Sunday, June 26, 2016

Love and Friendship: Take Two

Love and Friendship:  Take Two

I recently wrote a review of the Wilt Stillman adaptation of Jane Austen's Lady Susan. Herein I attempt a review of the novelization of the film.

Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely VindicatedLove & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen's Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stillman

Ostensibly written by Lady Susan Vernon's nephew by marriage in 1858, this is an attempt to vindicate Lady Susan, who, in the original novella, is the most awful mother and an accomplished flirt. The nephew claims that anonymous spinster maligned his aunt by making up certain situations and dialogues. He attempts to remedy that with his own memories - and fails. The dialogue is terrible. It's stilted and unnatural but in the movie, it's funny! The actors can pull it off and make it seem funny. The narrator is a dreadful, pompous, bore who inserts his very Victorian ideas into the story. While I do feel bad for Lady Susan, being around the same age, it would have been hard for her as a poor widow, to find another husband or some other way to live. In the original novella, she's scheming and callous but according to her nephew, Lady Susan and Alicia had their own language and often shared inside jokes any listener would misunderstand. Riiigghttt...

The story is a bit funny in parts but mostly because I saw the movie so I can picture the actors' facial expressions. I don't think Jane Austen would have written a character so stupid as Sir James Martin. She poked fun at people but not people who are truly intellectually challenged, as Sir James seems to be. Lady Susan still isn't very likable despite her nephews assertions to the contrary and Frederica comes across as kind of Fanny Price-ish.

This is a so-so attempt at fan-fiction and I applaud his attempt to go with a lesser known work. I didn't have high hopes coming into the movie but expected better of the novelization.

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 13

Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge #13


The Challenge: Pies

Make a pie! Meat, fruit, sweet or savory; traditional pies, hand pies, standing pies, or galottes - get creative, but make sure it’s documented!

This challenge fell at exactly the right time. I had some rare days off work AND it's Father's Day. I didn't even have to ask my dad what kind of pie he wanted- I already knew- his mother's famous blueberry pie with crumb topping.  My grandmother always used fresh blueberries, stocking up during a sale. She would make the topping and freeze it and used prepared pie crusts. In in the interest of making this a true challenge, I made my own pie crust.

I also added a bonus challenge to use my extra pie crust.

The Recipe: 

Nonnie's Best Blueberry Pie

Pie crust recipe from my Nonnie (paternal grandmother) with help from The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook c. 1947:
3 heaping cups full of flour
1 handful equal to one stick shortening
1 pinch salt
3/4 c. ice water

Mix flour, salt and shortening by hand. Slowly add ice water and combine by hand. Press into a ball and divide into two parts.

 Chill and roll out until 1/8" thick. Flour rolling pin and roll dough back onto rolling pin and into pie tin.

 Gently press dough into pie tin and prick all around with a fork. 

2 c. flour
1 stick butter, softened
1 pinch salt 
3/4 c. sugar (mix white and brown or use dark brown)
dash cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
Mix with fingers and knead until crumbly

1 1/2 qt. blueberries
3/4 sugar
1 T. butter 
1 drop lemon juice
flour (opt.)

Wash and dry blueberries and place in a large bowl. If very dry you can add 6 T. flour. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix. Double tinfoil in pan so pie doesn't leak. Squeeze a drop of lemon juice on the blueberries. Put a pat of butter on top and add crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees. Check after 15 minutes. Give it another 15 if not done. Bake until crumbs are golden brown. (You will smell it when it's done!) 

Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake
I had extra pie crust AND I have Pennsylvania Dutch mini pie pans. This recipe came from  a Swans Down recipe and advertisement from September 21, 1953. I found it on Pinterest from the blog Dying for Chocolate. See the full ad on the blog.

The Date/Year and Region: 1960s New England
Crumbles, crisps, slumps and grunts that date back to pioneer times, according to This particular recipe, which is very similar, dates to the 1960s

Funny Cake recipe is from 1953 but it supposedly dates back a lot farther.

