Tag Archives: cake

Let Them Eat Historical Cake — Frieman Cake Etc. Etc.

Let Them Eat Historical Cake  — Frieman Cake Etc. Etc.

Thanks Shane Edwards for sending this to me… Nothing better than writing or talking about cake!!!

Freiman’s department store in downtown Ottawa was famous for its whacky promotions. One of them was this giant 4,000 pound cake baked by the Standard Bread Company on Gladstone.Standard Bread opened in 1924, and it seems from the lady’s dress that this picture was taken not-long after that.(LAC Mikan 3615467)

Lost OttawaCame across this ad for an earlier cake from Freiman’s — said to be the largest in the world at two tons!

Archibald J. Freiman was known for his promotions. Here is one from what appears to be the Twenties, featuring a lady and a giant birthday cake made by the Standard Bread Company. This was the kind of promo that made Freiman’s the most successfully Ottawa-owned department store of its era.The Standard Bread Company — whose slogan was “The Mother Loaf” — opened in 1924 on Gladstone just west of Preston. The building is still there, now used by numerous artists. At the bottom of the sign is a reference to Mosgrove Street, which used to run from Rideau to George. It no longer exists, having been incorporated into the Freiman Mall/Hudson’s Bay complex across the street from the Rideau Centre. (LAC 1972-229 NPC)

Lost Ottawa
December 12, 2016  路 

Linda Seccaspina shares a cake recipe from Freiman’s department store on the occasion of their 58th birthday. Freiman’s opened their first business in 1900.
Says Linda: Linda SeccaspinaLost Ottawa
December 11, 2016  路 

The five-layer, one-ton cake above will be cut into 8,000 quarter-pound slices for the first customers into the A. J. Freiman Ltd. store tonight as “open house” is held in observance of the firm’s 58th birthday. The massive cake contains, in part, 480 pounds of raisins, 300 pounds of mixed fruit, hundreds of dozens of eggs, 120 pounds of sugar and stands nine feet high. Its bottom layer is five feet square.
Lost Ottawa
June 1, 2020  路 
Susan Love poses an unusual Morning Puzzler, seeking the recipe for a cake recipe made by National Bakers here in Ottawa (and this is the only picture I could find quickly, showing two of the ladies who worked there in 1956, when it seems the window was broken.)
Writes Susan:
“My four sisters and I are trying to recreate my father’s favourite cake, which came from the shop on Bank Street. It was a simple white cake, with a marshmallow centre and a light coloured butterscotch icing that hardened when set. Delish!
If anyone can shed light on this mystery, we would all be eternally grateful!”
Any former National Bakers out there?

Lorie Elizabeth DunlopI’m not sure about the cake… but for the icing, look for a penuche recipe. It’s delicious!

Penuche Icing click here

Susan BeamishI call it the ugly cake and I make every year for my husband鈥檚 birthday I got the recipe for the caramel icing from The Joy Of Cooking and you can purchase the marshmallow cream in most grocery stores馃槃

Lost Ottawa
December 16, 2018  路 

A chef puts the finishing touches on the Christmas Tree at the Green Valley Restaurant in December of 1955.
That’s a piping bag in his hand … for the icing on a really big cake!
(City of Ottawa Archives CA036036)
Lost Ottawa
June 11, 2018  路 

A young lady hands out some cupcakes during this Ottawa celebration in 1968. That summer marked the first “birthday” of the permanent Sparks Street Mall. They even had a three-tier cake to mark the occasion!
Starting in 1960, the street was closed to traffic in the summers in an attempt to improve commerce. It would only be permanently closed year-round as of 1967.
(Shared by Trevor Button)

Lost Ottawa
July 1, 2017  路 

Queen Elizabeth cuts the big cake on Parliament Hill at the end of the big Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, July 1, 1967.
There’s seems to be some debate about just how much of the cake was fake, but the story goes that it was so big they had trouble getting it through the gates onto the Hill.
This picture was used on a Centennial Greeting Card by Judy La Marsh who as Secretary of State was in charge of Canada’s Centennial celebrations.
(City of Ottawa Archives CA024297-W.jpg)

Lost Ottawa
June 27, 2014  路 
Lunchtime in Lost Ottawa … Government House Chef Zonda puts the finishing touches on an elaborate cake he has created to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, in 1953.
(LAC Mikan 4297886)

Cemetery or Funeral Cake

How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

Vintage Easter and Bunny Cake Recipes from the 60s and 70s

Did you Know About the Wedding Cake Cottage?

