Old Fashioned Treats with a Modern Twists – Malory Ford

I don’t know about you, but I love a good old-fashioned treat. Give me an icebox cake or a gorgeous loaf of sourdough any day of the week. Sometimes, if I have a minute to myself to enjoy it with a cup of coffee before my children wake up, I’ll imagine what it must have been like for my great grandmother and the women who went before her. Did they have the same concerns I do? Did they relish the quiet before the chaos too?

I feel certain they did. Whether it’s a breakfast dish passed down through the generations or a slice of buttered bread enjoyed in the evening, recipes have the power to connect us to our past.

Still, I do love the modern convenience of my stand mixer and electric oven. This is where old fashioned bakes with a twist come in. Some of them are shortcuts to achieve something similar to what has been done for generations, others are simply a new way of enjoying an old favorite. Step into my kitchen with me, and let’s see what we come up with.

Shortcut Sourdough

Show of hands – who started making bread during the pandemic? It’s all right, I see you. Unfortunately, many have abandoned their starters in exchange for something a little easier. This wouldn’t be a problem except that sourdough in and of itself is an experience that should not be missed.

Enter: Shortcut Sourdough. (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/277983/mock-sourdough-bread/)

This recipe is not only delicious, but it utilizes active dry yeast and yogurt in place of that sourdough starter that died on your counter a year ago.

You can find different variations of this dish, but they all mostly follow the same format. Enjoy the flavor, tang, and texture of sourdough without babysitting your starter – I won’t tell if you won’t.

Oreo Icebox Cake

My mom talks about how delicious my great-grandmother’s lemon icebox cake was. I’m sure that’s true, but I have to admit I’m partial to a delicious chocolate cookie sandwich with cream in the middle. Icebox cakes became popular in the 1920’s, and were more or less a descendant of trifles and similar layered desserts.

This oreo icebox cake (https://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/oreo-icebox-cake/) is a modern take on the classic recipe and makes the process even easier than it would’ve been nearly a hundred years ago. You could also adapt this recipe into miniatures by utilizing a muffin tin and placing the single oreo on the bottom. If you try this, make sure you allow a little extra time for the cake to set or you’ll end up with a dozen tiny (but still delicious) messes. One of the best parts of this recipe is that any little hands you might find in your kitchen can absolutely help you with it. My three year old was delighted to help me lay down the cookies, pipe the cream, and sprinkle the oreos on top. The newborn was decidedly less help, but give him a few years.

No-Churn Ice Cream

Did you know that the earliest renditions of ice cream date back thousands of years? Granted, the versions they enjoyed weren’t the sweet, creamy goodness we enjoy today. Those are a bit more modern but still something 18th century Americans would’ve enjoyed. Still, while homemade ice cream is infinitely worth the trouble, it does take a bit of work and some bulky equipment.

 

No-churn ice cream (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/no-churn-vanilla-ice-cream-3364776)  saves the day. With just four ingredients and some time in the freezer, this recipe would certainly make our foremothers jealous. Of course, you can add in any of your favorite toppings, and if those toppings weren’t around when the first ice cream sundaes were popularized? Well, that’ll be just fine.

 

Malory Ford is giving away one copy of her book

Do you have a favorite recipe that might’ve been made in the 1800s? Leave a comment for a chance to win.

 

The Way to Hope

Simon Carson is a self-declared lifelong bachelor interested in three things: ranching, woodworking, and staying as far from the responsibility of a family as he can. Plenty of young ladies catch his eye, but they all want something he’s just not interested in giving.

Samantha Paulson is a trick-riding, back-talking cowgirl who has made a life for herself riding in Jed Harper’s Wild West Show. She’s tough, smart, and if her fans are to be believed, a little crazy.

Samantha’s life is exactly as she wants it, thank you very much. That is, until someone starts sabotaging her act in the show and putting her in grave danger. The bosses send her out to a friend’s ranch to hide out while they find the perpetrator, but her single cowboy father didn’t exactly teach her to act like the other ladies in town. No, she knows horses better than she does people, and she’ll earn her keep if she can.

When Simon and Samantha meet, sparks fly and Simon starts to reevaluate everything he knows. That is, until Samantha’s attacker goes on the hunt and may just be closer than they think. It’ll be up to the Lord whether they have any hope for a future, or if they’re doomed before they even start.

 

Find Malory online at : Malory Ford Books – Author of Historical Christian Romance (wordpress.com)

Malory is a wife and mother, avid gardener, aspiring baker, and a voracious reader. She is a believer inspired by everyday encounters with the Lord, interactions with her friends and family, and the occasional trip into a history book.

Welcome Guest – Malory Ford

Homemade Christmas gifts the way our great grandmothers did it – with a few modern shortcuts

It happens every year. I sit down to make out my Christmas list, and the list seems to get longer and longer until it closely resembles something Mr. Clause himself might make. Between church friends, teachers, extended family, and the folks who keep our household running smoothly, I could easily spend a small fortune on Christmas gifts.

