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

    Wow! This truly is a “Pound cake”! It sounds so good- I can’t wait to make!

    I am right there with ya on what kids today do not have to “endure”. I remember sitting on my grandma’s lap while she put my hair in pin curls, while we were watching the broadcast of the 1st man walking on the moon, all while we recorded it on these huge reel to reel tape recorders! And when the microwave an non-stick pans first came out! Oh, I could go on and on!

    Janets last blog post..Lemon Souffle

  2. says

    i watched that youtube video, and then immediately felt bad cause i realized that I COMPLAINED ABOUT THOSE THINGS!

    goodness. that makes me think twice.

    and i had no clue that the military wives’ cookbook contained letters and snippets of the past; that sounds beautiful. thank you for sharing.

  3. says

    OH Time & Temperature I remember that!! and TV with no remote was no fun!

    The pound cake looks brilliant!! I am definately buying this cookbook.

    picky cooks last blog post..home

  4. says

    That clip is great! Thanks for sharing it! I remember calling for the time and temperature too, which only goes to show how fast things have changed. I remember I’d be there with my watch ready to go and the voice would say “at the tone, eastern standard time will be ten forty five and thirty seconds” beeeeeeep, and I’d wait until she got to where my second hand was so that I’d be EXACTLY on time 😉 Now, you can get the atomic clock online.

    Hopies last blog post..Mi Cayito

  5. says

    After seeing this on facebook I just had to come and read the recipe Kirsten.
    What a gorgeous photo, simply mouthwatering!

    I also love reminiscing about how people lived in the past, I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era…lol

  6. says

    your poundcake looks fabulous! i tried my first poundcake last week and, well, let’s just say it ended up in the trash LOL

    Funny how far we’ve come isn’t it, and how much it has changed not only the way we live our lives, but the way we behave…. i wonder what it will be like when my kids turn my age????

    Danis last blog post..#56) Double Chocolate Chippers

  7. says

    Thank you for the link to that video! Considering I went a whole half hour without power this morning, it gives me a whole new perspective on technology. I listened to the batter-powered radio while reading my cookbooks, it was quite wonderful in a way.

    I am a military wife and totally want to get that cookbook although the amount of sugar and fat that is used it quite frightening! But I’m sure it was fantastic.

    Suzie the Foodies last blog post..Free Online Baking Tutorial: How to make homemade muffins

  8. says

    it wasn’t too long ago that we were still making mix tapes that way and calling time & temperature to hear about school delays. sometimes i miss those days…but not usually. :)
    terrific cake, of course. i don’t believe i’ve ever seen evaporated milk in a pound cake, but i like it.

    graces last blog post..no chocolate in sight…

  9. says

    I am OBSESSED with pound cakes and I have a newfound love for lemon… this is the perfect opportunity to make the best of both worlds! THanks!

  10. says

    Hilarious video! Loved your memories, too. I recently found a stash of my mix tapes, but I can’t listen to them because I don’t have a cassette player anymore. The cookbook sounds very interesting. I love a cookbook tied to history or someone’s true-life stories. Great post!

    Tammys last blog post..Strawberry Pie

  11. says

    What a great post. I too grew up with about 3 channels. Public TV, CBS, and a Canadian channel – that was in French! My parents never had to try to pry me away from the tv….there was nothing to watch. lol.

    The lemon cake is gorgeous!

    HoneyBs last blog post..Winners AND Brownies!


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