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Mom's Sponge Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Helen
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 10:43 AM
  Subject: sponge cake

  Hi Phaed:

  Thought I had this sponge cake memorized, but....  Here are the 
  ingredients as I remember them and also instructions:

  5 eggs, separated
  l cup flour
  l cup sugar
  1 teaspoon (?) flavoring

  Whisk eggs until lemon color  Set aside
  Whisk together the flour and sugar.
  Add flavoring to eggs and whisk into dry ingredients-mix well.
  Whisk egg whites until peaks form-fold into batter.
  Pour into 11"x7" pan-do not remember whether pan is greased or not!
  I also forgot time and temperature!!  Also, I take it my memory served 
  me well as far as ingredients and amounts go?
  Can you help??

  Thanks, Helen             

Hi Helen,

Well, I must have a thousand sponge cake recipes in my database, and half said grease the pan but the other half said ungreased. However, the one that was closest to your recipe said "grease and flour the pan". The flavoring is most probably vanilla flavoring.

Not having exactly the same recipe you are trying to remember, I can't say whether your amounts are exactly right. Below, however, is the recipe at which I was looking. Try it and see if you like the end result.


       Mom's  Sponge  Cake

       Ingredients : 
       4 eggs
       1 c. milk
       2 c. white sugar
       2 tbsp. butter
       2 c. sifted flour
       2 tsp. baking powder
       1 tsp. vanilla

       Preparation : 
         Place upon the stove, milk and butter and heat until warm, not
       hot.  Beat eggs and sugar until lemon colored.    Flour and baking
       powder with milk and butter and vanilla.  Grease and flour a sheet
       cake pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Test with
       toothpick.  If done, remove from oven. 

Cheese Stuffed Bread

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Beverly
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 1:26 PM
  Subject: Stuffed Bread

  I make a stuffed bread that I love.  Recipe is 4 C. flour, 1 C. hot water, 
  2 T. sugar, 1/8 t. salt and 2 pkgs. rapid rise yeast.  If I double the 
  recipe should I double the yeast? 
  I stuff this bread with a variety of ingredients always including 
  cheese. How do I avoid having the cheese leak out during baking? 
  I love you site and appreciate your help. 
  Sincerely, Beverly 

Hi Beverly,

Glad you find the site useful.

Yes on doubling the yeast.

As for the cheese stuffing leaking out, I wonder if you are getting all of the air bubbles out of the dough before you stuff it?
Try the below instructions for stuffing bread. Hope it works for you.


  Rolling and Stuffing Instructions:
  Follow your basic bread recipe until you are ready to roll the dough. 
  With a butter rolling pin (not floured) begin rolling out the dough 
  until you have a rectangle that is about 12" wide x 15" long by 1/2" 
  thick.  Be sure to work the air bubbles out along the edges, you will 
  be able to hear them pop under the rolling pin.  Now is when you add 
  the stuffing to the bread by putting it onto the rectangle.  Melt 2 Tbls. 
  of butter and "rub" this over the surface of the dough, avoid 1/2" 
  along the very edges of the dough.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining 
  stuffing ingredients.  Finish rolling the dough. Starting at the 
  top 12" side of the rectangle roll the dough towards you, folding it 
  over onto itself.  Roll the dough until you are about three inches 
  form the end of the rectangle.  Along the sides you can see the spiral 
  of the rolling process.  Grab the layer of dough that is still on the 
  counter along these sides and pull it up over the roll to seal in the 
  edges.  Do it just the way you would wrap a sandwich in wax paper, 
  folding a small part of the sides onto the top of the roll.  
  Finish rolling.  Join the last end of the dough to the body of the 
  roll by pinching the joint. Lay the loaf into the pan with the joint 
  side down.

Drying Figs

----- Original Message -----
From: melody
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 10:44 AM
Subject: Questions...

