Day 182 Cottage Cake

Today’s recipe from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book was contributed by Mrs. Mills but it was prepared in a new location. A few of the cook book’s contributors such as the Breithaupts spent hot summer days at their cottages and I have followed suit. I am at a cottage for the week so I thought it appropriate to make Cottage Cake.

It is always a challenge to cook in an unfamiliar kitchen. I was able to find a glass bowl and had to use a glass pie pan as a substitute cake pan. I creamed the butter and sugar and added the four medium eggs. It took quite some stirring to get them well mixed. Next I added the tablespoon of milk. I added the zest of half a lemon and a few drops of lemon extract to the mix. I added the flour and baking soda and stirred well. I used salted butter so I didn’t add any extra salt. I spooned the cake batter into the greased pan and baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. At least I hope that was the temperature. Using an unfamiliar oven is a bit like working with a wood fired cook stove. I had to test by holding my hand in the oven to see if it was the proper temperature. I left the cake to bake and am now writing outside surrounded by trees and listening to birdsong and the buzz of insects. Once the cake is finished and tested I will briefly return to the 21st century to seek out internet somewhere so that this can be posted.

Mrs. Mills could be Bernice the wife of Charles H Mills or it could be Mary the wife of Frederick J Mills. Both couples appear in the 1911 census but not in the 1901 Berlin census. Neither couple has children or servants. The contributor could be either Bernice or Mary. Further research will be necessary.

The Cottage Cake was very nice. It is a simple cake to make and it isn’t too sweet.One tester said it is a good base to add some fruit or top with a lemon drizzle. All tasters considered it a pound cake. I think it will keep well — if it isn’t all eaten right away.

3/4 cups butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon sweet milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, lemon and a little salt.

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