Enter – easy homemade Christmas gifts. The special bonus is that I’m a toddler mom with a baby on the way right after Christmas and these can all be done months beforehand and placed in a closet until gatherings commence. My toddler can help me with many of these, and I’ll note which ones specifically as we go. They’re great projects for children or grandchildren to get involved and feel even better about giving gifts to those they love.

Homemade Soap

Nope, this is not your great grandmother’s soap process.

Safe for little hands

I know what you’re thinking. I did indeed say these were easy, and I have not misled you. The modern shortcut we’ll be using for this one is melt and pour soap bases from your favorite craft store. There’s no caustic fumes, no danger of burns, and it’s completely safe for little hands to help.

Simply follow the directions on the soap base to melt it in the microwave and add essential oils for scent. You’ll see my silicone soap molds pictured here, but you could absolutely do this in a loaf pan with parchment paper and simply cut the bars with a knife when finished. My daughter loves to add drops of essential oil for scents and stir the melted base. She’s not quite old enough to pour the soap into the molds yet but an older child would absolutely be able to.

Synthetic scents and dyes are inexpensive and lots of fun for littles, but you can also keep the process more natural by using essential oils for scents and coloring with natural coloring agents like those listed here.

Dry Brownie Mix

This is an excellent way to use those old quart mason jars you found in your grandmother’s attic.

Safe for little hands if you don’t mind a bit of a mess

This one’s a common one, but sometimes the most obvious things slip my mind as the countdown to Christmas parties approaches. Many of the items for these you’ll already have in your pantry, and they’re an easy and adorable way to remind those around you that you’re thankful for them.

The ones pictured here are from this recipe but many are available if you do a quick search. You can trade out chocolate chips for red and green chocolate candies for a little extra Christmas fun.

For decorating, I generally print off some cute Christmas tags on cardstock with a quick note and the wet ingredients they’ll need to add. Fat quarters in Christmas fabrics from your local hobby store and a ball of twine or ribbon are really all you need to make these festive and adorable.

Homemade Jams and Jellies

This requires a little bit of knowledge on safe canning practices, but it’s an easy foray into canning if it’s always been a bit intimidating.

I don’t know about you, but nothing quite beckons Christmas like homemade jams, jellies and preserves. Spread a spoonful of peach jam preserved at the height of their sweetness over a loaf of homemade bread from a neighbor and I’m a happy girl.

Not only is this a great way to use up the apples your neighbor’s always bringing you from their apple tree (apple butter, anyone?), but you can also easily substitute store bought fresh or frozen fruit if you weren’t lucky enough to have a surplus of sugary goodness earlier in the year.

Safe canning practices for jams and jellies would take far too many words for me to get into here, but the good news is that most fruit jam recipes will be high acid enough to water bath can rather than needing a pressure canner. Here’s a great resource on high acid canning safety, as well as a link to the USDA’s free downloadable guide from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Crocheted Scrubbies and Soap Holders

Even if you don’t know how to crochet – yet!

Two things you should know about me: I love to develop random skills and I’m not particularly talented in textile arts. I know my way around a simple sewing pattern and can do a total of three stitches with some yarn and a crochet hook, but I’ll not be dropping jaws with my skills anytime soon.

I learned to crochet from a youtube video (like this one) and quite a bit of trial and error. My scrubbies and soap holders utilize exactly one stitch (the most basic of basic stitches), but they’re soft and handmade and can be thrown in the washing machine over and over (amen!). The secret to these is that I don’t measure anything, I don’t keep up with how long my rows are other than by sight, and I just fold over and stitch two of the sides together when I think I’ve got a big enough piece. They vary in size, and I certainly don’t want anyone looking too closely at the mistakes, but people will feel so loved that you took the time to learn something solely to bless them.

For those of you who already knit or crochet, you can probably do much fancier projects, but I’ll stick with my beginner skills for now. If you made the soap above, it’s an extra step to make the gift even more special. This is also a great project for upper elementary school kids to learn, and it’s certainly doable for that age.

Whatever you do, keep it fun and lighthearted. Homemade gifts aren’t special because they’re perfect, they’re special because you took the time to make them. Leave the perfectionism at the door, because the charm of many of these is the slipped stitch, the chocolate chip that somehow settled down into the flour in the brownie mix, and the spot where your toddler just couldn’t keep her finger out of the soap as it set.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to homemade gifts, and I’d love to hear some of your favorites! Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of my new book, A Way to Joy.

The Way to Joy

Violet Gilbert is carrying the weight of her bitterness against her father. Not only does she feel crushed under the burden, but her faith is in tatters as well.

Nicholas Carson is a cowboy turned farmer who can’t shake his feelings for Violet no matter how many times she rebuffs him. He remembers the girl she used to be, and he’s fighting for the opportunity to see that girl again.

When Nicholas’s sister Lily enlists Violet to help with their yearly Christmas program, she has no idea Nicholas has been recruited to build the sets. As sparks fly and feelings grow, Violet struggles to forgive her father and imagine a future of joy and love. And when an unforeseen winter storm threatens both their lives and those of the school children, the two must work together to avoid disaster.

The Way to Joy – Amazon

Also, the box set for my Legacy series is currently on sale for only $0.99!

The Legacy Series BoxsetAmazon