Jessica Pan decided to celebrate the 147th anniversary of author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth by making an authentic birthday cake from her life. She decided to use her wedding cake recipe from the Little House Cookbook, because it seemed the most edible of the cake recipes. She did not reckon on having to beat ten egg whites by hand.
That afternoon the finished black cashmere was carefully pressed, and then Ma made a big, white cake. Laura helped her by beating the egg whites on a platter with a fork, until Ma said they were stiff enough.
“My arm is stiffer,” Laura ruefully laughed, rubbing her aching right arm.
“This cake must be just right,” Ma insisted. – These Happy Golden Years, 1943
That afternoon, Jess began separating 10 eggs as she attempted to make a traditional white cake from the pioneer years. Rachel helped her by watching.
“It says you have to beat the egg whites by hand to make it authentic,” Rachel said. Jess beat the eggs for 15 minutes and then rubbed her aching right arm.
“This is bullshit. I’m getting the electric mixer,” Jess said, heading towards the cupboard. – What actually happened, 2014
Trying to recreate a cake recipe from over 100 years ago is not as easy as you might think. I would have used an egg beater. In fact, I would bet that the Ingalls did as well, but that detail didn't make it into the Little House books. Read the rest of the ordeal at The Hairpin. The recipe is included. -via Metafilter