Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Old Fashion Lemon Icebox Cake

Old Fashion Lemon Icebox Cake
Dorcas Annette Walker

Right in the middle of a heat wave the other week our refrigerator of over twenty years quit cooling. It had been a faithful standby that we took for granted, as our kids grew from childhood to adult. In fact when remodeling our kitchen years ago we had our kitchen cabinets custom built around our refrigerator. As I worked to keep my food from spoiling in the heat, I had an insight into the life of my ancestors who didn’t have the convenience of an electric refrigerator. As soon as my husband came home from work we raced to town to purchase a replacement. I was quite unprepared for all the new fangled designs and gadgets that accompany modern refrigerators today. As my husband and son excitedly pulled me from one enthralling model to another, citing all the new features available, I felt rather dazed. “All I want”, I tried to tell my fellows, “Is a simple refrigerator that works.”

Families used to settle beside a creek or spring where food was cooled in spring houses. Some dug holes in the ground- cellars- lined with wood or straw and packed with snow or ice for refrigeration. Then came iceboxes made of wood with hollow walls that were lined with tin or zinc and packed with insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw, or seaweed. A large block of ice was placed in a compartment near the top of the box so that cold air could circulate down around the lower storage compartments. Some modern models had a spigot for draining water from a catch pan or holding tank. In cheaper models a drip pan was placed underneath the box that had to be emptied daily. A horse-drawn ice wagon made regular door-to-door deliveries with blocks of ice. Some apartment buildings had small doors that opened up to the icebox from the back porch where blocks of ice could be inserted by the ice man. Children would climb up on the ice wagon to get chips of fallen ice. America hit an industrial high in the mid 19th century to the 1930’s when the refrigerator was introduced into the home. Oliver Evans is known for designing the first refrigeration machine in 1805. The first practical refrigerator was built by Jacob Perkins in 1834 using ether in a vapor compression cycle. Today my modern refrigerator is built on wheels and has a fan at the bottom that cools the coils down automatically. I love the storage shelves in the door that holds a gallon of milk and the clear see-through shelves in the main part. I passed up the door feature of ice and cold water on the front- I know I’m hopelessly old fashioned- and I found a model without an automatic ice maker as I prefer to make up my own ice. I’m as thrilled over my new refrigerator as the ladies before me were with their fancy iceboxes.

This Old Fashion Lemon Icebox Cake is a quicker and simpler version of the original recipe, but still has the cool tangy taste of lemon that is refreshing to the taste buds on a hot summer day, like a cold glass of lemonade. Total preparation time is around one hour and fifteen minutes (30 minutes of cooling cake included) and this recipe serves sixteen. The Old Fashion Lemon Icebox Cake is made up the day before and makes a mild refreshing lemon summer dessert.

Old Fashion Lemon Icebox Cake

1 lemon cake mix
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
½ c lemon juice
1 (16 oz) cool whip

Prepare lemon cake mix according to the directions on the box and bake in two layers. Cool for thirty minutes and cut both layers in half.

Beat condensed milk and lemon juice until slightly thickened with mixer. Then fold in cool whip with a Wisk until well blended. Ice between layers and frost entire cake. Chill overnight in refrigerator before serving. May garnish with sliced lemons or lemon curls and mint leaves!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


Carolyn said...

This is a wonderful, light, moist, refreshing cake; a definate 'do-again'! I added a teaspoon or so of grated lemon rind. I also made it with an orange cake mix, freshly squeezed orange jiuce and graterd orange peel--tastes like a Dreamsicle.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

What a neat idea, Carolyn! Thanks for adding your comment.

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