To Illinois via North Carolina, a favorite cake has landed where it should.
Karen Budzinski of Crystal Lake, Ill., asked for a peanut-butter cake recipe which "my neighbor's mother made when she was living. The cake is now a memory and no one seems to know how to make it," she wrote.
Julia Holland of Fayetteville, N.C., answered. "This recipe comes from a cookbook with a copyright date of 1947. I collect cookbooks, and I hope this is what she wants. It is surprisingly good."
Holland's peanut-butter cake
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
5 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 medium eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup orange juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 2 9-inch layer-cake pans, line bottoms with wax paper and grease paper.
Sift flour, then resift with soda, salt and baking powder. With wooden spoon, cream butter and peanut butter until smooth, add sugar, and cream well. Beat in eggs one at a time, using a rotary beater, until satiny and fluffy. Mix buttermilk and orange juice. Using wooden spoon, add flour and the buttermilk mixture alternately to the egg mixture beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until smooth after each addition. Turn batter into prepared pans and bake 25 to 27 minutes or until cake barely tests done. Cool in pans on cake racks 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out on racks, loosen paper and invert to finish cooling. When cool, spread top, sides and between layers with peanut butter icing.
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted.
about 6 tablespoons milk
Blend butter and peanut butter together. Sift in confectioners' sugar and add enough milk to make frosting soft enough to spread.
Joan Bartholow of Timonium requested a shrimp imperial recipe "similar to the one served at Thompson's that was on York road. My husband loved that recipe," she wrote.
Her answer came from Mary Helen Jones of Baltimore.
1 1/2 pounds of peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp
1/2 pound fresh, sliced mushrooms
6 tablespoons butter softened
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated cheese (Parmesan, provolone or Swiss)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Saute mushrooms in 3 tablespoons butter until brown. Transfer to bowl. Add flour to mushrooms and toss together. Add sour cream and remaining butter, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Place mixture in saute pan and simmer. Combine with shrimp and place in oven-proof ramekins. Top with cheese and paprika. Bake 10 minutes.
* Pamela K. Howell of Baltimore is looking for a "bubble and squeak. It contains potatoes and cabbage and the name comes from the noise it makes when it is cooking. The recipe was in one of the McCall's Cookbook Collection that was at the cash register in the grocery store around 1965. I hope you can find this for me."
* Lorraine Brodka of Sparks remembers when, in the 1950s, she and her mother and sister would meet "every Thursday evening at Hutzler Brothers in Baltimore and enjoy chow mein. I would like to surprise them with this recipe."
* Julie Rauch of West University Parkway writes that she has three foods she has been unable to duplicate and which, she writes, she cannot get enough of. She is seeking pad Thai, served at the Thai Restaurant at 33rd and Greenmount; Cafe Hon's bread pudding with caramel sauce and Donna's roast veggies.
Chef Gilles Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.