Wartime Boiled Raisin Cake

November 11, 2016

 November 11th. is a very special day in which we honour and pay tribute to all of the men and women that have selflessly served and sacrificed so much for our freedom. We remember the fallen soldiers for their bravery and also their families for the hardships they had to endure in the aftermath of such tragedy and loss.

 Today, I thought I would share a recipe that many boys on the front lines would receive from loved ones back home. This "Wartime" Boiled Raisin cake was a favourite during this time of rationing as it does not contain dairy or eggs and would keep quite well as it made the trip overseas to the delight of many soldiers anxiously awaiting letters and gifts from home.  Although sugar was high on the rations list, this cake does contain sugar but was most likely made with honey or molasses back then.

 To make this cake, you will need all purpose flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, baking soda, water, shortening and raisins.

 First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees, then in a medium saucepan, add 3,1/2 cups of water...

 ...2 cups of granulated sugar,

 ...4 cups of raisins ( I used "Sultana" raisins)...

 ...and a 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening. Set saucepan over medium/high heat...

 ...and let mixture come to a boil. At this point, turn heat down, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

 While the raisin mixture is simmering, prepare your dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, combine 3, 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp.'s of baking soda,1 tsp. of baking powder, a 1/2 tsp. of salt, 2 tsp.'s of cinnamon, 1 tsp. of nutmeg and a 1/2 tsp. of cloves...

 Stir with a fork to incorporate ingredients and set aside.

Once the raisin mixture is done simmering, remove from heat and let cool slightly...then, pour mixture into a large mixing bowl...

 ...and add flour mixture all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon...

 ...stir until all of the flour is mixed in...your batter will be somewhat lumpy.

 Pour batter into a greased 10 or 12 cup bundt pan (mine is non-stick, so it didn't require greasing)...

 ...and bake in your preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

 Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.

 When the cake is cool, slice into wedges and serve...this cake is excellent to take on hunting trips or hikes as it only gets better with age due to the lack of dairy and eggs in the ingredients. A moist, fruity cake that makes a quick lunch with a wedge of cheese or with a nice spot of tea or coffee...enjoy!

 

 

Wartime Boiled Raisin Cake

 

4 cups of raisins

3, 1/2 cups of water

2 cups of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of vegetable shortening

 

1. Combine the above ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Once mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 10 minutes...set aside to cool slightly.

 

3, 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

2 tsp.'s of baking soda

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of salt

2 tsp.'s of cinnamon

1 tsp. of nutmeg

1/2 tsp. of cloves

 

2. Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

 

3. Once the raisin mixture has cooled somewhat, pour it into a large bowl then add the flour mixture.

 

4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is is incorporated and pour into a prepared bundt pan.

 

5. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for  60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

 

* recipe from http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art5932.asp 

 

 

 

"The Green Fields of France"

 

Oh how do you do, young Willy McBride

Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside

And rest for a while in the warm summer sun

I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done

And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen

When you joined the great fallen of 1916

Well I hope you died quick

And I hope you died clean

Or Willy McBride, was it slow and obscene

 

Did they beat the drums slowly

Did they play the fife lowly

Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down

Did they play the last post and chorus

Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

 

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind

In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined

And though you died back in 1916

To that loyal heart you're forever nineteen

Or are you a stranger without even a name

Forever enshrined behind some old glass pane

In an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained

And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

 

Did they beat the drums slowly

Did they play the fife lowly

Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down

Did they play the last post and chorus

Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

 

The sun shining down on these green fields of France

The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance

The trenches have vanished long under the plow

No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now

But here in this graveyard that's still no man's land

The countless white crosses in mute witness stand

To man's blind indifference to his fellow man

And a whole generation were butchered and damned

 

Did they beat the drums slowly

Did they play the fife lowly

Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down

Did they play the last post and chorus

Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

 

And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride

Do all those who lie here know why they died

Did you really believe them when they told you the cause

Did you really believe that this war would end wars

Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame

The killing the dying it was all done in vain

Oh Willy McBride it all happened again

And again, and again, and again and again

 

Did they beat the drums slowly

Did they play the fife lowly

Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down

Did they play the last post and chorus

Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

 

Song written by Eric Bogle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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