The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants considered cake people more refined than pie people because you may put any scrap of meat or vegetable in a pie, bake, and take it into the fields to go to work. No forks necessary. Cake required sugar, honey, or molasses and a yeast or a rising agent. In other words, it required resources and money. Class definitely showed in what and how you ate your daily bread, cake, or pie.
Anne Byrn writes about the history of cake making and many other fascinating facts about colonial culture in her new book, American Cake, From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layers, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best Loved Cakes.
I crave cheesecake, pound, and coconut cakes.
Warning: Being a mystery writer and also a pie lover, I must mention the macabre character, Sweeney Todd in the penny dreadful, The String of Pearls, probably by James Malcolm Rymer and/or Thomas Peckett Prest. Sweeney cut his customers’s throats in his barber shop and their bodies became the meat in Mrs. Lovett’s pies.
Yeks! Maybe, I should cancel the reservation and cook at home this year. Whether you eat your turkey with your hands or a fork, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.