The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Historic Cooking: Halloween Fruit Cake from 1920

Halloween Fruit Cakes.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
I realized, as I was going through my past food history posts, that while I have made various recipes from the 1920s (like cheese straws and Club sandwiches), I had never written them up or taken photos.  While I will have to re-create the cheese straws and Club sandwiches at another time, I recently discovered a cookbook on Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book published in 1920.  It has a lot of interesting recipes, but none, as far as I can discover, that contain alcohol any stronger than cider; this is a recipe book for the frugal, teatotal household, not one headed by a "flapper".  It does, however, contain recipes named after various holidays, and since Halloween just happened, I couldn't resist making the recipe called Halloween Fruit Cake.
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)