I Never Met a Fruitcake I Liked

Your Grandmother鈥檚 1927 Wesson Fruitcake Recipe

Would You Eat Preserves After 40 Years? 150 Years?

The Days of Smocking and Spanish Bar Cake

Easy Christmas Cake- Lanark County Recipes

Cemetery or Funeral Cake

Cemetery or Funeral Cake

Milwaukee Public Library Historic Recipe File

In a 2013 op-ed for聽The Baptist News,聽Dallas-based pastor Mark Wingfield recalled a disappointing post-funeral feast: 鈥淭here was no green bean casserole, no fried chicken, no homemade rolls, no chocolate cake. Finally, someone in the family drove over to KFC to bring home the kind of food we all needed in the moment. And did I mention there wasn鈥檛 even a single piece of chocolate cake brought to the house?鈥 “Is it wrong of me to think of chocolate cake as heaven-sent?” Not when it brings comfort at a funeral.

A funeral cake is served during the reception held after the service. While some areas have a traditional recipe, others now look to fancy, decorated options that honour their deceased loved one. There were funeral cakes once just as we still have wedding cakes. These funeral cakes were the result of mourners coming from long distances A large cake would be baked, generally with the initials of the departecd iced on the top, cut into slices and served to the mourners, who did then as we now do with the pieces of wedding cake preserved them for a long time, as souvenirs of the occasion. Funeral cakes are still in vogue at funerals in rural England.

The cakes were decorated with symbolic patterns. Molds carved from wood or sometimes made of iron or stone were used to stamp decorative impressions on the cakes before baking Weaver has several molds including one of marble carved by a gravestone-maker from Schenectady NY Weaver said the Hudson Valley was also a centre for the carving of wooden molds from apple or beech wood. “The rose and the heart were the most common designs” he said “The rooster symbolizing resurrection was also used as was the fish for Christ and the dove Designs used on gravestones frequently show up The three plumes that decorate a hearse and the Masonic symbol were some others” Among the Pennsylvania Dutch raisin pie was usually served after a funeral often brought by mourners as a gift to the family of the deceased a tradition imported from Germany– also read How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their聽Name

Ms. Eva Mae鈥檚 Funeral Cake-Anytime there was a church call for food (usually funerals and wedding showers) you automatically knew you would see this cake somewhere among the dessert table. It was clearly recognizable because it was the longest cake there. It was a pound cake baked in a聽16 x 4 loaf pan. The cake was presented in tin foil. Somehow along my growing up days, the name changed to aluminum foil, I just cannot remember when it did. Read the rest here– Click

Uninvited but unobserved, the mourners, partaken of the funeral cake and funeral wine. Being Invested with the conventional black kid gloves, hatband and scarf, and so arrayed had been ushered into a mourning coach, and had followed to the grave the mortal remains of some fellow-creature whom he did not know from the man in the moon”.聽

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Mar 1899, Fri 聽鈥⒙ Page 4
The Morning Call
Allentown, Pennsylvania
19 Oct 1988, Wed 聽鈥⒙ Page 71


How Heavenly Funeral Potatoes Got Their Name

How Religion Came to Richmond and the First Masonic聽Funeral

The Young Family Funeral Home Lanark County

The Woman Who Got the Dead End Sign Removed in Carleton Place

Ed Fleming 鈥 The First Funeral Parlour in Carleton Place

Funerals With Dignity in Carleton Place 鈥 Just a Surrey with a Fringe on Top 鈥- Our Haunted Heritage

Blast From the Past鈥揜emembering Alan Barker鈥 July 4 1979

Dead Ringers 鈥揟o Live and Die in Morbid Times

The Ashton Funeral to end all Funerals

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 鈥 A Local Report

What was one of the Largest Funerals in Lanark County?

Things You Just Don鈥檛 say at a Funeral鈥 Even if you Are a Professional Mourner

A Tale From the Patterson Funeral Home 鈥 Carleton Place

Vintage Easter and Bunny Cake Recipes from the 60s and 70s

Vintage Easter and Bunny Cake Recipes from the 60s and 70s

1. Easter Bunny Cake recipe (1950)

1953 Easter egg cake recipe

A feather in your Easter bonnet 鈥 this luscious Easter bunny cake鈥 Best cake you鈥檝e baked in a month of Easter Sundays鈥 and you鈥 yes, you鈥 can take all the glory!


1/2 cup Dexo (shortening)
2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons double-action baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1% cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten


Measure shortening into bowl. Sift dry ingredients onto shortening. Add vanilla to milk. Add 2/3 of the milk.

Blend and beat 1 minute (count at least 150 strokes per minute). Add remaining 1/3 milk. Add eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Bake in two greased and floured deep 8-inch layer pans in moderate oven, 375掳 F for 25 to 30 minutes.

When cool, frost with butter frosting. Color coconut green, using vegetable coloring. Place on top of cake.

Arrange Easter candy bunny on coconut. Decorate with colored jelly beans.

Vintage Easter bunny cake recipe from 1950

Bake Swan鈥檚 Down Yellow Cake Mix in two 8-inch layers, following directions on package. Make Easy Chocolate Frosting, using the recipe on the back of the blue and yellow package of Baker鈥檚 Unsweetened Chocolate.

1. Cut each cake layer in two, about 1/4-inch off-center. This will make two large and two smaller pieces.

2. Place these four pieces together with frosting between them, the smaller pieces on the outside. Stand them upright, cut sides down, on a cake plate.

3. Trim the outside pieces at the top outer edges to help round off sides of cake for egg shape.

4. Then trim off lower ends of outside pieces, slicing diagonally, to give cake an oval shape at base.

Cover the whole mound with remaining frosting, filling in to make an egg shape. Decorate with white and tinted frosting and jelly beans. Make a nest of green-tinted Baker鈥檚 Coconut around egg. To serve, cut across the egg, making four-layer slices of cake.

When I go to a family reunion, or maybe church homecoming, THIS is the type of Coconut Cake I want to see on the dessert table.  One look, and you can tell it was made by a dear, older Mother or Grandmother, that鈥檚 been baking for years.  Sure, she wants it to look good, but she鈥檚 more concerned about how it tastes.

There might have been a day, years ago, when she could make her cake look like something in a bakery window.  Now, the years have taken a toll on her body.  Her hands shake a bit these days, as she adjusts layers and spreads the icing.  Her legs just don鈥檛 have the strength to stand at her table, and work and fuss with it like she once did. She has to take frequent breaks lately, just to rest awhile, so she can work on it a little bit more.

As a young child, she learned how to make this cake standing beside her own mother.  She鈥檚 never used a recipe, but now, her mind continues to wonder if she鈥檚 somehow forgotten a key ingredient.

All through the years, she鈥檚 heard people talk about how great her cakes are.  She just smiles, often looking downward as if embarrassed, but her heart is made happy as she tenderly says, 鈥淭hank You.鈥

Out the corner of their eye, everybody seems to watch when they realize her cake is being brought in. Some even strain their neck a bit, to see exactly where it gets placed among the others on the long table. You know hers will be the first empty cake plate on that table, and you have already schemed up a plan to get a slice.  Heaven forbid if someone should take the last piece before you get yours.

My mother made a great Coconut Cake, one that was similar to this one. Her icing was more of a clear type and you could clearly see the layers beneath that frosting and the layer of coconut spread on top. In the earlier years, she always used a fresh coconut, grating it by hand. She would always hand me the small leftover pieces that she didn鈥檛 grate, and that was like pure candy in my book.

Cake Ingredients: Sungold Coconut Cake

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, at room temperature
  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

Coconut Cream Icing

  • 3 cups Coconut
  • 3 cups Confectioners鈥 Sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons Heavy Cream, approximately.
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 350潞F.

  1. Place flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt, in a sifter.
  2. Sift three times. Set aside.
  3. Place butter in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add Sugar.
  5. Beat butter and sugar to a smooth cream consistency.
  6. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, set whites aside.
  7. Beat the egg yolks well.
  8. Add egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until very light.
  9. Add the sifted flour, alternating with the milk, to the first mixture, mix to combine.
  10. Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth.
  11. Add the vanilla extract to the batter mixture.
  12. Gently fold in the egg whites to the batter.
  13. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake layer pans.
  14. Divide the batter between the two pans.
  15. Bake at 350潞F for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  16. Insert a wooden toothpick or skewer in the center of the baked layer. If it pulls out clean, cake is done.
  17. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  18. Let layers cool completely.
  19. Prepare layers as desired before frosting.

To Make The Icing and Assemble The Cake

  1. Place sugar in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cream, a little at a time, beating steadily.
  3. Add Vanilla.
  4. When icing is of the right consistency, spread over the top of the layer.
  5. Sprinkle a good layer of coconut on top of layer.
  6. Repeat with the next layer.
  7. Ice the final layer and sides of the cake.
  8. Cover the entire cake with remaining coconut.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!

ow to make an Easter Bunny cake:

This is a cake that my mom used to make for us on Easter Saturday from a pattern she found in a magazine back in the early 70鈥檚. It鈥檚 simple and clever: one round cake serves as the bunny face and two simple slices in a second cake create the ears and a bow tie. You then frost, cover the imperfections with coconut (that鈥檚 what I do), and decorate with goodies.

Bunny cake diagram

This is the diagram from the old magazine clipping.

Bunny cake diagram

Mom used to frost the cake with boiled icing which looks lovely and bunny-like. I haven鈥檛 yet learned to make boiled frosting so use a simple white frosting instead. You鈥檒l need a good 4 cups of icing to ice the cake.

Make your bunny cake with this molasses devil鈥檚 food cake

Easy creamy icing

1/4 cup soft butter

3 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

3-4 cups of icing sugar

Cream the butter with the milk and vanilla. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time until you get a spreadable consistency.

**You鈥檒l need to double the recipe to fully frost a layer cake.

Related reading

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鈥淕et it On鈥 鈥 Banging Cookies Recipe鈥揟his Will Feel Wrong, but Trust Me!

The Invincible Ginger Snap Cookies of Carleton Place

Memories of Woolworths and Chicken in a Van

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans鈥揕anark County Recipes

Easy Christmas Cake- Lanark County Recipes

Holiday Popcorn鈥 Lanark County Recipes

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Katherine Hepburn Did Eat Brownies

I Hate Change — But Nom Nom Nom!!!

I Hate Change — But Nom Nom Nom!!!



I used to love the Palms Coffee Shop on Mill Street in Almonte. Their soup and scones were to die for. When I heard it was changing hands, I, like a lot of other folks lamented losing a traditional eatery, and wondered what would replace the edible landscape that was once a location for a few Hallmark movies.




Today, Steve was off and Hydro One announced a planned power outage from 9-12 so we decided to drive around Lanark County and see the landmarks and have lunch at the newly opened North Market Cafe in Almonte. We had talked about going down the old Galbraith Road, but construction halted that journey, and we continued down the Tatlock Road seeing the sights. We drove through Tatlock and whizzed by Brightside, and all the other places I have written about like the French Line where one could pick up some illegal hooch years ago. At Hopetown we travelled down Wolf Grove Road and ended up in Almonte. Still not hungry we went to Pakenham as Steve had never see the Five Span Bridge and the iconic location that Scoops Ice Cream resides at. You know– the important things.

By this time we were hungry so we decided to check out North Market Cafe on Mill Street that replaced Palms. There was no聽quiche today, but they were subbing Ricotta + Grilled Zucchini Tart. I have no idea who made the crust, but it was made by someone who knew what crust was all about.聽 You know, sometimes I sit before a salad begging it to be a donut, but the salad dressing on this salad made the whole dish burst with freshness and yumminess. Yes, those two adjectives go together in my book–don’t argue.




Steve decided to try the Falafel – Almond and Beet Greens with whipped Tahini- pickled fennel, with a green salad. He loved it, and asked me to go get him some devilled eggs with smoked salmon and chives. Again- excellent reviews from Steve– another person that does not like change.



We had both read about Bee Hive Baking making the layer cakes and baking for North Market Cafe- so heck, we tried a piece of聽 White Lavender Cake. Hey, some days you just have to eat cake and just refuse to put on pants!聽 The cake was so moist and amazing we were both silent while we were eating it– and that’s unheard of. We soon realized that getting out of the chair after this meal might be difficult, but it was worth it.

Yes, the cafe is no longer Palms, but I think this is a good fit for Mill Street. The centre community table is a nice touch and reminded us of our days lunching in California. Please remember they just opened, so I am sure they are working out some minor irritants. For the love of god, when you go in there, don’t expect immediate delivery of your food, as what you are getting is very affordable fresh food that’s delicious. That means no one is deep frying chicken fingers, and poutine is聽 definitely not on the menu.

