A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother’s Lemon Pound Cake)

I was watching this You Tube video the other day of comedian Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show. Let me start by telling you, it takes a lot for something on TV to make me laugh out loud. This clip did just that. If you haven’t seen it, take a few minutes to watch it and be prepared to laugh!

Louis CK talks in this clip about how far we have come with technology and how spoiled we are because of it. We have no patience as a society. We want things to work instantly and having to wait for something is unacceptable. It got me thinking about some of the things I used to have to do as a kid that my own children will never experience.

  • To create what we then called a “mix tape”, we would have to sit by the radio with our cassette player, listen to the Weekly Top 40 with Casey Kasem and hit record for every song we liked. Each song on our cassette had that awful “ker chunk” sound at the beginning and end of each song. Oh, and the horror if the DJ would start talking before the song was over. That would ruin the whole tape! Now, I just have to do a couple of clicks on my iTunes, put in a CD, and a custom “mix tape” is ready for me in minutes.
  • To find out what the weather was going to be like in the morning, I could not just go to a computer and type in The Weather Channel for an up to the minute forecast. We had to call Time & Temperature which provided a pre-recorded message of the time and most recent temperature. Oh, and if someone else was calling Time & Temperature at the same time, we had to keep enduring the busy signal until we called and the line was freed up.
  • There was no Ebay or Craigslist. Our little town had a Saturday morning “Trading Post” radio show where people would call in and tell what they had for sale. They’d leave their phone number and if you were interested in an item they had for sale,  you would call them.
  • There was no such thing as 900 television channels. In fact, I grew up with 3 channels and a television with no remote control. If I was upstairs in my room, my parents would holler at me to come downstairs and change the channels for them. Channel surfing was done with me sitting right next to the television and my parents telling me when to turn the channel.

Things have changed a lot over the course of time. I love reading about how people lived in the past, ate in the past, entertained themselves in the past. Although I do love history books, one of my favorite ways to experience the past is through reading old letters, journal entries and blog memories of people who lived before my time. This is why when I was contacted to review the Military Wives’ Cookbook by Carolyn Quick Tillery, I jumped at the chance. This cookbook provides such a neat peek into the history of Military Wives’ during all of the major wars.  Combined with snippets from letters and journals and packed full of recipes passed down from generation to generation, this cookbook is a treasure of traditions and memories.

If you love to read about history through the eyes of some amazing women combined with a collection of great recipes, The Military Wives’ Cookbook is one you must pick up. Just think, these days you don’t have to put it on your shopping list for your next wagon ride into town. Just a quick visit to a website, a click of a button and the book is yours in just a matter of days!

Grandmother’s Lemon Pound Cake (from The Military Wives’ Cookbook by Carolyn Quick Tillery)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tbs lemon extract
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan and set aside. In  a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and eggs. In a separate bowl sift together the baking powder and flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 1 cup at  a time. Add the milk and extract; beat well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour. When the cake is cool, glaze with lemon glaze (see recipe below) and garnish with lemon slices.

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs grated lemon peel

In a saucepan combine the 1st 3 ingredients and cook, stirring constantly,  over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Add the butter and grated lemon. Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle over the cake while warm.

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  1. says

    I’m dating myself, but I can remember when we wanted to make a phone call, we’d have to lift the receiver up carefully and quietly and quickly listen to see if someone else was on our party line. If they were, we quickly hung up the receiver. There was no listening to their conversation… that was a big no-no! Also remember when my younger sister got old enough to learn how to change the channels so I wouldn’t have to get up. I’d just say “Susan, change the channel to 3”, and she would! LOL I love pound cake and this looks lovely. Going to check out the cookbook!

    Karens last blog post..How does your garden grow?

  2. says

    Hey, I still made mixtapes in high school… which was in the 90s! The SECOND HALF thereof, even! Mostly I was recording off cds, though – taping off the radio was chancy, what with djs talking over things and cutting off before the song was done, and you could never be sure when the song would come on, and it threw your calculations all off because the song was bound to be a different length than it was supposed to be.

    I remember being really annoyed with cds that didn’t give a time for each track. Tapes involved CALCULATION.

    camilles last blog post..Teriyaki Salmon with Sesame Noodles

  3. says

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks so much for the kind words! Hearing that sort of thing from food bloggers I admire is amazing. I never expected anyone besides me to see my blog, and now, unexpectedly, bloggers that I’ve read for months are reading me! :) So thank you for brightening my day.

    That said, I saw this cake on tastespotting and immediately loved the photography. It’s so light and crystal clear – my favorite touch is the lemon rounds, so pretty! I’ve made a similar lemon pound cake from Ina Garten and it was delicious.

    Elissas last blog post..Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria

  4. says

    My phone curfew was 10:00 and the phone could not ring after 8:30. I used to call Time & Temp and my friends would call on call waiting so the phone wouldn’t ring. I was smarter than the average bear!

    I was reading this post in the Starbucks drive-thru and I didn’t realize how much I wanted some Lemon Pound Cake…and I needed it, like, now! Low and behold, by some Devine intervention, the gal at Starbucks had samples of guess what…Lemon Pound Cake. Talk about immediate gratification!

  5. says

    mmm! what a great old-fashioned recipe! but I would really “die” without all the technology tht I have come to depend on! I can’t imagine life in the olden days without the emails, google, ebay, etc! Guess I’ve been spoiled rotten!

    Sophias last blog post..A small teaser-preview…

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing the Louis CK video. Made me really think about my own behaviors!

    The pound cake looks marvelous! I was just craving a something citrus-y. I may try making it this weekend.

    Dawns last blog post..Tasty Thursday…

  7. says

    I remember making mix tapes! Hated when the announcer would talk through the intro to the song.

    I remember when my friends told me that you could record onto a tape from the radio and I was SO IMPRESSED you would have thought she’d just shown me how to fly to the moon. (I was, um, 13!)

    I’m also glad to have this pound cake recipe. It looks like it would be right up my mom’s alley!

    mariss last blog post..Mom’s Banana Muffins (Low-Fat)

  8. says

    I laughed out loud when I saw this post. I just finished planning a recipe for a lemon bundt cake I want to make tomorrow. Mine won’t be a pound cake and I’m planning to add blueberries, but I still say great minds think alike! I have another thing to add to your list, now teenagers text each other all the time, but when I was a teenager it was handwritten notes/letters. My friends and I had notebooks we’d pass back and forth that we wrote letters in, and I had stacks of notebook paper letters folded in all sorts of ways stuffed in my backpack.

    Dianas last blog post..Apartment Grilling Series: Going Greek with Gyros

  9. says

    What a riot! You made me laugh out loud! But one thing we had on local tv in Florida was “the clocks” – every morning before school when we wanted to check the weather, we would turn on this channel to find a camera slowly, very slowly panning back and then forth along a wall of clocks : time, temperature, barometer and whatever the other few were. We had to wait until it got back to the temperature “clock”. My kids think we lived in the Dark Ages!

    That cookbook sounds heavenly – I have a couple of old ones like that and it truly is fascinating to read! And this cake looks so fabulous that I’d love to try it!

    Jamies last blog post..FLORIDA CITRUS

  10. Lisa :) says

    Kristen–this was like reading a page from my own history! We’d try to tape off the Top 40 with Casey Kasem, too, right after coming home from Sunday School, I think. And, we STILL sometimes call the Time & Temp! AND, we still have a Trading Post! :)
    LOVED this post, my almost-twin sister of small-town midwest! :)


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