The dry sink, a Victorian leftover but still useful The refrigerator was a huge step up from the Victorian icebox.
I managed to find something approximating the period without having to have it made, and I found a reasonably accurate apron as well. Rebecca Ressl dressed in period style as well, though her outfit was far more stylish than mine. I've dressed in a lot of period clothing, but I think the 1920's has to be the height of dumpy fashion. Unless a woman is tall and thin, everything looks like a potato sack. Still, needs must.
I've never wrangled seven people in a kitchen before, and I began to feel a little bit like one of those cooking show chefs: "Chop this fine. That's great." "Beat the eggs a little more. Excellent." "We need more wood here." "Where's the spinach?" "Are the potatoes cooked yet?" "What's the oven temperature?" "Here, try this. You can do it." This last one was for one of the kids who had never lit a match before. He was baffled. It took him a few tries, but he managed it in the end, and now he has a skill he didn't have before. Manual egg beaters also seemed to be something of a mystery.
Sour Cream Cinnamon Swirl Cake
(recipe from The Richards House, Dubuque Iowa)
Note: The original recipe calls for 1 box Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. This wasn't available in 1920, and it's got an alarming number of non-food ingredients. I have substituted a recipe for a homemake yellow cake mix instead (see below) which is simple, tasty, and keeps well. The directions indicate that the coffee cake should be baked in a bundt pan, which we have, but I'm not sure that's absolutely necessary, though the baking time may vary.
1 batch of homemade yellow cake mix (see recipe below)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional - slivered almonds are divine)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla (needed for homemade cake mix above)
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Generously grease a bundt pan and set it aside.
Mix together the homemade cake mix ingredients in a large bowl, adding nuts if desired.
Beat eggs until thick and fluffy. Add white sugar, vanilla, and oil and beat again. Add sour cream and stir to mix well.
Pour half the batter into a bundt pan, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Mix in with a knife blade to form a swirl. Pour remaining batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees (a moderate oven) for about an hour.
Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (makes the equivalent of 1 box of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
Combine these ingredients and store in an airtight container. It will keep well in the pantry for months. When you use it, you will need to add 1 tsp of vanilla to the recipe as the recipe will assume that vanilla was included in the store-bought mix.