Throwback of the House: An Orange Slice of History
|Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia Commons|
Mrs. Paul Jokinen of Michigan once thought it wise to put orange slice candies in cookie bars.
Not only did the Kalamazoo County Fair think this was worthy of a blue ribbon, but Favorite Recipes of America in Louisville, Kentucky, deemed it publishable in its 1968 dessert cookbook.
The recipe is simple: Make a batter with shortening, brown sugar, eggs, milk, flour, and baking powder. Spread half in a 9" loaf pan. Cook chopped dates (In retrospect I probably should have used those old sugar-preserved date bits instead of no-sugar-added dried dates) with water, a ton of sugar, and some flour until it's a thick compote. Stir in walnuts, and then trash the whole thing by adding 15 whole orange-slice candies.
Spread the ruined compote on batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake.
|The batter, trashed.|
It's hard to believe that Mrs. Paul Jokinen didn't hate humanity. She probably just wanted an inexpensive, easy way to make fruitcake without using actual fruit.
Because I like to make a good first impression, I took a still-warm piece of orange-slice bars to my first meeting with Gut Check's Ian Froeb. His impression? "This might be the stickiest thing I've ever eaten."
|"This might be the stickiest thing I've ever eaten."|
And yet...I can't stop eating it. Aside from that first bite, when the hot orange slice tasted like something produced by Satan with the sniffles, I like it.
It tastes the way my grandma used to smell.