My horoscope says that I must pay attention to detail today because that will get me further than being slapdash. And I must not rush. Fine by me; the ‘must not rush’ bit. I am all for the relaxed life. Besides, I am not sure where I am supposed to be going , in such a hurry, anyway, especially as I am still in my very old house clothes. Slapdash is a little more difficult to avoid since I have already slap-dashed the kitchen with my cake-making efforts. However, if I have followed the recipe carefully, and in detail, all should be well. ( So, take that, horoscope!)
I have been making Canadian War Cake
which is a variant of Boiled Fruit Cake or Great Depression Cake;
that is, a cake which is usually eggless, butterless and milkless and relatively easy to make when money or ingredients are scarce. The recipe I am using is from a reproduction copy (complete with reproduced age-old stains) of “Nurse Maude’s Household Book”. The original book was published at the beginning of the 20th Century to raise money for the our local District Nursing Association and was sold for one shilling.
The reproduction copy that I own was also sold as a fundraiser (cost $10.00) for the Nurse Maude Organisation which continues to provide home nursing care and hospice/palliative care for our community. Nurse Maude has provided services to our city and surrounding areas for 115 years, and it all started with one Sibylla Emily Maude ,
born in Christchurch 11 August 1862. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/2m42/maude-sibylla-emily
“Emily Sibylla Maude was a pioneer in nursing, dedicating her life to serving the needs of the poor. Her death, in Christchurch on July 12 1935, marked the beginning of the first and most recognised, district nursing scheme in New Zealand. The eldest of 8 children, Nurse Maude was born in Christchurch in St Peter’s Parish on August 11 1862.
Her interest in nursing began as a hospital visitor and in 1889 she went to England to train at Middlesex Hospital as a paying Lady Probationer.
In November 1892 she set sail for home and started work as Matron of Christchurch Hospital, but in October of 1896, seeing the increasing need of the community, she took her nursing to the streets of Christchurch to nurse and care for the poor. Within her first year, Nurse Maude had made more than 1,000 visits on foot, firmly establishing the first district nursing service in New Zealand as an integral part of the community.”
My grandmothers were great admirers of Nurse Maude. Her funeral was a huge event and many hundreds turned up to honour her. I think my grandmother and my mother were amongst the hundreds who went to pay their respects.
I am also a great admirer of the Nurse Maude organisation, in its modern manifestation. In years past, I have been very grateful for their home nursing services. And, nowadays, I often buy goods from their Shops and, from time to time, their frozen meals are my life savers. Fortunately, on this warm spring afternoon, all I really need from Nurse Maude is a slice of her War Cake; the recipe for which she guarantees is reliable.
Small details: Nurse Maude is referred to as Sibylla Emily Maude and sometimes Emily Sibylla in the articles I have researched! Oh,and I wish she had a recipe for hayfever. The warm spring afternoon is playing havoc with my allergies 😦