Wednesday, April 4, 2012

November 24, 1945 The Nice Time, Sitting on Kids, The Frozen Clothes, Mother in the Mirror and Chocolate Custard Filled Cake

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This has been a full week.  We had an awfully nice time at Sully's last weekend.  They have a cute little three room apartment.  She has it fixed up quite nice with antiques.  Most of the things have been in the Sullivan family for years and Sully has refinished them.  Bea has been going to auctions and browsing around in antique stores looking for things and has bought a few little things.  On Sunday we drove around the town to see the sights.   Sully and Bea were going to her folks for Thanksgiving and are stopping here this afternoon to stay till tomorrow.  I've spent the morning cooking.  I made a cake and a peach pie.  The cake really looks luscious.  I made a white layer cake, put chocolate filling and divinity icing on it.  Then I sprinkled grated chocolate over the icing.  Come over and I'll give you a piece.

We stayed home all day Thursday.  We had a baked chicken with all the trimmings and I spent the afternoon studying.  I am teaching now and the kids really keep me hopping.  It is the third grade and you almost have to sit on them to keep them quiet.  My supervisor is quite nice.  She is an old maid, though and has some peculiar ways about her.

Last night we went out to some people's house to look at some pictures the man had made.  The woman is a librarian at Teachers College and we had a real nice time.  The man works in one of the banks here and they have a lovely house.

Mrs. Hill is giving a tea this afternoon for the wives of the men in the education department.  There are to be about 30 people and since she hasn't any maid she asked me to act as a sort of reception committee.  She was afraid she couldn't remember all the names since she has met most of them only once.  My job will be to introduce them to her.  When I told her I would come I had forgotten about Bea and Sully coming but I called and asked her if I could bring Bea with me.  Naturally she said yes so if Bea has brought a dress with her she will probably go too.   I'll go whether she does or not.

It's been awfully cold the last few days.  I hung some clothes in the yard yesterday and they were frozen when I went out to get them.

Ad for the Richland Mirror in the RHS Yearbook
I saw in the Mirror where you had been to Springfield.  Why did you go and who was the Mrs. Warren that went with you?

I'm so glad you like the afghan.  I knew you would, though.  Isn't it nice to put over you when you lie down?

We're sending the color pictures we took last summer.  Hold them up to the light to see them and don't touch the picture.  They are for Beulah and if she wants some made she can take them to Ralph.  They can be made anytime but it takes 6 weeks to get them.

Hope you're all fine.  Tell Grandma I'd like a letter from her once in awhile."

                              Lots of love,

                                      B & Bonnie
Cake advice in the Joy of Cooking

Quick White Cake (Joy of Cooking, c 1940)

Sift before measuring, 2 c. cake flour.  Resift 3 times with 2 tsp. baking powder and 1 c. sugar.  Blend in 4 T soft butter.  Whip until stiff, then fold in 2 eggs whites and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Combine 3/4 c. milk, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Add the liquids to the other ingredients.  Stir them until the flour is dampened, then beat them vigorously for 1 minute.  Bake the cake in two greased 8 inch layer pans in a moderate oven, 375 for about 25 minutes.  Cool layers completely before filling.

 Chocolate Custard Filling

Mix together 2 c. milk, 3 T. cornstarch, about 3/4 c. white sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Cook and stir over low heat until very thick.  Stir in 2 oz. grated unsweetened chocolate and continue stirring until melted.  Add a small amount of chocolate mixture to 2 beaten eggs, stir well then add back to the pan, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir about 2 minutes longer until mixture is smooth and glossy.  Add 3 T butter and stir until melted.  Remove from heat and cool thoroughly.  When completely cooled,  spread between layers and refrigerate cake until well set.

"Divinity" Icing (Joy of Cooking's Seven Minute White Icing)

Place in the top of a double boiler and beat until thoroughly blended:  2 unbeaten egg whites, 1-1/2 c. sugar, 5 T cold water, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar and 1-1/2 tsp. light corn syrup.  Place these over rapidly boiling water.  Beat them constantly with a rotary beater or with a wire whisk for 7 minutes.  Remove the icing from the fire.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Continue beating until the icing is the right consistency to spread (or pour over cake).   

NOTE from Ann:  The Saturday Evening Post issue pictured above features Norman Rockwell's illustration, "Home for Thanksgiving".  Note the feature article, "What will Bradley do for the veterans?"  This refers to Omar Bradley, senior commander of American ground troops in Europe.  Before the end of the war, Bradley reportedly had hopes for a command in the Pacific, however Truman's plans were to appoint him to direct the Veterans Administration.  For more detail:  (Image courtesy of

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