How Did You Make It: 
Nonnie was one of those old world grandmas who never measured. She had all her recipes in her head. Several years ago I watched my Nonnie make the pie and copied down actual measurements. She used a handful of shortening, a pinch of cinnamon, etc. I followed my own written directions.  I added more fat and more water to the crust and more fat and brown sugar to the crumbs. I let the pie crust dough chill for an hour in the fridge before rolling and then blind baked it for 15 minutes. 

(I poked holes in the crust, filled it with rice and baked). 

Put foil over the crust and filled with rice.
After blind baking my crust is lightly browned.

Smaller crush blind baked

For the Funny Cake, I made a chocolate sauce melting dark chocolate chips instead of unsweetened chocolate, which I didn't have. I made the cake flour by removing 2 T of flour and adding 2 T of cornstarch per cup of flour. I sifted that together. I creamed the shortening in an electric mixer and then sifted the dry ingredients together and then poured slowly into the shortening and mixed again. I followed the rest of the directions to make cake batter. Then I poured it into my two small PA Dutch pie tins.

I topped the pie with chocolate sauce and crushed unsalted peanuts.

 I poured more chocolate sauce on the cake before baking. My pie tins were close to overflowing!

and then more when I cut it and ate it. Oops we ate it too fast for a picture! Here's one of the cut pie/cake.

Time to Complete:  About 2 hours for the pie crust and an hour for the pie including baking time. 

The Funny Cake took about an hour.

Total Cost: Blueberries were on sale and I had to buy brown sugar but I had everything else on hand.

How Successful Was It?: 
Very. I normally don't like pie crust. It's too thick and tasteless but my homemade crust was really good. It's light and flaky. Everyone, including my uncle who stopped by, said it tasted like Nonnie's and it was delicious. I think I added too much sugar and too much nutmeg but it's still so good.

The Funny Cake was a pleasant surprise. My chocolate sauce was runny and not very chocolately. I ended up with more sauce than I needed so I poured some over the hot cake. The cake is very light and buttery. My dad thinks it could be eaten for breakfast. 

How Accurate Is It?: 100% for both.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Movie Review: Love & Friendship

Movie Review

Love & Friendship

All photos copyrighted and taken from No copyright infringement intended. For illustration purposes only.

Love and Friendship is a take on Jane Austen's epistolary novella Lady Susan. The film, by Whit Stillman, stars Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan Vernon, a recent widow mooching off the kindness of her relatives and friends and gobbling up any eligible man she can find. All this while trying to figure out what to do with her teenage daughter who simply refuses to behave.

I enjoyed this movie once I got into it. I didn't quite remember the beginning but I did remember most of the rest. They added a new ending after Austen's story ends. I didn't think the ending sounded true for the character. Lady Susan is anything but stupid so I don't think she would have revealed what she did when she did. The other big change was to Sir James Martin who is turned into a complete simpleton, much more the fool than Jane Austen intended him to be. The rest of the plot is largely what I can remember from the novella.

The acting was mostly good. Kate Beckinsale, an Austen veteran, plays Lady Susan with just enough humor to make her seem sort of likable... sort of... Lady Susan is an anti-heroine, one people will not want to root for. I feel some degree of sympathy for her because she is a widow with no money and the only way to get money if you were a Georgian woman was to marry it. Her conduct toward Frederica, on the other hand, will not win her any "Mother of the Year" awards. 

Morfydd Clark plays Frederica to perfection. She's a bit more plain than I pictured Frederica. I don't think Lady Susan would have a plain daughter. Her acting was great. She played Frederica as sweet, shy and a bit timid but when surrounded by people who love her, she comes out of her shell. 

Tom Bennett was a hoot as Sir James Martin, the dim witted suitor of Frederica Vernon. 

On the bad side of acting was Xavier Samuel as Reginald DeCourcy. He was dull to the extreme. His delivery was flat and dispassionate. 

On the female side, Chloë Sevigny, as Alicia Johnson, Lady Susan's American friend, is pretty bland. Honorable mention goes to Sophie Radermacher was way over the top as Maria Manwaring. She portrayed Maria as a woman a bit unhinged and on the verge of madness. I don't remember that from the book.

