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The Romance Troupe Holiday Blog Hop

war cakeHello all, and welcome to The Romance Troupe’s Holiday Blog Hop! Don’t forget to comment with an email address to be eligible for the Grand Prize draw. You could win a $450 gift card, or an ebook from each participating author!

This time of year, we all crave special dishes, the ones laden with memories of holidays past. Here’s one that’s been in my family for generations – Canadian War Cake.

For those who may not have heard of it, “war cake” was one of necessity’s inventions during the First World War. It contained no eggs, milk or white sugar, which made it an acceptable sweet in times of rationing.

I believe my mother got her recipe from my father’s mother. It’s rich and dense, perfect with a cup of tea or egg nog. If you enjoy spice cake of any kind, I think you’ll like this.

2 c. brown sugar
2 c. hot water
2 tsp. shortening
1/2 to 3/4 c. raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. hot water
Mix brown sugar, hot water and shortening in a medium size saucepan. Add raisins, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Boil for 5 minutes after it bubbles. Remove from heat and cool completely (important). Add baking soda that has been dissolved in hot water. Then add flour. Pour in greased tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour.
In my latest novel, Deliverance, which is set on the Canadian homefront in 1917, war cake is served at Carl and Naomi’s Christmas wedding. This time period has become a favourite of mine. I love the clothes, the cars, the conflict that came not only from war, but from the sweeping changes war brought about.
Those were tough times in my home town of Halifax.  On December 6, 1917, a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbour, destroying half the city. Deliverance and my previous book, Shattered, deal with the explosion and its aftermath. Carl O’Neill is a returned soldier on medical leave, a Halifax boy who’s gone west to escape being sent back to the trenches. Naomi is a nurse who’s had difficult experiences of her own in a front line field hospital. If you like unusual settings and time periods, you just might like these books. I’ll leave you with the blurb for Deliverance:

Carl O’Neill is on the run from the Army and himself. Returned from Europe on recuperative leave, he’d rather die than go back to the trenches. He assumes a dead man’s name and leaves his home and family behind him, only to be dumped off the train in the small prairie town of Mackenzie, Saskatchewan. Seriously ill and stranded, Carl is left with no choice but to confront the demons that drive him.

Naomi Franklin is no stranger to secrets and personal demons. Struggling with her own dark memories, she doesn’t want to close the eyes of another young man whose life has ended far too soon. She’ll nurse the stranger who lands on her father’s doorstep and then send him on his way. Only the shadows behind Carl’s blue eyes touch her heart, and his touch makes the world fade away. When their lives come crashing down around them, can Carl and Naomi overcome secrets and lies to find each other?

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