A Cheap Seed Cake

“It was the pleasantest tea-table in the world. Miss Clarissa presided. I cut and handed the sweet seed-cake — the little sisters had a bird-like fondness for picking up seeds and pecking up sugar; Miss Lavinia looked on with benignant patronage, as if our happy love were all her work; and we were perfectly contented with ourselves and one another.”

-Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1850.

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Spice Roll

This recipe comes from The Settlement Cookbook, first published in 1901. The book was initially created as a charity cookbook to raise funds for the Jewish Settlement House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was so successful that the proceeds of the first two editions were enough to purchase a site for the new Settlement House. The cookbook presents a variety of recipes influenced by German, Eastern European, and Jewish cooking, reflecting the culinary traditions of the immigrants served by the Settlement House.

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War Bread

From The Economical War-Time Cook Book, this recipe was designed to save white flour during World War I, substituting rye, wheat, and cornmeal instead. Although the United States never had official rationing during the first World War, Americans were still urged not to waste food, especially wheat, meats, fats, and sugar. Corn, “the food of the nation,” was promoted in particular as an economical alternative to flour.

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