The real stand out are the costumes! They are so gorgeous! The styles look pretty accurate for the Georgian period. The costumes tell a story about the characters. I noticed Frederica stayed in mourning the longest. Lady Susan's colors go from deep mourning, to half mourning, to WOW! I especially liked Frederica's pale yellow chemise dress. 

Also amazing are the historic homes in Ireland that serve as the sets. I tried to spot anachronisms and the only one I think I saw was a framed Ackerman's fashion print but it was hard to tell. 

I'd like to think Jane Austen would be pleased with this adaptation of her novella. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 11

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 11:

Picnic Foods

The Challenge: Picnic Foods

 Some foods are just meant to be eaten in the outdoors! Concoct a dish that is documented for al fresco dining, or foods that might particularly lend themselves to eating at a picnic. Bonus points for putting it to the test!

Work/real life is keeping me busy.  I didn't have the time to bake anything AND it suddenly got very hot here so I didn't even feel like turning the oven on. Naturally, I turned to sandwiches! What is more iconic for a picnic than a sandwich? I made several different types from the early 1900s and though I did put them to the test, I kept forgetting to snap pictures. 

The Recipes: 

Sweet Sandwiches
Any conserve or marmalade may be used with minced nuts and spread between slices of buttered bread. Both white and entire wheat or graham bread may be used. Jellies may be mixed with cream or cottage cheese and spread between buttered crackers. Raisins and nuts moistened with grape juice white bread. Shaved maple sugar and cream entire wheat bread. The butter for spreading should always be creamed. Wrap in wax paper.

Linda Hull Larned, One Hundred Picnic Suggestions, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915 . 116

Peanut Paste for Sandwiches


The Settlement Cook Book: The Way to a Man's Heart, The Settlement, Milwaukee, 1903

Strawberry Sandwiches

 Marion Harris Neil, Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes, D. McKay, 1916 p.127

Date and Region: 1903-1916 United States

How did you make it: 

It was too hot and time consuming to make bread so I used commercially baked country white bread and spread it with the toppings. I also used round saltine crackers. I was too lazy to really cream the butter much but I let it sit until softened and beat it with an electric mixer until spreading consistency. 

I crushed unsalted peanuts in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. 

Creamed butter with a pinch of salt in an electric handmixer until soft and spreadable.

 I combined the butter and peanuts into a paste, spread it on white bread, trimmed the crusts and cut into triangles. 
Peanut paste sandwich
Wrapped in wax paper for traveling.

I mixed Philadelphia light cream cheese with maple sugar and spread on white bread.
Cream cheese and maple sugar sandwich

I mixed Philadelphia light cream cheese with Bon Mamamn blackberry preserves and spread on round saltine crackers spread with butter.

Cream Cheese and Jam sandwich on saltines

I mooshed strawberries with a potato masher and mixed with butter then chilled in the fridge. I spread on white bread and cut with a butterfly cutter.
mashed strawberries

Strawberries and butter mixture
strawberries and butter butterfly shaped sandwich

I mixed Jif peanut butter with unprocessed honey from Corsica and spread on white bread. I sprinkled on a bit of maple sugar for extra sweetness.

How Successful Was It?: The jam sandwiches are very messy and soggy. The strawberry/butter mixture was odd. It didn't spread very well and the chunks of strawberries made the sandwich thick and messy to eat.

Adding salt to the peanut paste was not a good idea. It made my sandwich a bit too salty for my preference.

The most successful was the PB and honey. I make PB and honey all the time but I never thought to mix the honey in the peanut butter. This made the sandwich extra delicious and cut down on the stuck in your mouth feeling from too much PB.

Time to Complete:  Each one takes about 15 minutes or less, not counting the time to soften butter. I made these over the course of a week and a half for lunches at work. 

Total Cost:  I had all the ingredients on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: Mostly accurate. I didn't use fresh baked bread or any homemade ingredients. I put together commercial Philadelphia cream cheese or grocery store butter with store-bought jams, jellys and peanut butter. I substituted cream cheese for cream in the maple sugar sandwich and left out the confectioner's sugar in the strawberry sandwich. I did however, use special wild honey my parents purchased in Europe to mix with the commercial peanut butter. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 10

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 10:

Breakfast Foods

The Challenge: Breakfast Foods

 It’s simple - make a breakfast dish. Get creative, but make sure to provide your documentation for its place at the breakfast table!

