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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Vintage Treasures

Hello everyone! It is a beautiful sunny day out there but quite cool.

October was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths. ~ Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

It has been cold here on beautiful Prince Edward Island. A gardener-landscaper we know said it has been the coldest Autumn in ten years. 
In any case, we are trying to enjoy the show that nature is putting on. 

A drive in the country on an old clay road.

A walking trail close to our home.

Now that the cooler weather is here, I'm in the kitchen more. The other day I had a craving for war cake or boiled fruit cake as some call it. I looked through 'search this blog' on my sidebar and I don't think I've ever shared this recipe before so I will today.

I have my Granny's recipe and my mother's. There is not much difference between the two recipes except my mother's recipe has more spices in it so that is the one I use.

What Keats aptly called 
'the season of mellow fruitfulness'
is the season for simmering pots on the stove,
pies in the oven,
canning jars in the cupboard,
and trusted family recipes
on the kitchen counter. ~ Celebrating Home

This is my Granny's recipe book which she started when she was probably about thirteen. I am the proud owner of it now. The book is over a hundred years old. The pages are worn and fragile, and soiled from all the baking my grandmother did in her day. It is precious to me just as she was! All of her recipes were written with a fountain pen.

I love things that bear the touch of time; chips and all - they're more beautiful than perfection. - Victoria magazine

This is Granny's War Cake recipe.

The recipe I use is one I copied from my mother's recipes. I should have added 1/4 tsp ginger when I wrote it down but I always remember. Call it baker's intuition.

I'm sure most of you know that War cake, Boiled Fruit cake, or Boiled Raisin cake is a depression cake which was baked avoiding ingredients that were scarce or being rationed for the soldiers in the war. It was egg less, butter less, and milk less which also earned this cake the name Poor Man's Cake. No matter what we call it, it is a wonderful dense cake filled with spices and raisins; sending a delicious aroma throughout the house while it is baking and cooling.

I baked the cake on Friday evening and I let it cool over night. Then I wrapped it in wax paper and tin foil to sit for a couple of days before slicing it for tea. 
Boiled Fruit Cake or War Cake
2 cups white sugar
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
2 TBSP shortening
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
Mix together above ingredients and boil for five minutes. Cool completely.
When raisin mixture is cool add:
3 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pour batter into a greased long loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1-1/2 hours.
I used a loaf pan 16 inches long x 5 inches wide x 4 inches deep.

It makes enough for two loaves if you cut it in half after baking. Half you could freeze or give away. I think next time I will bake it in a ten inch tube pan for a change.

I brought out this beautiful and rare CL Oxford China England teacup and saucer. It is vintage, circa 1930s, with rust coloured swags and cobalt blue and gold. I looked it up and it sells for $73.78 on Etsy which means I got mine at a bargain price of $12.99 at the Seventy Mile Yard Sale several years ago. The pattern is Imari and very striking.
Now, it's time to enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of this delicious cake. Yum!

May your days be steeped with joy
And warmed with love. 

Have a wonderful new week, dear friends, and God bless you! 

I am joining the following parties as well~

Share Your Cup
Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi


  1. You've gone from the hottest summer to the coldest autumn! I love the history behind your grandma's recipe book. Do you have any plans to preserve it electronically?

    Your Imari teacup is so elegant. Gotta love it when you score a pretty teacup for a fraction of the online price.

  2. Your stunning teacup made me swoon!How beautiful!Great Fall pictures too,really breathtaking...Hugs!

  3. Oh my goodness Sandi! I love everything about this post but especially the cookbook from your granny. I have several recipes from my granny in her hand writing that I cherish and one from my late motherinlove. Just melts my old heart. OOH...that recipe sounds so good and I love that beautiful tea cup. Happy day to you dear lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. Sandy I am absolutely trying this recipe. Thanks so for sharing. I so enjoy baking this time of year with all the spices.

    Such a treasure to have your grandmother's recipes and the writing. The book looks very fragile but a treasure for sure.

    Enjoy my friend


  5. I remember War Time Cake. My Mom and Grandmother, used to make it. My cousin makes it and give me one each Christmas. Your cup and saucer is so beautiful. We had our first snow here in the Gaspe today. I hope it doesn't stay. It's been very cold, windy and lots of rain this Fall. Hopefully, it's warm up before the long cold Winter.

  6. So much delight in this post, Sandi! Beautiful autumn trees, sharing the beauty of your family heirlooms, that gorgeous tea cup!

    Happy Autumn to you!

  7. Sandi, I could comment on every beautiful aspect of this post! But I'll just say: Your grandmother's handwritten recipe book! What a wonderful thing to have! I am so envious (in the nicest sense of the word).

  8. OH Sandi, how blessed you are to have the handwrite cookbook of your dear granny. The boiled fruitcake sounds like something that I would love. What a bargain you got on that beautiful teacup! I brought home my grnamother's old cookbook that my mom kept all these years. It's not handwritten, but it's something that I will treasure.

  9. I love old handwritten recipes! I have recipes from both grandmothers and my sons used to join me in the kitchen and they have written a few. Such wonderful days when were baking in the kitchen! Love your grandmother's recipe book! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  10. I am rewatching "Road to Avonlea" right now! I would love to see PEI in the fall! This cake looks very fun and I love historic recipes.


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi