About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Frugal Foodies Will Favor This Frosty Cake

This weekend I had a chance to try out a cake I’d wanted to try for a long time. A Frosty Snowberry Cake, from a 1950s-era Pillsbury Bake-Off book. The “snowberries” are actually cubes of jellied cranberry sauce that are folded into the batter. The ingredients were the most basic of staples: flour, sugar, egg whites, shortening, and baking powder. By a happy coincidence, I even had the ingredients that I don’t have every day: light corn syrup and cream of tartar for the boiled frosting.  Vintage kitchen implements that have gone unused in the time we’ve been here were finally pressed into service. A glass double boiler. Cake pans with metal slider releases.

Cakes seemed healthier in the 1950s than they are today. No pudding in the mix. No preservatives to give the cake the longevity of Twinkies. My son Wyatt said the cake was “chewy.” I think he meant “bready.” The cake didn’t quite look like the picture shown here, as cakes that come out of our $99 oven tend to look like the Metrodome after it collapsed. However, it scored major points for satisfaction. The cranberry sauce gave the cake the taste and texture of a jelly roll. I didn’t have food coloring to tint the frosting pink, so I added a pinch of raspberry Jell-O instead. It did the job just fine.

Here’s the recipe for Frosty Snow-berry Cake, which was the Senior Winner in the 1953 Pillsbury Bake-Off.  Mrs. Marguerite Marks of Camden, New Jersey did herself proud!

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