I got these in the mail last week from my Mom and I knew exactly what they were….Applesauce Cupcakes. A favorite recipe from my childhood (and my siblings). I think it’s safe to say for my entire family that these were one of our all time favorite things to eat. They weren’t made very often and so when they were, it was a REAL TREAT! Now, while these are a perfect candidate for food storage and my mom’s Frankenstein poem she included with them was incredible cute…that isn’t what I wanted to share with you. The real treasure to this package was on the inside of this card (after the Frankenstein song) where she shared the STORY behind this recipe.
You see my Grandfather grew up with these cupcakes. He grew up in a small farming community in Illinois where one of their main staple crops was apples (so you can imagine they had almost everything apple). His mother made this recipe (and I use the word “recipe” lightly) and wanted his wife (my grandmother) to make them for him. So my grandmother sat at the feet of her mother-in-law (a feat I don’t know many women who would do!) and watched her mound up flour, make a depression-well in the center, then add a pint of applesauce, and hand full of this or a pinch of that until it “looked right.” After watching this, my grandmother had her mother-in-law do it again, this time my grandmother measured everything and made a real “recipe” for these cupcakes. As I read this story, it dawned on me…I had been and was EATING HISTORY!
So many times we read history, share stories, look at pictures, but how many times can we actually TASTE it? To eat the exact same thing our ancestors made or to prepare it and continue on with the tradition. This great grandmother of mine was born in the late 1800′s and who knows how far back this recipe had gone before her! (If you notice there are no eggs in the recipe, which shows how old it really must be! Since really old recipes tried to avoid calling for eggs since they were harder for everyone to have at the time). My point being that a lot of times we feel we are too busy for family history but think of all the memories, stories that are shared, teaching moments that can happen at the dinner table-eating food our mothers, grandmothers, etc. made and all while you’re eating together as a family! In fact if you want a great Christmas present idea (besides this cute Halloween present idea), one year for Christmas when money was really tight, I made a recipe book for my husband’s immediate family (siblings and parents) which included all of their family favorites. And because I know how many family memories and traditions are associated around the kitchen table, I also included stories, pictures of family dinners, memories, a chart of where everyone sat, which recipes were used for what occasions, and which were everyone’s favorites. The cookbook itself took on a life of it’s own and it will be something we can all pass down to our kids so not only can they read history, but they’ll be able to TASTE IT!
Calhoon County Applesauce Cupcakes
Cream 1/2 c. butter and 2 c. sugar
Add 2 c. applesauce (about 1 lb. can) and 1 t. Vanilla
Add dry ingredients: 2 t. soda, 2 T. cocoa, 1/2 t. salt, 2 c. flour (my mom used half whole wheat and half all-purpose), 2 t. cinnamon, 1 t. cloves and beat until smooth
Stir in 1 c. raisins (this ingredient is important if you’re planning on giving this with the Frankenstein song)
Bake 2 dozen cupcakes at 375 for about 25-30 minutes or until done. Cool. Keep in plastic bag or Tupperware. These cupcakes improve with age. They are “aged” in a day or so when the paper wrappers peel easily from the cupcakes. ENJOY!
Oh My Darlin’ Frankenstein
(Sing to the tune of ”Oh My Darlin’ Clementine”)
1) I was working, with my test tube, in my laboratory fine, When one day I broke my glasses and I made poor Frankenstein.
2) He was handsome, he was charming, and I nailed his head on tight, His teeth were nice and pearly, and his eyes came out at night.
3) Frankentstein helped in the kitchen, he was making up a cake, When he fell into the mixer, and got mixed up by mistake.
4) Cooking nicely in the oven, Oh the cake it came out fine. Told my friends those lumps were raisins, but those lumps were FRANKENSTEIN!
To make it easier on you, I’ve created the card for you to use! Just download, by clicking HERE, and there are four to a page. ENJOY tasting some of my history!
p.s. if you want to know where my mom got the cute caldrons, she got them at the Dollar Tree…one of my favorite stores! (obviously that runs in the family as well!)
© 2012, Crystal. All rights reserved.