Recipe Corner (2/11/10)

The two Bill recipes

Feb. 11, 2010

By Ginger Isham

I have a special friend whom I have known for a long time. His name is Bill and a little while ago he gave me his aunt’s cookbook, entitled, “The Rumford Complete Cookbook” by Lily Haxworth Wallace, dated 1932. She graduated from a cooking school in London, England. I believe the book relates to the Rumford Baking Powder you can still purchase today. It has many recipes cut from newspapers and pasted on blank pages.

One of these recipes is for a new winter dessert using canned peaches.


Baked Peaches

Pour the entire contents of a can of peach halves (cut side up) into a shallow baking dish. Put a little piece of butter in the center of each peach half and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees until the fruit begins to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and cool slightly and serve on top of a toasted slice of sponge cake or hot buttered toast. Garnish with whipped cream lightly sprinkled with nutmeg.

My other special friend whom I have known a short time is also named Bill. He lives part-time in Williston in an historic home. Recently he shared some of his life story with me. He had lived in England at one time and also went to school in Massachusetts as a boy in the 1940s. His teacher there was persuaded to teach the boys in his class how to cook. His teacher was someone many of us remember living here in North Williston, Louise Hannah Whitcher.

Louise is now being cared for in a home in the area. I came to know Louise when I came to live in Williston in the early 1960s. What a surprise it was to find Bill and I had a mutual friend! He loaned me his notebook of handwritten recipes from that cooking class. In the notebook was the following sponge cake recipe that surprisingly I connected with the one in the Rumford Cookbook.

It is easy and delicious and would make a great dessert for Valentine’s Day. Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


Sponge Cake

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until all the sugar has been added and the grains of sugar have disappeared. Add lemon juice. Beat egg whites stiff, fold into the yolk mixture. Sift dry ingredients three times and carefully fold into the mixture. Bake in a greased pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

(My notes: Eggs should be at room temperature; use only fresh squeezed lemon juice; no need to sift flour and salt; grease and flour a 9-inch loaf pan; bake about 25 minutes, remove from oven and loosen edges of pan with a knife and turn out onto rack to cool)


Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.