Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
Following on from my last entry I will share another of Clarice’s recipes with you. Snow Cakes. I made these last week along with the Lemon Cheesecakes to serve during my talk last Saturday. It is so nice when something you plan and hope goes a certain way, actually fulfills your hopes. That was certainly the case on Saturday. I had planned to give a talk early on in the project in the hope of achieving several things.
to bring a new group of people to my work
to uncover more information
to hear others stories of their relative’s exploits during WW1
to have a jolly afternoon of tea, cakes and interesting conversations.
I can happily say that all of those were achieved and I think the most interesting things to come out of the afternoon were several pieces of very useful information.
Interesting piece of information no 1
Apparently in India it is a very common tradition for a mother to make each child their own pillowcase which becomes their pillowcase for life. It is then handed down through the generations, and each new generation also receives their own, newly made pillowcase. How lovely to know that pillowcases feature as an important item in another culture. I have tried to research this information online but cannot find any reference to it. If anyone knows anything then please let me know.
Interesting piece of information no 2
Clarice writes in her diary on 28th Sept 1915
After passing two hours in the train I arrived at Charing X. Having disposed of my luggage in the cloak room, I made my way to Edgar’s just to have a glimpse of him before leaving, he was very cheerful and think he felt rather proud of his big sister in uniform. Again, on wishing him goodbye I had a nasty feeling at the back of my throat, I had to make a hasty exit – jump into the first taxi I came to and get to Headquarters where I had arranged to meet my two friends Buckett and Peck.
After having done our business, we went to Army and Navy Stores where we had to spend a cheque given us at Headquarters £4.160 on our camp kit. The rest of that day was spent rushing about from place to place for the little extras that were required before starting on our journey. It was 8o/c when we reached the Charing X hotel where we were to spend the night. We went to the office for our bedroom keys and found to our delight we could get a large room, for the three of us together. This was just fine, so up we went, found a nice large room, quite comfy, etc.
I had assumed that the Charing Cross Hotel that she refers to is the one that still exists today. However, this may not be the case. Apparently a temporary hotel was built, out of wood, outside Charing Cross Station, during 1915, to put up the troops who were en-route to France. So this may have been the place where Clarice slept that night and is something I am going to research further.
Now to the Snow Cakes. Firstly I will give you Clarice’s recipe, which I am sorry to say did not work very well. Then
I will give you my version of the recipe, which I thought were delicious and which everyone else confirmed too.
Cream one-forth of a cupful of butter using a wooden cakespoon and add gradually, while beating
one cupful of sugar. Then add ½ cupful of milk and ½ cupful of flour, mixed and sifted with 2 teaspoonfuls of Baking Pdr. Beat thoroughly and add the whites of two eggs, beaten until stiff and ½ teaspoonful of Vanilla. Fill buttered and floured individual tins 2/3 full of the mixture and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Makes 18 littlecakes
1/2 cupful Butter
1/2 cupful Castor sugar
1/2 cupful Milk
3/4 cupful SR Flour sifted
2 tsp Baking pdr
2 Egg whites beaten until stiff
1 tsp Vanilla essence
Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the milk, flour and baking pdr. Fold in the egg whites and add the vanilla. 3/4 fill, greased and floured individual tins ie. Madelaine tins and bake at 180° for 20 minutes. When cooked turn out and leave to cool. Then brush with warmed jam and roll in coconut. Put in individual cake cases before serving.