Work/real life is keeping me busy.  I didn't have the time to bake anything really involved. I didn't even have time to shop for yeast to make Sally Lunn buns. True Sally Lunn buns are a sweet, yeast roll similar to French brioche. They are somewhat similar to Bath Buns, which we know Jane Austen was quite fond of. Both Sally Lunns and Bath Buns are included in the breakfast sections of Dinner with Mr. Darcy by Pen Vogler and Cooking With Jane Austen and Friends by Laura Boyle. Both authors chose to include those recipes in breakfast based on 18th century writings that list bread, toast and rolls as breakfast foods. The official Sally Lunn house in Bath states: "Bath Bunns / Sally Lunn’s were eaten at the endless round of breakfast parties. Like brioches, they were eaten hot if possible, split open and liberally doused with melted butter. Bakers made them in different sizes that could either be cut up or eaten as individual portions." Here in America, American-born English gentlemen and ladies enjoyed Sally Lunn as a breakfast treat,according to an 1892 newspaper article that claims George Washington was so fond of Sally Lunn that it becamer known as "Washington's breakfast bread" or "Federal bread." (Smithsonian Institution). This version is more of a round loaf of yeast bread/cake.

This particular recipe for Quick Sally Lunn was included in the breads and breakfast section of the Ryzon Baking Book and is similar to Mrs. Beeton's Nice Breakfast Cakes. Therefore, I can justify it for this challenge.

The Recipe: Quick Sally Lunn
Ryzon Baking Book: A Practical Manual for the Preparation of Food Requiring Baking Powder, General Chemical Company, New York:  p.23

Date and Region: Florence, Alabama, 1917

How did you make it: First I tried Quick Sally Lunn from Mother's Cookbook by Marion Harland in 1902. The recipe is very basic but it was a total failure. I let my butter soften on the counter for a few hours and creamed it with sugar. When I added milk, my butter turned solid and wouldn't mix with the milk at all. After trying to heat it on the stove, I scrapped the batter and tried again with the above recipe.

I made a few changes. I used real butter instead of shortening and I used heavy cream instead of milk to try to replicate the taste of an old-fashioned Sally Lunn bun. I melted the butter before adding to my egg this time. I used Rumford Baking Powder as Ryzon is no longer available and Rumford is the best anyway. (I grew up in the shadow of the old factory). I baked the first batch at 375 for 15 minutes and then one extra minute. For the second batch I added more cream and baked for 16 minutes. 

How Successful Was It?: It was not. This recipe makes a crumbly biscuit with absolutely no flavor. This is a far cry from the sweet brioche buns I had in Bath. This is only tolerable with butter or better with butter and jam and best as a biscuit base for berry shortcake sprinkled with sugar. 

Time to Complete:  For the Ryzon recipe, about 30 minutes total. 

Total Cost:  I had all the ingredients on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: It must be accurate for WWI shortages but it is NOT a Sally Lunn bun.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 8

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 8:

Literary Foods

Forgive the lack of photos. My computer died and I can't get the photos to transfer via USB or wifi. Come back later and see if I was successful. I  may rush out to buy a card reader. I'm adding some taken after I cut the cake from a micro SD card.

The Challenge: Literary Foods
Food is described in great detail in much of the literature of the past. Make a dish that has been mentioned in a work of literature, based on historical documentation about that food item. 

The Recipe: Anne Shirley's nightmare Goblin Cake or Devil Cake
" I just grow cold when I think of my layer cake. Oh, Diana, what if it shouldn't be good! I dreamed last night that I was chased all around by a fearful goblin with a big layer cake for a head."
Anne of Green Gables

This challenge was right up my alley, however, it happened to fall during my birthday and I REALLY wanted chocolate cake. I remembered the Anne of Green Gables cookbook has a chocolate goblin cake recipe, inspired by Anne's layer cake nightmare. Anne's layer cake was a golden yellow cake with red jelly in the center - not what I had in mind.

