresh eggs.
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 large package vanilla pudding mix
½ tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
Spoon half the batter into a tube pan. Spoon in the contents of a can of cherry pie filling. Spoon in the remaining in batter. Bake at 375̊ for 1 hour. Cool before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar.
My Rhubarb Crisp
Rhubarb is my favorite thing! I use it for all sorts of recipes but this is probably the best thing I make with it. When Lisa visits she still gives me gentle hints that it is about time for me to make it again. I bet Garrison Keillor would LOVE this.
Chop rhubarb into ½" pieces and toss lightly with flour to coat. Place in a casserole dish to within 1 1/2"of the top. Sprinkle with 2 cups of sugar mixed with ½ cup flour. Dot with a few pats of butter.
Crumble together 1 cup raw uncooked oatmeal, 1 stick of butter and 1'2 cup brown sugar, ½ tsp salt. Crumble over the top of the rhubarb and bake at 350̊. Apples may be used to fill the dish if there is not a lot of rhubarb.
Best Carrot Cake
This is the most delicious carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. The recipe was invented from a number of other recipes:
Preheat oven to 350̊ and grease two round cake pans or 1 flat sheet pan. Dust with flour. Combine:
4 eggs, 2 ½ cups flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp salt.
When batter is well mixed fold in: 2 cups grated fresh carrots, ½ cup golden raisins, ½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup well-drained crushed pineapple.
Fill pan 2/3 full as this raises quite a bit. Bake one hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Blend 6 oz. Softened cream cheese, 1 stick soft butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, ½ tsp vanilla. When creamy stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts. Use this to frost the cooled cake.
Patty’s Peanut Butter Custard Pie
I’ve known Patty all my life. Our mothers used to walk us in our carriages together. This is an unbelievable treat and shows up in Each Angel Burns when Gabe tastes it and decides if anything ever happens to Maggie, the woman he loves, he’ll track down the girl who made this pie and marry her.
Cream together 1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter a 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat on low speed with a mixer. Add 1 ½ cups sugar a 1 tsp salt. Gradually beat them into the peanut butter mix. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs. Reduce speed to low and add 1 ½ cups milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. It will be a little runny. Pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell and bake at 350̊ until set when pie is gently shaken - about 45-50 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
My Potato Spice Cake
I am very partial to spice cake. This is about the best I’ve ever tasted. It is very moist and spicy.
Cream together with mixer or in the food processor:
1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup cold mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup margarine, 1 tsp salt. Add 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; add ½ tsp each ground allspice and ginger.
Stir in 3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup nuts (optional)
Pour into a tube pan and bake at 350̊ for 50 minutes