Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Scripture Cake

I have had this recipe for a long time. Longer term readers might remember that on the rez when I was a kid the schools were pretty much in the hands of missionaries who would volunteer to carry the word to us little heathens. Sometimes we could even manage to get a bit of learning in. Their Ladies' Aid Society would send boxes of books, and if we could get to them before the censors we could steal some pretty good stuff.

I first was exposed to Scripture Cake when Mrs. Tondevald was teaching 4th grade during "Lutheran" year. She brought in a lot more ingredients than we would need to have, and her trusty King James Bible. We would look at the recipe, look up the appropriate verse and try to figure out the ingredients. While it didn't have the intended effect of making a bible reader out of me, it did show me that you can always look stuff up. Plus, on the rez back in the 50's, sugar was a huge ass treat, and cake, even more so.

In the end I figure that the folks who did the missionary work were usually pretty decent sorts who were trying to do the best they could. Some of them, like Mrs. Grove in the 5th grade (during "Quaker" year) did it pretty up and walking good too.

I have the same respect for those folks that I do for the Mormons who found a way to get kids like my cousin and I off the rez for high school. Yeah, we had to wade through a bunch of magic jesus stuff to get to our education, but you know what? Nobody else was offering.


1 cup 1st Samuel 25:18 (a hundred clusters of raisins)
1 cup chopped Isaiah 34:4 (figs from the fig tree)
1 cup chopped Numbers 17:23 (bore ripe almonds)
1 cup chopped Exodus 15:27 (there were seventy date palms)
1 1/2 Cups Leviticus 2:5 (fine flour, unleavened)
1 pinch (Leviticus 2:13 (season with salt)
1 teaspoon Exodus 30:23 (of sweet cinnamon)
1 dash Song of Solomon 4:10 ("all manner of spices," in this case we used ginger and allspice)
1 tsp. Amos 4:5 ("of that which is leavened," baking powder)
3 large Isaiah 10:14 (one gathereth eggs)
1 cup Jeremiah 6:20 ("and the sweet cane," sugar)
1/2 Cup Numbers 11:8 (cakes baked with oil)
1 tablespoon Judges 14:18 (what is sweeter than honey?)

Preheat oven to 325°, with the rack in the middle rung. Combine the fruit and nuts in a bowl off to the side. In another bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Beat the eggs until smooth and lemon yellow, add the sugar and beat until creamed and fluffy. Add the oil and the honey, a little at a time and beat until fully mixed. Add in the flour, salt, baking powder and spice mix. Beat until very smooth. Fold in the fruits gently with a rubber spatula and pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for about 90 minutes.

This is a decent fruit cake. I have threatened more than once to make up a recipe that would be Shakesperian Sonnet Cake, but I've never gotten around to it.

Scripture Cake did fine. So did the missionaries. I think they knew all along that we were stealing the books they didn't want us to read.



Blogger Sherry said...

it's nice that you understood the intent they had.
i understand the oldtime nuns too but tho i faithfully gave my few pennies every time to save those" pagan babies" in the end, i turned out to be one i guess! ; )

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

i faithfully gave my few pennies every time to save those" pagan babies" in the end, i turned out to be one i guess!

Doncha just love the irony, Sherry?

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

MB: Can you clarify "Lutheran, Quaker and Mormon" years? Did you have different sects of missionaries coming in different years?

1:36 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

this "pagan baby" sincerely thanks all those who gave pennies.

in a lot of ways CC, our school system was a long comparitive religion class. usually a year or two was the most the folks could take with the isolation, the exposure to the crushing poverty, the superstition, ignorance, and often open hostility to even well meaning white folks. so yeah we had a couple of catholic years, some lutheran years, quaker years, mormon years (mormons were among the most dependable, a lot of times some mormons would drive enormous distances because there wasn't any other sect that was willing to come out that year). they all had their advantages, and their drawbacks. like the quakers were very nice folks, but boring as all hell. the catholics we had tended toward the too drunk to be in a real parish, a couple of full on perverts (the baptists sent us a pervert couple, who were also judgemental about our pagan and satanic ways while abusing every kid they could get their fucking hands on)

still, it was the only school we could get. and there were some other folks like the anthropologists from ASU and UofA who would be horrified at what was going on (or not going on) at the schools and would do their very best to help out with books and tutoring.

2:30 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

by the time of high school i was elegible for the "indian placement" program of the LDS church. they would bring kids off the rez to live in their communities and we would enroll in the school district of the ward which sponsored us. we also had to attend the mormon seminary classes before and after school, just like the mormon kids. i ended up not being with a family like they said would happen but was in a room in a house with six other indian kids on bunk beds. there were 18 of us in that one house. i about went apeshit my first year, wanted to get the hell out of there, away from all that city stuff, away from all those well meaning but god ass crazy mormons, but my grandfather, silas, and the other elders told me that it was the best, and only shot i had for making anything out of my life. and if the mormons lied about where i'd be living they told the truth about the school i went to. and the school was what the important thing was.

the elders were right about that shit too.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

yes, yes they were. my grandparents, especially my grandfather was really big on education. he spent a year on the railroad and 50 in the steel mills and wanted better for his family.

i miss him terribly to this day.

and yes, ironic and far more satisfying to my spirit.

4:12 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

The cake thing makes my head spin. Like you said, at least you were able to get the education in between the preaching and other garbage.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

the baptists sent us a pervert couple, who were also judgemental about our pagan and satanic ways while abusing every kid they could get their fucking hands on

Now, there's a surprise! *serious snark*

Thanks for the explanation.

7:36 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

along with the drunks and the pervs there were mostly decent and good hearted folks trying to accomplish something decent. thing was, they usually had no idea what kind of people we were, they had no idea of the history of the people and the places. they couldn't speak enough of our language to even be polite to our elders or sit in on our councils. they would see a dance or ceremony and feel called upon by god to spend the next three days telling us that we were risking eternal damnation by being who we were, or even worse, telling us that if we would promote our "quaint and odd" ways in the big cities we could grab up some tourism dollars. . .

well meaning, yes. effective teaching, usually not. there were those of us kids who decided that we were going to learn no matter what the price or obstacles. so we stole books, we read the books we stole to the littler kids. if we got a haircut in a white babershop we stole magazines. after all, everybody knows indians are born theives right? why argue with it when you can steal shit that matters.

10:45 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home