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Poor Man's Cake

----- Original Message -----
From: alvin
To:  phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 6:24 PM
Subject: Poormans Cake

> I had this recipe from my grandmother.  The recipe calls for boiling the
> raisons to make them plump and says to cook in moderate oven.  You boil
> the raisons and then let them cool before adding to the dry mixture.  My
> grandmother was born in the US in 1901.  The recipe was written in a cook
> book by hand.  I lost the recipe about 10 years ago.  Great Cake not like
> the ones where you just add the raisons and then cook.

Hello Alvin,

I found several varieties of this recipe. They
do call for boiling the raisins first. See below.


Poor  Man's  Cake

 Ingredients :
 1 box raisins, seeded
 2 c. sugar
 2 c. water
 2 tbsp. butter
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 4 c. flour
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
 1 c. nuts

 Preparation :
   Boil raisins, sugar, water, butter and cinnamon then cool.  Then
 add and stir in other dry ingredients.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1
 Poor  Man's  Cake

 Ingredients :
 2 c. water
 2/3 c. shortening (Crisco)
 1/2 box raisins
 1 c. sugar

 Preparation :
   Combine all of the above ingredients in pan.  Boil 15 minutes and
 cool.  Add 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice.
 Mix well and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Cool well.  Cut into
 squares and serve.
 Poor  Man's  Cake

 Ingredients :
 2 c. sugar
 2 1/2 c. water
 15 oz. box raisins
 2 tbsp. shortening
 1 tsp. salt
 2 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. cloves
 1 tsp. nutmeg
 3 c. flour
 1 tsp. baking soda

 Preparation :
   Mix first 8 ingredients and boil 1 or 2 minutes.  Let cool, then
 add flour and baking soda.  Stir until moistened.  Pour into floured
 bundt pan and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Frost as
 Poor  Man's  Cake

 Ingredients :
 1 pkg. seedless raisins
 2 c. water
 3/4 c. Spry or Crisco
 1 tsp. nutmeg
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. cloves
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2 c. sugar

 Preparation :
    Bring to a boil; let stand until lukewarm.  Stir in 4 cups of
 flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.  Mix in the warm mix.  Last,
 add 1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in a little hot water. Bake in
 8 inch tube or two loaf pans for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
 Poor  Man's  Fruit  Cake

 Ingredients :
 1 c. water
 2 c. raisins
 1 c. shortening
 2 c. sugar
 2 eggs
 1 tsp. vanilla
 1 c. chopped nuts
 4 c. flour
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1 tsp. baking soda
 2 tsp. salt
 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
 1/4 tsp. allspice
 Whip Cream Topping

 Preparation :
   Boil together water and raisins for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs.  Beat well.  Add vanilla,
 raisins and nuts.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Blend all
 together.  Pour into a greased and floured tube pan.  Bake at 350
 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Top with whipped topping.
 VARIATIONS:  Add candied fruit to make cake go farther.  Substitute
 various fruit juices for water.  To make cookies or cupcakes, bake
 at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
 Poor  Man's  Cake

 Ingredients :
 1 box raisins
 2 c. sugar
 3 c. water
 2 3/4 c. flour
 1 tsp. baking soda
 2 tbsp. Crisco
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. salt
 1 tsp. nutmeg

 Preparation :
   Boil raisins, sugar and water for 5 minutes, full boil.  Remove
 from stove, add soda and shortening.  Let cool down well.  When
 cool, add remaining ingredients.  Batter will be quite thick.  Pour
 into regular size tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1
 hour.  Cake tester should come out clean.

More Chinese Speak English...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peggy" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 10:38 AM
Subject: English Language Question

> Greetings! My son came across a random pop-up fact on some site the other
> day, stating that there were more English-speaking people in China than
> there are in America. I am skeptical. Could this possibly be true? Eagerly
> awaiting your reply. Peggy

Hi Peggy,

This "fact" is on trivia sites all over the Internet. As usual, none of them tell the source of this fact, and I could not find direct statistical evidence either way.

Let's look at some relevant facts:

1) The population of the U.S. is 278,058,881
2) The population of China is 1, 273,111,290, or a little over 4 1/2 times that of the U.S. With over 4 1/2 times as many people in China as in the U.S., only 25% or 1/4 of them would have to speak English for the statement to be true.
3) None of these sites define what they mean by "speak English." There are several possibilities:
a) English is their primary language.(fluent)
b) English is their second language.(fluent)
c) They speak English as a foreign language, but fluently.(fluent)
d) They speak just enough English for business dealings, or they are studying English in school.(not fluent)
4) English is used all over the world as a "commercial" language, for doing international business, all over the world.

