The photo below was probably taken around 1915, when Margaret was 75 years old. As you can see, her first great-grandchild was named after her:
|Four generations in 1915|
Margaret took her marriage vows at the height of the Civil War; she and Jonas Van Slyke were married on June 26, 1864. I doubt that Margaret wore any of the finery and frippery sketched out in the May issue of Godey's Lady's Book, such as the "pompadour porte-jupe," but we do know that she had a fine silk shawl that I picture her wearing on her wedding day.
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One of the recipes in Minnie's handwritten cookbook is called "Johnny Cake." It's an old-fashioned recipe for cornbread. For some reason, I tend to associate this recipe with the Civil War, perhaps because it makes me think of the old song from that era, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." But this may be a false connection, as this type of pancake or flat cornbread is also variously known as "journey cake" or "hoe cake" in other parts of the country. It may originate from Native American methods of preparing corn meal, either baked in the ashes of a cooking fire, or steamed. Here is Minnie's original recipe:
|Johnny Cake Recipe|
I didn't have to do much modernizing here -- only substitute 1/3 cup cooking oil for the notation "Butter size of egg." I followed these steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- Grease and flour cake pan. (I used a 10 inch spring-form cake pan.)
- Sift together corn meal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar:
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
- Pour in milk, egg, and oil; beat until well mixed.
- Pour in cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes.
This made a rather flat cornbread, that I can imagine travelers could easily wrap in a paper or cloth, and carry off in their saddlebags on a trip -- hence the possible name "journey cake."
|Johnny Cake - fresh out of the oven|
It made a good breakfast or snack on a chilly morning.