The Anne stories were published between 1907-1939. There are numerous references to chocolate cake in the books. However, the stories are set a little earlier, beginning in 1877. Anne's unfortunate cake baking incident occurs a year later, in 1878. [source: The Anne of Green Gables Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson]

Upon researching cookbooks from that year, I had a dilemma. Research revealed that chocolate cakes as we know and love them did not yet exist!

In the first half of the 19th-century, when Marilla Cuthbert was learning to bake, chocolate cake was typically a yellow or spice cake meant to accompany a drink of chocolate. By the time Marilla was teaching Anne to cook, a typical chocolate cake was as white or yellow cake with chocolate icing meant to be eaten at tea time.  Later on, chocolate was grated and mixed into the batter and Anne's children would know chocolate cake made with melted chocolate or cocoa powder. I'm not sure Susan Baker would actually bake such a thing but if Shirley asked her to, she would or if Mrs. Doctor dear invaded Susan's kitchen, she might make a chocolate cake for the children. 

The common type of icing was boiled icing often made with egg whites. More modern buttercream type frostings came into popularity in the beginning of the 20th-century.

A timeline of chocolate cake:
1877 a Canadian cookbook features a tea cake filled with chocolate
By 1886 some recipes put grated chocolate IN the cake
1887 marble cake with white and chocolate 
1889 White House cookbook cake only chocolate only has chocolate in the filling
1900 Canadian cookbook features chocolate cake and cocoa cake.
1905 Chocolate cake recipes as we know them more or less appear.

[source: and research into numerous cookbooks from the time in which the stories are set]

Since the stories take place between 1877 and World War I (World War II if you include The Blythes are Quoted or The Road to Yesterday) and there are lots of references to chocolate cake up through Anne of Windy Poplars, (there's even a mention of Anne frosting cupcakes with Little Elizabeth, though the trendy confections as we know them did not yet exist), and chocolate cake and Devil's Cake or Devil's Food cake was around when Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote her novels, perhaps she would have made this cake for her boys and thought of it when she wrote chocolate cake into the Anne novels. 

"But we couldent fix up the stewpan. Marilla had to throw it out. Thanksgiving was last week. There was no school and we had a great dinner. I et mince pie and rost turkey and frut cake and donuts and cheese and jam and choklut cake."
Davy's letter to Anne from Anne of the Island
This reference doesn't sound like a chocolate filled cake. It's not tea time, it's dessert. 

"We had cold tongue and chicken and strawberry preserves, lemon pie and tarts and chocolate cake [my ephasis] and raisin cookies and pound cake and fruit cake—and a few other things, including more pie—caramel pie, I think it was. After I had eaten twice as much as was good for me, Mrs. Douglas sighed and said she feared she had nothing to tempt my appetite.
"'I'm afraid dear Janet's cooking has spoiled you for any other,' she said sweetly. 'Of course nobody in Valley Road aspires to rival HER. WON'T you have another piece of pie, Miss Shirley? You haven't eaten ANYTHING.'
"Stella, I had eaten a helping of tongue and one of chicken, three biscuits, a generous allowance of preserves, a piece of pie, a tart, and a square of chocolate cake!"

"A warm plummy odor filled the whole house, for Priscilla was cooking in the kitchen. Presently she came in, enshrouded in a huge work-apron, with a smudge of flour on her nose, to show Aunt Jamesina the chocolate cake she had just iced.
Anne scrambled to her feet somehow, emptying two indignant cats out of her lap as she did so, and mechanically shifting her wishbone from her right hand to her left. Priscilla, who would have had to cross the room to reach the kitchen door, lost her head, wildly plunged the chocolate cake under a cushion on the inglenook sofa, and dashed upstairs."

Anne of the Island

That's my justification for the recipe, anyway. Hey, it's my birthday and I'm not about to eat a non-chocolate cake! 