From what I can tell, if the statement "there are more English-speaking people in China than there are in America" means "people who speak English fluently", then I don't think the statement is true.
If it means "people who speak at least enough English to do business in English," or "people who are at least LEARNING to speak English", then I would say it probably IS true.

Finally, here's a note that I found on a message board from an English teacher in China:

"I am an English teacher in China. After living here for about six years, I think it is safe to say that more people are STUDYING English in China than in the United States but to say that more people speak English is stretching the definition of 'speak'."


Peach/Raspberry Jam

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: karen 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 8:12 AM
  Subject: Need a recipe!

  A number of years ago I made a peach/raspberry jam and we really 
  liked it. I have been unable to find the recipe and wonder if you 
  can help me with it. I think that it might have been out of an old 
  "Farm Journal" cookbook,but not sure.Thanks for any help that you 
  can give me.This site is fantastic--I just happened to find it thru 
  another site.


Hi Karen,

Well, I found several peach - raspberry jam recipes. See what you think about the ones below.


  Raspberry  Peach  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   1 1/2 pts. ripe red raspberries
   1 1/4 lb. peaches
   1/3 c. lemon juice
   7 1/4 c. sugar
   1 bottle Certo

   Preparation : 
     Crush berries one layer at a time.  Measure 2 cups into bowl. 
   Peel and pit peaches.  Chop very fine and grind.  Measure 1 1/2 cup
   into bowl with raspberries.  Mix sugar into bowl with fruit let
   stand 10 minutes.  Combine lemon juice and pectin into bowl.  Add
   fruit, stir 3 minutes.  Ladle quickly into containers.  Cover, let
   stand 24 hours then refrigerate for 3 weeks.  
   Peach  And  Raspberry  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   2 lbs. fully ripe peaches
   1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen red raspberries, thawed
   1/4 c. lemon juice (2 lemons)
   6 c. sugar
   1/2 bottle Certo Fruit Pectin

   Preparation : 
     First prepare fruit:  Peel, pit and crush peaches.  Measure thawed
   raspberries; add crushed peaches to make 4 cups.  Combine fruit and
   lemon juice in very large saucepan.  Stir sugar into fruit.  Place
   over high heat, bring to full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute,
   stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, at once stir in pectin. 
   Skim off foam with metal spoon.  Then stir and skim 5 minutes to
   cool slightly and prevent floating fruit.  Ladle quickly into
   glasses.  Cover at once with 1/8" hot paraffin.  
   Raspberry-Peach  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   5 c. sugar
   4 c. peaches, peeled and sliced
   1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen raspberries
   1 (3 oz.) pkg. raspberry Jello

   Preparation : 
      Mash peaches in a large cooker.  Add sugar and raspberries and
   bring mixture to a steady boil.  Stir constantly to avoid scorching.
    Boil for 25 minutes until mixture is medium thick.  Remove from
   heat and add Jello.  Stir well until Jello dissolves.  Pour into
   pint jars which have been sterilized.  Cover with wax or seal in
   regular way.
   Strawberry  Or  Raspberry  Peach  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   6 c. crushed peaches
   2 c. strawberries or raspberries
   1 pkg. powdered pectin
   1 pkg. punch powder (raspberry or
      strawberry flavor)

   Preparation : 
      Stir until dissolved.  Bring to boil.  Add 8 cups sugar, bring to
   boil and boil for 7 minutes, stirring constantly.  Seal in
   sterilized jars. 
   Peach  Raspberry  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   9 c. mashed peaches
   3 boxes frozen raspberries
   1/4 c. lemon juice
   2 pkgs. pectin

   Preparation : 
     Boil all above.  Add 16 cups sugar.  Boil 4 minutes.  (Skim off
   mother.)  Bottle.  Makes 9 pints. 

Apricot Desserts

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Beverlie 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 9:45 AM
  Subject: Apricot desserts....

  I recently bought some frozen apricots from a Church in our area...
  would love to find some recipes to use I just substitute 
  them for peach desserts or what.....most of the recipes I have found 
  are for dried apricots...can you help me? by the way your site is 
  fantastic....could get lost for days searching and reading the archives...
  thank you so much for such an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon...

