When I was mixing my chocolate cake today I was reminded how they mixed cakes, long ago.

My recipe is how a long-ago simple cake would be made. Ingredients on hand, simple to be made on short notice; like friends dropping in or feed the farm crew field lunch.

The tools used were homemade measuring “tools”. The cup could be a large coffee cup (without it’s handle!) or a smaller size cup. It was used for all the required measuring ensuring a well done cake. The mixing was done by a big spoon – and lots of quick beating to ensure a good cake; or an “egg beater” that was turned by hand.

The beater’s blades were shaped like today’s mixers. Lots of elbow work went into beating the batter. Then came the oven – if a wood stove was used the fire “had to be made” with just the right wood to make a 3500 oven heat. The cook would reach her hand in and check the temperature. Years later it could be a kerosene stove and if she was fortunate, an electric.

Being “old” 89, I treasure my past. It also was a hurry and be done life but as a youngster and teen

I thought life was more relaxed.



Variety Cake

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil


2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

Now add 2 cups of the variety!

Then comes the variety 2 cups of either a vegetable or fruit grated.

Use zucchini, apples, carrots, beets, squash, pumpkin or other. For a chocolate cake I use 1 3/4 flour and 1/4 cup cocoa or 2 cups of fruit and add spices – your choice.

Bake 350, 20-25 minutes

I like a simple life – the recipe can stick in your mind – no cook book needed!


Easy Apple Pie

Grease pan. Fill with sliced apples.

Cover with 1 stick oleo, melted.

Add 1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

Mix in oleo, pour over apples.

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix and spread on top. Bake at 3500 for 1 hour. Forms crust as it bakes.

Irene B. Eben, Avon, SD


My Mom used to make a lot of zucchini dishes and one of my favorites was zucchini fritters.



Zucchini Fritters

1 ½ Pounds or 6 cups grated zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup flour

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 large egg, beaten

2 cloves minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Toss zucchini and salt together in a large colander and let drain for 10 minutes. Squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. You want it as dry as possible.

Mix flour, cheese, egg, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the zucchini.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Scoop batter by the tablespoon into the hot skillet and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.