Since part of the book was set in the 1930s and 40s, I decided to use the Moderntone Platonite dishes my dear mother-in-law gifted me several years ago. I've never actually used them and thought this would be the perfect time to get them out. As a very young child, I remembered my mother setting our table with pink plates, pink cups and saucers and even little pink salt and pepper shakers. Many years later, I think the first time I visited my husband's parents' home, I saw those same pink dishes PLUS BLUE dishes, GREEN dishes and YELLOW dishes!!! Besides the plates, cups and saucers, there were BOWLS, TUMBLERS AND SHERBET DISHES! I couldn't believe there was actually a complete set! My mother told me she had gotten her starter set from the local grocery store but had traded the other colors with family members so she could have her pretty pink dishes. I was so taken with my mother-in-law's collection that she gave them to me when she moved. They've been in storage until now.
Here are a few photos of our table.
We enjoyed popcorn during our discussion but I chose two recipes suggested from the book for dessert. The first was Mrs. Murphy's Current Cake, which Dorothy enjoyed for her birthday while attending Miss Larson's class.
The second was a rhubarb tart Dorothy remembered her grandmother baking. (Well, she remembered her making a tart, not exactly sure it was rhubarb.)
I'm including the recipes for the current cake from this site, which gives great ideas for book club recipes!
Dorothy's Current Cake“The bread, dense and moist, tastes like Ireland.”
(This recipe is adapted from Nick Malgieri's “The Modern Baker” [DK Publishing, 2008].) Makes 1 loaf
2 cups whole-wheat flour (see note)
½ teaspoon salt2 large eggs1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk or whole milk
2 cups dried currants (or chopped raisins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 ½-by-4 ½-inch loaf pan.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs then beat in sugars. Separately whisk in oil and then buttermilk, whisking until smooth after each addition. Fold in flour mixture and then quickly fold in currants.
Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven until well risen and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes, then unmold onto a rack and cool completely before slicing.Note: A combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour also can be used.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my lovely Moderntone dishes as much as I've enjoyed using them this past week! I'm having a little trouble putting them back in their boxes. :)
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