"The girl unwrapped the bundle and made three small piles, equal piles, he noticed, not skimping herself the way his mother used to do. Then Joel spoke a blessing and they handed Daniel his share, a few olives, a flat little loaf of wheat bread, and a small honey cake whose taste his tongue suddenly remembered from childhood. For the first time Daniel felt his tight muscles begin to relax. His eyes met Joel's , and the two boys studied each other without hostility.......In some way, the food had made it easier to speak."
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Food nourishes more than just our bodies - it nourishes our souls. Maybe these honey cakes were the original soul food. When shared, they brought Daniel back to his childhood and chipped away at the hostility that had been maturing inside him.
I made these delicious cakes for the fifth grade as they began their literature journey through The Bronze Bow. The story takes place during the time of Christ. These cakes have a distinctive taste of honey and are a little reminiscent of corn bread, but without corn!
The Vanilla Honey Butter elevates them just a little bit more. Use a real vanilla bean if you can. It's worth the extra effort!
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour
Cream shortening, honey and eggs. Mix dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan (or 21 muffin tins or 10 mini loaves) and pour batter in it. Bake at 350 degrees.
Baking times: 30 minutes for a 13 x 9 inch pan, 15 minutes for muffins, and about 18 minutes for mini-loaves.
Vanilla Honey Butter
1 stick butter
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 Tablespoons honey
Bring butter to room temperature. Scrape the seeds from one vanilla bean. Add 2 Tablespoons honey and mix together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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