Hi Beverlie,

I found quite a variety of recipes using fresh apricots. Use your frozen ones in these. How about an apricot cobber? Sounds tasty to me...


  Apricot  Nut  Loaf

   Ingredients : 
   1 c. white sugar
   1/4 c. margarine
   1 egg
   3/4 c. milk
   1 tsp. shredded orange peel
   3/4 c. orange juice
   3 c. sifted flour
   3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. salt
   1 c. finely chopped fresh apricots
   1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

   Preparation : 
     Cream sugar and margarine; beat in egg; blend in milk, orange peel
   and orange juice.  Add sifted dry ingredients.  Stir in apricots and
   nuts.  Pour in greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees
   for 65 to 70 minutes.  Cool and remove from pan.  Finish cooling on
   rack.  Wrap in foil.  Store in refrigerator.  Nite Owls 
   Apricot  Breakfast  Bars

   Ingredients : 
   1/2 c. apple juice
   1 banana
   1 egg white
   1/2 tsp. lemon extract
   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 c. oat bran
   1/2 c. pitted dates
   4 fresh apricots, pitted
   1 tsp. vanilla extract

   Preparation : 
      Combine first 6 ingredients in blender.  Pour into a non-stick 10
   x 1 1/2 inch baking dish (use non-stick spray).  Bake at 350 degrees
   for 30 minutes.  While mixture is baking, blend dates, apricots, and
   vanilla in blender.  You may have to stop blender and press mix away
   from blades as mixture is sticky.  Top bars with this apricot
   mixture after 30 minutes and bake 10 minutes more at 400 degrees. 
   Serves 4. 
   Cherry  Apricot  Upside  Down  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   6 tbsp. unsalted butter
   1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
   Approximately 15-20 Bing cherries, halved and pitted
   1/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
   2 lg. fresh apricots, pitted and cut lengthwise into 3/8 inch slices
   3 eggs, separated
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/3 c. milk
   1/2 tsp. vanilla
   1 c. flour
   1 tsp. baking powder

   Preparation : 
      NOTE:  May substitute strawberries for cherries or kiwi or star
   fruit or similar fruit for apricots.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
   Melt the butter in a 9-inch round cake pan over low heat.  Add the
   brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture
   caramelizes and foams and bubbles.  Immediately remove from heat. 
   Arrange a ring of cherry halves, cut side up, in the caramel around
   the outer edge of the cake pan.  Make a ring of the chopped nuts
   inside the cherries.  Overlap the apricot slices in a ring inside
   the nuts.  Fill the center with remaining cherries.  Beat the egg
   whites until stiff; set aside.  In a mixer bowl, beat the egg yolks
   with the granulated sugar until light and lemon colored. Add the
   milk and vanilla and beat well.  Stir in the flour and baking
   powder, then beat to form a smooth batter.  Gently fold in the
   reserved egg whites.  Pour the batter evenly over the fruit in the
   cake pan.  Bake 45-55 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the
   pan and invert the cake onto a platter while still hot.  Let cool
   slightly before serving. 
   Apricot  Mousse

   Ingredients : 
   1 lb. fresh apricots
   1 envelope unflavored gelatin
   2 tbsp. cold water
   1/4 c. boiling water
   1/2 c. sugar
   1 c. heavy cream
   Mint leaves (garnish)

   Preparation : 
      Blanch apricots and remove peels; cut in half and remove pit. 
   Puree in blender; pour into a bowl.  Mix gelatin with cold water;
   let stand 2 minutes.  Then add boiling water.  Stir until dissolved
   gelatin and add sugar.  Blend in puree until smooth.  Beat cream
   until stiff; fold in puree.  Pour into non-plastic bowl, parfait
   glasses, or mold.  Chill several hours.
   Apricot  Cobbler

   Ingredients : 
   2 3/4 c. mashed fresh apricots, pitted but not peeled (20 to 25 sm. apricots)
   1 c. apple juice
   1 c. pitted dates
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/3 c. oatmeal
   1/3 c. dates
   1/2 tsp. cinnamon

   Preparation : 
      Spread apricots evenly in the bottom of a 6 x 10 inch baking
   dish. Pour apple juice in a blender and add dates.  Puree, then add
   1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Pour over apricots.  Make topping by grinding
   oatmeal, dates, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in blender. 
   Fresh  Apricot  Crisp

