Story by Kate Smith    1951




Kate shares with you her

 Home, her friends, her beloved   

 Possessions------including her great

 grandmother’s cherished recipes  


  I was not born to the masonry canyons of a big city…I migrated. As far back as seventeen years ago I knew I would need to escape to the peace and quite of the “open spaces”. So without further ado I set out to rectify the situation and managed to find a very comfortable rustic farm house situated on a good-sized island at Lake Placid, New York.

Even though “Camp Sunshine”, as I call my Lake Placid home cannot be classified as Early American it is just now celebrating its seventy-fifth year.   It provides an excellent setting for my mania—antiques! I am the type of antique enthusiast who visits all the antique shows in New York and surrounding territory, and during the summer when I have a leisure day, my guests and I spend the time driving through the mountains in search of old treasures. I have furnished my home completely with authentic Early American antiques. But the collection I am noted for is my Early American glassware—particularly my assortment of fine old pictures.

 While I’m speaking of antiques, I’d like to pass along my favorite cake recipe. Now don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing stale about this cake—it’s an antique merely because it was handed down through the family from my great grandmother. It’s a butter cake with chocolate icing and it’s simple to make!  

Cream together one-quarter 1cup of butter and a cup and  a half of sugar until very light in color-. To this mixture add two whole eggs and the yokes of three additional eggs, saving   the three whites for the icing. When thoroughly blended, alternately add two cups sifted flour, one cup of milk saving a little flour and a little milk for later use and mix well. To the flour you’ve saved, add two teaspoons of baking powder, plus a quarter teaspoon of salt. To the milk you’ve saved add two teaspoons of your favorite flavoring, and lastly fold in the flour-baking powder mixture. Grease and flour three eight inch tin and pour mixture evenly in it. Bake in 375o oven for twenty to thirty minutes. After 20 minutes if the cake seems to be browning to quickly reduce heat to 325o. Chocolate Icing, Non-cook! Beat stiffly three egg whites those you saved from the cake mixture to which has been added a pinch of salt. To this add one teaspoon of flavoring and fold in. Add three level tablespoon of coca, followed by the addition of enough sifted confectioner’s sugar to achieve the proper consistency for spreading—about three cups.                                          

I love animals … to the extent that my home is my dog’s home! