Calling all fellow cooks and bakers! Loudly!

The Blue Ribbon Country Fair will be held at The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Judging of the baked goods will begin about 5 p.m. Friday evening I’m counting on your entries being there. For more details, call 865-448-0044. Entry forms are available in several convenient locations.

Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville is one, and I’m available for answers to your baking questions. Call me at 865-983-7711.

You are encouraged to bake a pie, cake, cookies or bread from a favorite recipe handed down in your family, or, as in my case, I went to the internet and researched vintage recipes. I learned that Linzer torte was prepared as far back as 1653, pound cake in 1796, sugar cream pie in the 1850s and peanut butter cookies in the 1930s.

For fair entries, please choose between 1885 and 1950. I prepared the recipes I’m sharing today and got rave reviews for all three. There were innumerable variations of the sugar cream pie and the pound cake. The most significant difference I noted in the vintage recipes was less sweetness. I’m sure variations were born from using whatever was on hand. Granulated sugar was only at the grocery store, a day’s travel to and from, chickens were not always cooperative and milk was at the whim of the cow. We wonder how our grandparents and great-grandparents ate so much and stayed, for the most part, fit and slim. We know that hard physical work accounted for a lot, but it seems they ate less sugar as well.

Peanut Butter cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375° line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream butters and sugars until light. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add flour mixture in thirds, beating only until smooth after each. Dip by heaping tablespoons, roll into a ball. Press the balls with the tines of a fork to make a criss cross pattern. Bake 10 — 12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Cool on the pan five minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack or, better still, eat them all whilst they’re still warm with an ice cold glass of milk that’s been cooling in the spring.

Cream pie

1/4 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk, scalded

3 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 baked pie crust

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add scalded milk gradually and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened and barely boiling. Temper a small amount of the mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly. Add eggs To remaining mixture and cook one minute. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into the baked Pie shell. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Pound Cake

2 sticks margarine

1/2 cup Crisco

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Grease and flour a tube pan. Preheat oven to 350°

Cream butter, Crisco and sugar until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in flavorings. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth after each. Pour into the, prepared pan. Bake 50 -60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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