   Ingredients : 
   8 c. sliced fresh apricots (about 3 lb.)
   1/3 c. granulated sugar
   1/4 c. apricot brandy or orange juice
   1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
   3 tbsp. plus 1/4 c. flour, divided
   1 c. chopped walnuts, divided
   1 c. rolled oats
   1/4 c. brown sugar
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/3 c. butter, softened

   Preparation : 
     Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Gently toss apricots in sugar,
   brandy and lemon juice.  Sprinkle apricots with 3 tablespoons flour;
   gently toss.   Spread apricot mixture into a buttered 8 inch square
   pan.  Set aside.  In food processor or blender, whirl 1/2 cup
   walnuts until fine; transfer to bowl.  Add oats, brown sugar,
   cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup flour.  Use a pastry blender to cut
   butter into rolled oat mixture; mixture should be crumbly.  Add
   remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.  Sprinkle oat/walnut topping over
   apricots.  Bake about 20 minutes, until apricots are tender and
   topping is golden brown.  Serve warm.  
   Fresh  Apricot  Pie

   Ingredients : 
   4 c. fresh apricots, seeded
   1 - 1 1/2 c. sugar
   1/4 c. tapioca
   1 tbsp. butter
   Squirt of lemon juice
   Drop or 2 of almond flavoring

   Preparation : 
     Heat apricots before adding balance of ingredients.  Cook until it
   begins to thicken.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Top with other
   shell.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top crust.  Place on a cookie
   sheet to bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is
   Apricot  Cobbler

   Ingredients : 
   15 washed fresh apricots
   1 c. flour
   1 c. sugar
   1/4 c. shortening
   1 egg
   1/2 tsp. salt
   2 tsp. baking powder

   Preparation : 
      Grease a 9 inch round pan.  Wash and slice apricots.  Arrange in
   the bottom of pan.  Mix remaining ingredients to crumbly stage. 
   Sprinkle over apricots.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
   Delicious served with whipped cream or ice cream.  Serves 6. 
   Apricot  Pie

   Ingredients : 
   1/2 c. butter
   1/2 tsp. salt
   2 c. flour
   Apricots, fresh or canned
   Cinnamon, sugar & butter
   2 c. sugar
   2 eggs
   1/2 tsp. baking powder

   Preparation : 
      Cream butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar.  Add eggs.  Mix together
   flour, salt and baking powder.  Add to butter mixture.  Pat mixture
   into 9 x 13 inch pan sprayed with Pam.  Put apricot halves on top
   (no juice if using canned).  Dot each half with butter.  Mix
   together 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour.  Sprinkle on top of
   apricots.  Dust whole top with cinnamon.  Bake 30-40 minutes at 350
   degrees until done on bottom.

Walnut Strips

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Kathy 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 9:37 PM
  Subject: Walnut strips

  Approximately 25 years ago I had a recipe from a newspaper for a bar 
  cookie called "Walnut Strips".  It was so wonderful and I have never 
  been able to find that recipe anywhere.  I would love to find something 
  similar, if I am not lucky enough to find someone who has the recipe.  
  If you can help, I would be forever grateful!!


Hello Kathy,

I located two recipes. One is called "walnut strips" and one is "walnut coffee strips". The instructions on the first one seem kind of vague to me, but perhaps you know what they mean. See below.


  Walnut  Strips

   Ingredients : 
   2 eggs, slightly beaten
   1 c. brown sugar
   1 c. flour
   1 tsp. baking powder
   1/4 tsp. salt
   3/4-1 c. chopped walnuts
   1 tsp. vanilla

   Preparation : 
      Mix ingredients.  Bake about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 
   Cut while hot and roll in powdered sugar.
   Walnut  Coffee  Strips

   Ingredients : 
   2 1/2 c. Bisquick
   1/2 c. milk
   1 egg, beaten
   3 tbsp. soft butter
   1/4 c. granulated sugar
   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 c. chopped Diamond walnuts
   3/4 c. diced mixed candied fruits
   Powdered sugar frosting

   Preparation : 
      Stir Bisquick, milk and egg to a soft dough.  Knead lightly on
   floured board. Roll to 9 x 12 inch rectangle.  Mix butter, sugar and
   cinnamon; spread over dough.  Sprinkle with walnuts and candied
   fruits.  Roll up as for jelly roll. Cut in 8 slices and overlap on
   greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees about 20 to 25 minutes. 
   Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting while warm. Mix: 2 tsp. hot
   water 1/4 tsp. vanilla 


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