Devil Cake

Custard part:
Half cup grated chocolate, half cup sweet milk, one cup dark brown sugar, yolk of one egg. Stir all together on stove; cool slowly and set aside to cool.
Cake: One cup brown sugar, half cup butter, two eggs. Half cup sweet milk, two and a half cups flour. Cream butter and sugar, yolks of eggs; add milk and sifted flour and whites of eggs, beaten stiff; beat all together and stir in custard; lastly, add one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a little warm water. Bake in layers and ice with chocolate.
Vogue Cookbook, News Publishing Co. Toronto, 1900

"Chocolate cake that is made with sour milk and soda is usually softer and darker in color than that made with sweet milk and baking powder Chocolate contains starch which thickens the batter so that less flour is needed for chocolate cake than for white cakes. Alkali darkens a chocolate mixture and a little soda added to the melted chocolate before putting it into the batter will not only darken the cake but also neutralize any free fatty acid in the chocolate and help to make the cake light. The large amount of soda in some recipes for chocolate cake serves the same purpose."
Wesley Hospital Bazaar Committee, The New Century Cookbook, Chicago, Ill., 1899

Marshmallow paste
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. milk
¼ lb. marshmallows
2 T hot water
½ tsp. vanilla
heat milk and sugar slowly until boiling point without stirring. Boil 6 minutes. Break marshmallows into pieces and melt in double boiler. Add hot water. Cook until smooth, then gradually add hot syrup stirring constantly. Beat until cool enough to spread. Add vanilla.

Chocolate fudge frosting
1 ½ T. butter
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
few grains salt
¼ c. milk
½ tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add cocoa, sugar, salt and milk. Heat to boiling. Boil 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat until creamy. Add vanilla. Pour over cake.

Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Book, United States 1913

Date and Region: 1900, Toronto, Ontario, Canada/ 1913 United States 

Anne is a Canadian icon and I really wanted to find a cookbook she might use. I settled for using one Lucy Maud Montgomery may have seen after her marriage and move to Ontario.

I chose the more modern frostings from Fanny Farmer.

How did you make it: I intended to follow directions. I made my chocolate custard first and spiked the custard with ¼ tsp. Godiva chocolate liquor. (I know Marilla would NOT approve)Then I discovered I didn't have enough brown sugar for the cake. I tried to make my own mixing molasses and white sugaand it was an epic failure. The molasses made the white sugar clumpy. I tried to sift it but it was too sticky and thick to sift. I ran to the store to find brown sugar but alas, they had none. My dear Miss Cuthbert, (may I call you Marilla), brown sugar IS useful for something. I'm not sure I could use 20 lbs. either but I could have used some of that bag Matthew brought home. I also substituted sour milk for sweet milk, making sour milk with a bit of apple cider vinegar in sweet milk because I wanted a rich, dark cake. 

I then tasted the batter and it wasn't sweet enough. I added some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter and ½ tsp. vanilla.

I sprayed layer cake pans with PAM + butter because I  had only a small amount of butter left was too lazy to butter and flour pans. I baked the cakes 30 minutes in “jelly pans” 

After freezing the cakes, I made the frostings. I spread a layer of marshmallow cream in the middle and frosted the outside with chocolate fudge.

How Successful Was It?: 
The cake baking was successful. I had trouble with the frostings. When I boiled the sugar syrup for the marshmallow frosting and followed the directions to NOT  stir it, the mixture burned! When I beat the chocolate fudge frosting mixture with an electric beater, it seized up and turned gross.  I tried again to cream the butter and sugar in a modern stand mixer, again without success. I went back to the original directions but mixed by hand this time for a successful fudge frosting. The cake baking went much better than poor Anne's did anyway. I did forget the vanilla in the frosting but I didn't confuse vanilla with liniment. 

ETA: YUMMMMM! This cake is a success. It's best eaten warm. The frosting makes it sweeter and richer. It got a thumb's up from the family. 

Time to Complete:  An hour or more for the whole thing. I did it in stages so 3 days total.

Total Cost:  Because I fail at frosting 101, I had to get more butter and cream. I don't feel like looking up how much that was but those ingredients would have come from the cows on the Green Gables farm. 

How Accurate Is It?: Well, the cake recipe is mostly accurate. The frosting recipes are accurate and the whole cake is accurate to the time period the Anne stories were written in.