Friday 8 January 2010

Casting bread . . .

A number of years back now, a woman by the name of Joan Crane was clearing out a cupboard when she discovered an empty flour bag dating back to 1901. She wondered if it might be of any interest to the company that had originally milled it, so she wrote to the McDougall company about it. They were quite so, and offered her the princely sum of £2o for it. She was pleased but since she had been a lifetime supporter of the Children's Society, she asked for the money to be sent to them instead.

The McDougall company was so impressed with her charitible gesture that they decided to become involved themselves. As a result, in 1992, they became the sponsors of the Society's annual "Cake Bake", in the amount of £15,000. (This most recently has become the St George's Day Cake and Brew event.)

The goal of this event was to raise £150,000 to help to finance the work of this worthwile charitible organization . . . supporting children and families with problems of unemployment, disabilities, learning difficulties and so on . . . not to mention changing conditions that stand in their way.

This reminds me of the story that Christ told about the mustard seed, the least of all seeds, that when planted and grown becomes the greatest of all herbs, and a big tree in which the birds of the air can perch themselves on it's branches.

There is no gesture, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that is not capable of growth. An old flour bag which became £20 and then £15,000 is just one example of this.

It reminds me of another phrase as well, which was something my nan used to say:

"Cast your bread upon the water, and it will come back buttered."

I had some time for painting the other day and did this cheeky little girl.

I love her hair. You can see her in full, of course, over HERE on Blossom Time Creations. Life is short. Eat dessert first. Sounds good to me! Let me know what you think! I have a few more sketches waiting for me to bring them to life as well. Just need the time to do them!

Speaking of dessert. I had some applesauce that needed using up and so I dug out my cookbooks and thought I'd try a new applesauce cake. This recipe came from my old Purity Flour cookbook that I've had for years. It was quite good! It smelled absolutely heavenly when it was baking. I could hardly wait for it to come out of the oven!

*Five Roses Applesauce Cake*
Makes one 8 inch square cake
Printable Recipe

A delicious recipe from the old Five Roses cookbook. Moist and tasty. The scrummy frosting and additon of walnuts are my own touch.

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
2 to 3 TBS milk
2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

To Garnish:
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter and flour an 8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Remove 1 TBS from the flour and use to coat the raisins and nuts. Set aside. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the shortening until fluffy. Slowly cream in the brown sugar. Beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the applesauce, a little at a time, beating after each addition only until smooth. FOld in the floured raisins and nuts. Spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 180*C/350*F., or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

To make the frosting place all frosting ingredients into a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if need be. Spread on top of the cooled cake and then sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Serve cut into squares.

I have to say that while the Purity recipe is quite good, THIS one is a whole lot better and is still my favourite.

Over on The English Kitchen today, Leek and Potato Soup. Perfect for taking the chill off of those frozen winter bones!!


  1. Ah ha....if I type fast I may be #1 comment today. We just got home from the temple and I am headed to bed but I just stopped by a minute to say hello and send love. I love all the pictures that you put in of snowy Oak cottage today. It makes me think I am back in Utah. I like looking at the pretty snow pictures from the warmth of my So. Cal home. It has been in the 70's here which is just about perfect in my mind.

    I also agree with your message. "Be not weary with well doing. Out of small things come that which is great"...that may not be the exactly right but it is close and I have always loved that scripture. It comforts me to know that the little things I do really do matter.

    Your new little girl is so sweet....and that cake makes me isn't fattening is it?

    I must climb into bed is close to midnight and I must get up early and get busy. Erin and family will be here in early afternoon. I send love. Lura

  2. That little girl painting is so very sweet. I love her.

    I hope you are enjoying the snowy weather. It sounds severe and so unreal to me.

    Take care all my British friends.

  3. I love your story and quote on casting bread. Thank you for sharing, Marie. This is very timely.
    Today, my Naomi (10) and Zoe (7) made a donation to community library that my husband and I are building. My girls make accessories and sell them to our friends. They pledged that 50% of their profit goes to our charitable foundation. During Christmas they made quite good money so they donated an amount enough to buy a much needed additional electric fan. They did it without expecting a buttered bread in return, but whether they understand the principle of giving and receiving or not, God is true to His promise that the more you give the more you receive.

    I always love visiting your blog, lots of good stuff here.

  4. I can only imagine how Joan Crane would feel to know that her small and humble gesture spurred on charity in the hearts of those she contacted and created something much bigger than she ever could have thought possible.
    How exciting it is to know that you are my sister in the Gospel! I've just read through some of your posts here. It is a lovely, peaceful place and I am looking forward to daily visits. I can feed my soul here and my tummy at The English Kitchen! I'm very glad I stumbled onto your blog.
    Your painting is adorable. :)

  5. If you totally give unselfishly of yourself (be it time or money) it will come back several times over. But you can't do it with the coming back in mind!

    Next soup I make will have to be leek and potato -- that i so good!

    Your cakes looks delicious as well.

  6. Good Morning from our part of the world which is very snow covered but the roads are passable and I'm at work. I'm not very brave at all but slow and steady I made it.
    Hope your Friday is a good one. I'll have to make some potato soup - it does sound good right now. Maybe this weekend.

  7. I enjoyed your story about the flour sack and the charity.

    Funny how we seem to be in the same mood lately for the same foods. My daughter was just asking me to make her an applesauce cake she saw in one of my cookbooks, and I am already planning to make a cola cake as well.

  8. I bet a nice cream cheese frosting would be nice too! I had to say that cos I just love the stuff. I coud eat it with a spoon.

  9. I was listening to CBC news this morning and they were talking about the weather in Britian. Wanted you to know that I'm praying for your adopted country and that there will be no more injuries or death because of Mother Nature.

    Stay warm and keep cooking scrumptuous things!

  10. Such comforting and uplifting thoughts today, Marie--thank you! And LOVE your new look girl--her hair and expression are fantastic, what a happy piece of art! Beautiful cake today...mmm... We're trying to go off sugar more, but we can at least admire photos without calories--LOL! ;o) Happy Weekend, dear friend... Hope we get to chat soon! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  11. Just another of your absolutely beautiful posts.


  12. What a wonderful story of what one person can do--thanks for sharing that, Marie!

    I LOVE your cheeky new little girl--she's just adorable! Can't wait to see the others that are awaiting your masterful touch!

    And the applesauce cake? YUM!!! Sounds just perfect! Off to check out your delicious-looking soup! Much love to you!

  13. My great-grandmother was a `floury' McDougall. She was said to be a very philanthropic woman. Good to know the company, though long gone from the family, follows tradition.
    By the way , Marie, I've found your posts very comforting these cold days; I can almost smell the warm baking!

  14. Thanks for sharing the story of the flour money turning into much more money. I love hearing about those things and knowing that our one small effort can become meaningful to others. Today my little service group met and made 8 fleece blankets, 30 jars filled with 70 inspirational quotes, and 10 letters of encouragement. These will be delivered to an organization that helps people with additions. Maye we were like the flour sack today.Have a great weekend!

  15. That was a great story! Who doesn't want their bread buttered?
    It looks very cold and snowy where you are but that painting is cheerful and adorable!

  16. Very insightful post Marie - it reminded me of the woman who gave a penny. Not so much, but everything really. Love your cheeky little girl. :) blessings, marlene


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