So head on down to 78 Mill Street in Almonte and have just a piece of cake if you want- or one of their amazing entrees too, and remember I saw no food police lurking there. First we eat–then we do everything else.

And they cater too!!!!
78 Mill Street
Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0
Get Directions
Highlights info row image
(613) 256-2676

Looking for Gluten-Free Easter Goodies?




Gluten free Easter treats! Order from the Wonder Woman of Carleton Place

Moist chocolate cake, meringue buttercream with natural dyes, chocolate eggs!

7″ inch 2 layer cake $40.

Package of 4 cupcakes $10. PM Gwen Thirwall to order!



Leftover Root Vegetables & Orange Cake — Last Day of the Farmer’s Market Tomorrow! –


So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night,

I hate to go and leave this pretty sight–

How quick the season went by— I actually have tears in my eyes. I got to meet and know some very special people that keep our food economy going this year. Thank you to Gwen Thirlwall and her great band of farmer pirates for doing such a spectacular job. Without 聽these people we would not have such a fabulous Farmer’s Market. So I will leave you with this recipe 聽so you can buy some great root vegetables tomorrow and bid everyone goodbye.聽So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu.
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

See you tomorrow!!

recipe-image-legacy-id--838487_11聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Leftover Root Vegetables & Orange Cake

From Good Food


  • 200g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g sultanas or raisins
  • zest and juice 2 oranges, or 4clementines
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 300g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 300g carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, butternut squash or swede, or a mixture, grated
  • 200g icing sugar or fondant icing sugar
  • few crushed white sugar cubes


  1. Heat oven to 180C/350 F 4. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm baking or roasting tin with baking parchment. Mix the sultanas and zestand juice from 1 orange (or 2 clementines), and microwave on High for 2 mins.
  2. Mix the flour, caster sugar, spices, bicarb and pinch of salt into a large bowl. Mix the聽eggs with the melted butter and sultana mixture, then tip into the dry ingredients and stir in with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated veg, and scrape into the tin. Bake for 35 – 40 mins, or until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
  3. Once cool sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in remaining orange zest plus enough juice to make a runny icing. Drizzle all over the cake and scatter with the crushed sugar cubes. Leave to set, then slice into 15 squares to serve.

鈥淪hop The Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚 Market 鈥- Because there is no place like home!鈥

Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚 Market

7 Beckwith St.
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 809-0660

830 am to 1230 pm

鈥淭he Freak Tomatoes Come Out at Night鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

How to Grow Things from Your Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚 Market Kitchen聽Scraps

Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚 Market Zucchini聽Cupcakes

McGahey and White Oak Farms Sassy Sausage and Black Bean聽Soup

When Life Gives You Lemons at the Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Chocolate Cake in a 鈥淗eart BEET鈥 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Want to Go To School With Batman? Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

How Do You End Being a Popcorn Farmer?

Don鈥檛 Waste One Jelly Bean Moment in Life 鈥 Christine聽Dixon

How Big is Your Head鈥 of CABBAGE? 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Take the Pickle Challenge at The Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

May Proulx for President of your Next Tea Party!鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Waratah Downs Doesn鈥檛 Sell Cheeseburgers in Paradise! 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

You Don鈥檛 Need to Go By the Pool to Get Dip 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Holy Cannoli Macaroni! From Italy With Love at The Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Grandma Garrett is on Fire at the Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

The Secret Ingredient is Always Cheese 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Did I See your Mum Knitting at The Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market?

Did You See the Blue Heron at the Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market?

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Baby, I鈥檓 a Wantin鈥 Some Brown Dog Bakery 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

A Fiesta in the Strawberry Patch at the Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Visit the Drama Free Zone Wall at The Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Where to Go When You Don鈥檛 Have a Green Thumb 鈥 Two Fields Over at the Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Put Your Chutney Where Your Mouth Is! 鈥 Carleton Place Farmers聽Market

Missy Moo鈥檚 Magical Hand Cream 鈥 Carleton Place Farmer鈥檚聽Market

Buy Linda Secaspina鈥檚 Books鈥 Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac鈥撀燭ilting聽the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton聽Place and 4 others on聽Amazon or Amazon Canada聽or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Summer Memories — There are Places I Remember

Summer Memories — There are Places I Remember

Do you remember? The A&P grocery store and the famous SPANISH BAR CAKE? The Great American Tea Co. was founded in 1859. Later the name changed to A&P. In 1937 A&P published The Womans Day magazine! From 1972to1974, 800 hundred stores were closed Then in 1979 A&P was sold.

