Aunt Helen was Polish and Roman Catholic. Growing up she was the only person I knew who had a picture of the Pope in her home (the rest of us were not Catholics). Being Polish, Pope John Paul II meant the world to her. My own conversion to the Catholic faith made her just as pleased as punch.
I present: Great Aunt Helen's Poor Man's Cake
1 box of raisins
1 t baking soda
2 C sugar
1/2 C shortening
1 t salt
1 t ground cloves
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
4 C flour
Put raisins in 2 C of water in a saucepan and cook on med-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from stove.
Add 1 C cold water and 1 t of baking soda; stir.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, shortening, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add raisin / water mixture. Add flour, mixing well.
Pour into a greased cake pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.
This cake is perfect for fall, full of raisins and spices, and it's very moist and dense. Absolutely a family favorite of mine!
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