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Liquid Glass

----- Original Message ----- 
From: margaret 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2011 10:48 PM
Subject: one more question--"liquid glass"

This is from "Things Mother Used To Make", by Lydia Maria Gurney (1914) . 
Do you know what she means by "liquid glass"?:

How to Keep Eggs= 
In the summer, when eggs are cheap, buy a sufficient number of freshly 
laid ones to last through the winter.

Take one part of liquid glass, and nine parts of cold water which has been 
boiled, and mix thoroughly.

Put the eggs into a stone crock, and pour over them this mixture, having 
it come an inch above the eggs. The eggs will keep six months, if they are 
perfectly fresh when packed and will have no taste, as when put into lime water.


Hi Margaret

Learned something today:

From Wikipedia:

"Sodium silicate is the common name for a compound sodium metasilicate, Na2SiO3, also known as water glass or liquid glass."

"Food preservation Sodium silicate was also used as an egg preservation agent in the early 20th century with large success. When fresh eggs are immersed in it, bacteria which cause the eggs to spoil are kept out and water is kept in. Eggs can be kept fresh using this method for up to nine months. When boiling eggs preserved this way, it is well advised to pin-prick the egg to allow steam to escape because the shell is no longer porous."


Meta Givens Fruitcake

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Clyde
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:27 AM
Subject: Meta Givens Fruitcake Recipe

Dear Uncle Phaedrus: 
I went through all the recipes and did not find one that matched. 
It was a recipe from a Meta Givens Cookbook, probably about 30 years 
ago.  It was basically a candied fruit, pecans, very little  batter, 
and one of the features was a jar of blackberry jam or jelly, plus 
many other things.  Somehow the cookbook got lost, and since she has 
written so many I don't know which one to order.

I hate to bother you, but if you could help, I would appreciate it. 
I loved that recipe, and would like to prepare it this year.  

Sincerely Clyde

Hello Clyde,

I had no success locating a fruitcake recipe credited to Meta Givens and with blackberry jam or jelly. Below is the only recipe that I could find that did call for blackberry jam or jelly.



2 c. sugar
1 doz. eggs
1 lb. butter
4 c. flour
2 qts. pecans
2 lbs. raisins, white and dark
1 lb. cherries
1 lb. pineapple citron
1 glass blackberry jelly or jam
1 qt. figs
2 lbs. mincemeat
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 250 to 300 degrees. 
Put pan of water under cake while baking. 

Hello Again Clyde,

I contacted one of my readers whom I knew had some Meta Givens cookbooks, and she graciously searched them and sent the below recipe.


I found the following recipe for 'Rich Fruit Cake' in my '61 Meta Givens cookbook.
Rich Fruit Cake
2 lbs. moist raisins
2 lbs. moist currants
1 lb. citron, finely cut
1 lb. pecans, chopped
1 lb. almonds, blanched, sliced
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lb. soft butter
1 lb. brown sugar
12 eggs
1 6-oz glass blackberry jelly
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup canned fruit juice
Thoroughly wash and dry the raisins and currants; combine with citron 
and nuts. Sift flour, measure, and resift twice with spices; mix 2 cups 
of it with the fruits and nuts. Cream butter until soft and smooth, blend 
in sugar thoroughly, and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each 
egg is added. Add blackberry jelly which has been thoroughly beaten up. 
Add remaining flour mixture alternately with cream and fruit juice, beginning 
and ending with a portion of flour and mixing well after each addition. Stir 
in floured fruits and nuts, and mix until well distributed through the batter. 
Pack into loaf pans lined with 2 thicknesses of greased brown paper or waxed 
paper. Bake the same as 124 (see note) for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on size 
of pan. Cakes are done when they pull away from sides of the pan and are firm 
to the touch in the center. 10 lbs. cake
Note: 124 refers to another recipe in the book (Holiday Fruit Cake). The relevant 
reference appears to be as follows. (I'm afraid I may have included a little too 
much, but was unsure where to start or end.)
Place pans in a jelly roll pan; set in oven on bottom shelf and pour water 
into jelly roll pan 1/4" deep. Bake in very slow oven (250 degrees F) from 
2 to 3 hours, time depending on size of pans, or until cakes test done. Be 
careful not to scorch. Cool cakes in pans on cake racks. Then remove cakes 
from pans but leave lining papers attached. Decorate and glaze cakes and let 
dry. Then wrap in moisture-proof cellophane paper and seal airtight. Store 
in covered box and let ripen a few weeks before serving. Chill in refrigerator 
3 or 4 hours before slicing.


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