FOOD FOR THOUGHT
By Wanda A. Adams
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Got cake box? Probably not.
A cake box, back in the 1920s and into the 1950s, was where the cake lived. as routine a piece of kitchen equipment as a bread box, the recipe box and the ice box. And there were always cakes. From scratch. In layers. With frosting.
As I research "The Island Plate," The Advertiser's 150th-anniversary cookbook to be published later this year, I'm struck by how differently the home cook views cakes today. If we plop a mix into a 9-by-13-inch pan, poke some holes in it and pour a tub of melted frosting over it, we have to work hard to keep from strutting around the kitchen.
But I love cake so much that, reading about those cake box days, I burn with envy not so much envy of those eating the cakes as those baking them. A cake is such a satisfying and beautiful accomplishment.
That's why I was very excited when I came across "Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake Cakes Forever," by Linda West Eckhardt (Chronicle Books, 2005). This 196-page trade paperback offers Eckhardt's tricks for getting a from-scratch cake into the oven in streamlined fashion. My experiments have convinced me that she's got some good ideas. These include:
Cookbook orders taken: Orders for my upcoming cookbook, "The Island Plate: 150 Years of Recipes and Food Lore from The Honolulu Advertiser," are being taken now at www.honoluluadvertiser.com and at our information desk (605 Kapiolani, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. weekdays; 525-7620).
Reach Wanda A. Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.