As I sat in the car waiting to be driven home I watched family after family exit the local Walmart. Laden with school supplies and aggravated faces I remembered this time of year as a child. The books from the bookmobile had been read and the church summer camps were over. The suntanned arms and remnants of summer injuries were still there, but the thought of losing my freedom to school made me frown. I loved getting up late and watching television shows such as Lassie and Fury without being reminded about school work that had to be done.

Every single day I worshiped the 3 Musketeers sing-along commercial on the聽Howdy Doody Show. Gentle hands would pick up the candy bar and snap it carefully in half with dark chocolate on the outside and wonderful soft nougat on the inside. It was marketed as the candy bar that was so big it could be enjoyed by two friends. In my mind there would be no sharing and come the weekend that candy bar (not available in Canada) would be mine, as we were taking a day-trip to Richford, Vermont to buy school supplies.
Saturday finally came and I was told to put on a brand new pink dress my mother had worked on all week. Clutching my ten sweaty American pennies we headed across the border and my heart did a flip flop when I told the American customs agent what I was going to buy. That Saturday it was a hot summer day my friends and it was the kind of heat that would allow your body to stick to your grandmother’s couch covered in clear plastic.

I sat at the Rexall Drugstore counter with my father and slowly sipped an icy root beer float while my mother went to the A & P across the street. My Dad, like his daughter was obsessive about food and needed his fix of *A& P Spice Bars at least once a month. The Spice Bar was an oblong cake made of “the most delicate spices from the Orient” and covered in a buttercream frosting. For my father, 29 cents would buy him a piece of heaven.

My mother suddenly waved her hands and that was my signal to run to the candy counter and purchase the 3 Musketeers bar as my father yelled at her to hurry up before the Spice Bars melted. As my Mum and Dad loaded up the trunk I wasted not one second getting into the back of the car.

As I got in I continued the summer ritual of fanning the hot vinyl seats quickly so I wouldn’t burn my legs and as soon as the seat was bearable I ripped the wrapper off the candy bar like a maniac. One does not need to tell you what that thing looked like after sitting on the Rexall shelves for a few days in the heat.
A huge puddle of liquid chocolate with a nougat filling proceeded to run down the dress that my mother had spent days hand smocking. As I attempted to stop the chocolate river with my hands it only seemed to get worse, so I quickly shoved what was left of it into my mouth.
The trunk slam shut, the car doors opened and a huge scream came out of my mother’s mouth as she looked at me.聽There I was sitting in the back seat with a huge chocolate face smile, and the cherished pink dress was now covered with brown hand prints and I was singing:
“1-2-3 聽big big big
1-2-3 big big big
It’s the candy treat that can’t be beat
Let’s give three big cheers
For the 3 big Musketeers!”

My parents never said another word on the way home, nor did the Canadian customs agent as he looked at me in shock while my father handed him an A & P Spice Bar. Today, I realize that my father hoped that “the delicate spices of the Orient” would forever banish whatever story the custom agent was going to tell his colleagues after we left.

Forced back to reality I sighed as I remembered. 聽The innocence of childhood was such a short season, but there always seems to be a moment, even in the Walmart parking lot, where we let it back in.

*Cathy said that is was also available in Steinbergs and more likely a buttercream frosting then.



2 c flour
1-1/2 c sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 c applesauce
2 medium eggs…slightly beaten
1 c raisins…..plump them in warm water,drain and use. .(add these last, after everything else is mixed)
8 oz cream cheese …softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 c confections sugar
1/3 c milk

1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh

walnuts are an option…your choice
1 Gather your spices and the other ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking soda.
Then add the cocoa,cinnamon,salt,nutmeg and allspice.
Mix well.

2 Next add the vegetable oil,applesauce,and the beaten eggs.
When all of the above is mixed,
Add the plumped raisins.
Put in a greased and floured 9×13 cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30to35 minutes
In a pre-heated oven.

Mix the cream cheese,butter,vanilla,
confectioners sugar, milk and
lemon juice together.
Spread on the cake.
****YOUR OPTION: To make a layer cake, just like the original Spanish Bar Cake (see main foto) cut the cake into 2 pieces, then spread the frosting between the layers and on the top. Step back in time and enjoy this great cake