Cooking With Betty: Jobs, Entertainment, and Cakes

Cooking with Betty is a new limited-run blog series showcasing transcriptions from the Betty Welter Fonds. Each week, we will be sharing Betty’s recipes and her thoughts on raising children in Grande Prairie during the 1950’s. Each blog post will feature recipes from her handwritten recipe book and excerpts from her reflection piece Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s. This blog series is made possible by volunteer Suzanne Dunn, who transcribed the records, and practicum student Alec Moreau, who compiled the posts. We will try to keep things short, simple, and sweet!


All good things must come to an end, and today we bid goodbye to Cooking with Betty. To finish things off, this final excerpt from Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s includes employment and recreation opportunities Betty gave her children:

Yes – they all had paper-routes and did errands for some neighbors. Fred was offered an after-school job at a bicycle shop on main street at 25 cents an hour, cleaning up on Saturday an after on assembling bikes. The older ones babysat a bit in the late 50’s at 25 cents an hour also.


All in Sunday School and choirs. Red Cross swimming lessons at the outdoor pool in summer months. Girls in Guides and Brownies, boys in Cubs & Scouts. Girls in a 4H clothing club that I led for years and boys in hockey. All took piano lessons from the Sisters; $1.00 for a half hour as I recall.

For the final post in this series we’ve saved the best for last, it’s time for an extravaganza of cake recipes! (That Chocolate Cream Cake sure sounds tasty… I should really go eat lunch.)

Matrimonial Cake (M. Brown)


1 1/4 c w. sugar
1 1/4 c oatmeal
3/4 c b. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 “ soda


Rub all together & put half in bottom of pan.


Filling: 2 c chopped dates
1/2 c sugar


Nuts and raisins may be added, enough H2O to boil. Cook in slow oven.

Chocolate Cream Cake (Gerty Meyers)


2 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. w. sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. b. powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. cream


Cream butter & sugar. Add to cocoa sufficient boiling water to dissolve it & add soda. Combine with first mixture. Beat in eggs & add vanilla. Sift flour with baking powder & salt & add alternately with cream to rest of mixture. Bake in layer cake tins in moderate oven of 350oF for 25 min. May bake in long pan.

Spice Cake (M. Brown)


1/2 c butter
1 c b. sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. molasses
3 tsp. b. powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/2 “ nutmeg
2 c sifted flour
1 c sweet milk


Mix as usual & bake.

Dream Cake (M.B.)


1 c flour
1/2 c butter


Mix well , put in pan & bake a short time.


2 eggs
1 1/2 c. b. sugar
1 c. walnuts [sic]

1/2 c cocoanut [sic]
2 heaping tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. b. powder.
Pinch salt.

Thanks for joining us for Cooking with Betty! To learn more about Betty, and to read transcriptions of her records, be sure to visit the Betty Welter Fonds.

Image: A page from Betty’s handwritten cookbook (From SPRA 0129.07.01)

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