> I understand that you're just the one to find answers---and I definitely
> have some questions!  Any help you might offer would be appreciated..
> Thank you.
> How do you dry figs?  I have taken them from the tree, washed them
> and placed them directly on the food dehydrator rack, and they turned
> out hard as bricks, so there is obviously a trick I am missing.
> Thanks again, Melody

Hi Melody,

Below are instructions for drying figs. Note that figs are not really considered ripe until they actually fall from the tree. Maybe that's w hy they turn out hard for you.


Figs, like all fruits, naturally contain several types of sugar. 
Over 50% of the weight of dried figs is sugar. This sugar is naturally 
present in the fruit and is not added during the processing procedure.

Figs are easy to dry and the end product is excellent. When stored in 
a cool location, their shelf-life is between 18 to 24 months. If frozen, 
the shelf-life increases to 5 to 8 years.

Varieties best for drying -- Black Mission, White Adriatics, Kadota, and
Calimyrna figs.
Selection for drying -- Figs are not picked from the tree. Ripe figs are
those that have fallen off the tree. Harvest quickly when they fall as they
are partly dried and usually mold-free.
Preparation -- wash and remove stems. Large figs can be halved or quartered.
Dry them with the skin down.
Pretreatment -- no pretreatment is necessary if drying in a dehydrator.
Drying temperature -- 160 degrees F for 1 to 2 hours; reduce to 130 degrees
F until dry.
Doneness -- no pockets of moisture and leathery


----- Original Message -----
From: Maria
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 1:54 PM
Subject: recipe question - mostaccioli

> Sir,
> I'm hoping you can help me.  I've eaten (and fallen in love with) a cookie
> from Sicily called "mostaccioli."  Now I've seen numerous recipes for this
> cookie on the web, but none of them are exactly the same as the one I'm
> familiar with.  A common characteristic is that it is a hard cookie.  Yet,
> the recipes I've seen include nuts and various aromas added.  The one I
> know of has no almonds, chocolate, anise, or lemon.  It may have a tinge of
> clove.  These mostaccioli I believe can only be found in the winter months
> in Sicily.  The cookie itself is very hard and seems to be made very
> basically with little ingredients.  It is round, brown and on it seems to
> be a "pillow" shaped section.  I hope I've given you something to go on that
> might help you in determing what cookie this is and where I could find the
> recipe or the cookie itself.
> Thank you,
> Maria

Hi Maria,

Well, there are three things called mostaccioli. One is pasta and the other two are cookies. One of the cookies is a fancy cookie with lots of chocolate and nuts, and the other is a simpler cookie that had its beginnings as leftover bread dough that was sweetened with honey and baked after the bread was done.

Maria, even the simplest mostaccioli recipes that I could find contained almonds. There are lots of variations, but the simplest one that I could find is the one below.


US cups
4 cups almond flour (ground peeled almonds)
4 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup honey (preferably runny)
2 tbsp anise-seed liqueur*
* substiute with "Pastis"

500 gr. almond flour (ground peeled almonds)
500 gr. plain flour
200 gr. honey (preferably runny)
2 tbsp anise-seed liqueur*
* substiute with "Pastis"

Mustaccioli, Mustrazzoli, Mustazzoli are hard dry cookies made in various
regions, Sicily, Basilicata, Calabria. You can also add a little grated
lemon or orange rind to the dough.

Put the flour on a cold work surface in a mound. Add the ground a˛monds and
mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the anise-seed liqueur and the
honey. If you do not have runny honey melt the solid one in a couple of tbsp
of water. Work the flour into a dough, kneading it well. Place oven paper on
a baking tray and flatten out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4"/1.5
cm. thick. With the tip of a sharp knife cut it into diamond shapes without
separating them. Bake at 400░F/200░C/G4. When they start to turn brown
remove them from the oven, separate them out and bake for another 5 minutes
to dry them out.
Store them in the larder for a few days before eating them.

The Perfect Storm

 ----- Original Message ----- 
From: nicmar
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 7:40 AM
Subject: another question......

> what was the name of the boat in the movie "The Perfect Storm"?
> thank u for ur time 


It was the "Andrea Gail"



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