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The Devonshire

Wellington, Ontario

Heritage Recipe

Hot Milk Cake

I was schooled in the tradition of teatime by Elma (Elizabeth Margaret), my wonderful Scottish Grandmother. The "school room" was my grandmother's kitchen on the Isle of Arran, off the western coast of Scotland. While people who read about tea time in books are led to believe it's a delicate repast to tide you over until a more elegant dinner served at 8:00 p.m., anyone with a Scottish grandmother knows that tea can start immediately after breakfast, be served again at 10:00 a.m., again as a predecessor to lunch, after lunch, before and after afternoon naps, before and after dinner, and before bed, with the most important component being a steady stream of visitors dropping by, popping in, and paying respect to elders in a way we can't even imagine on this newly found continent.

People who read about tea in books also conjure images of lace tablecloths and elegant serving trays, but my fondest memories are of my grandmother's stainless steel tea pot and accompanying tea cosy. Her tea, made from pure water from the burn, or stream, behind her house, could never be improved by any manner of tea tricks such as warming the pot or using a strainer instead of a tea bag. And no perfectly laid table could upstage the delights that issued from her bevy of square, round, and octagon cookie tins - pancakes with jam, spice cookies, scones, and pound cakes, all to be arranged on a platter depending on the time of day and who had happened by.

These are recipes that have been handed from my grandmother to my mother and to me. They are simple, practical, no-fail recipes: the kind you will make again and again.

This extremely versatile cake, somewhere between a pound cake and shortcake, can do double duty sliced and served like a pound cake or can be served with seasonal fruit and ice cream or whipped cream. There is really only one bowl to clean up. It also freezes very well. ...Kathy Kennedy

1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine butter and milk in a sauce pan. Bring just to a boil. Combine eggs and sugar, beating constantly. Add vanilla. Sift flour and salt and add to egg mixture. Beat until smooth. Gradually add the milk and butter mixture and beat well. Add baking powder and beat again. Pour into a well-greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

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