Last week, I had planned to write a “Little Old Lady” story and poke fun at myself in the way I like to do, but I got sidetracked by a speeding motorist. Today, I’m returning to where I left off before some jerkazoid passed me on my road, going 20 miles over the speed limit.
Some of my blog readers know I drink raw milk. Applying high heat to milk (pasteurization) not only kills germs but also kills the healthy components of milk which strengthen the immune system. Things like enzymes and probiotics. The milk sold in grocery stores, pasteurized and homogenized, is a mere shadow of the rich and delicious liquid available from local renegade cows in my area. I call the former drink “white water.” It’s not milk.
Real raw milk, healthy and full of life, also ages gracefully. If a container of pasteurized milk exceeds its shelf life, it “goes bad” and smells rancid. It’s good for nothing more than circling the drain. Raw milk, on the other hand, will “sour” and there are lots of uses for sour milk.
I checked my raw milk the other day and noticed it had soured. I whipped out my circa 1950 Encyclopedic Cookbook and under the section called “Your Leftovers” I found many recipes using “sour milk and cream.” The variety ranged from “Cottage Cheese” to “Molasses Cookies” to “Strawberry Jam Cupcakes.” The recipe that caught my eye, though, was “Old Lady Cake.” I couldn’t help but laugh, thinking of the recipe’s blog potential, regardless of the cake’s taste. I was interested in the provenance of the “Old Lady Cake” and put the term in a search engine. Though limited in its popularity, the references I found mentioned it as an heirloom Dutch recipe, also known as “Oude Dame Koek.” The Oude Dames make it at Christmas.
Curiosity satisfied, I assembled the following ingredients:
¼ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons each of nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves and cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour milk
Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat thoroughly. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, spices, and salt together 3 times. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to creamed ingredients to creamed mixture. Bake in a greased tube or Bundt pan in a 350 degree oven for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
In spite of the cake’s unflattering name, it had a good flavor. As predicted by some of the internet information I collected, it was a flat cake, not rising very high in the pan. But a spice cake is a good “foundation” cake and I started thinking of way I could elaborate on the old dame.
I had some heavy cream (also unpasteurized) in my refrigerator; I whipped it up with some confectioner’s sugar and two tablespoons of Moxie Jelly. It gave the cake some punch and texture.
As I was enjoying a slice of Old Lady Cake with a cup of coffee, I thought about other enhancements. What about making a Moxie reduction and drizzling it over the cake before adding a spoonful of whipped cream? Or maybe a layered trifle combining the cake, some vanilla pudding, a Moxie reduction, and whipped cream? What about adding fruit compote? The possibilities seemed endless and it occurred to me that this was exactly how a cook might create a dish for a recipe contest such as The Moxie Recipe Contest.
Little Old Lady.
Little Old Lady Who?
Little Old Lady who cooked a cake with sour milk and entered it in the 2014 Moxie Recipe Contest.
Like the cake, my knock knock joke fell a little flat. I never said I was a comedy writer, did I?