While we wait for the apron to wing it's way to Roma in NC, we’ll get started on the cake we always serve at our house for celebrations. This recipe is from The MacDonald Mixing Bowl: 500 Down-East Recipes. This book is often simply referred to as “The Liberal Cookbook” as it is dedicated to Agnes MacDonald, wife of the former Nova Scotia premier Angus L. There is no date on the cookbook, but it goes back to at least the 1960’s as I recall making this recipe with my Gram in her kitchen. It’s a winner:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup hot water with 1/2 cup milk
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla (Gram always used lemon flavouring in hers)
Cream shortening and butter. Add sugar gradually until light and fluffy. Add milk and water. Beat well. Add 1 egg, then 1 cup flour which has been sifted with the baking powder and salt. Then add 1 egg, 1 cup flour, 1 egg, 1 cup flour beating between each addition. Add vanilla. Beat well 5 minutes. Bake in tube pan at 3250 for approximately 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Cake may also be baked in a 9 x 13 pan, or into cupcakes.
There...we'll pop the cake in the oven and maybe one of you will watch it while I go sew. ..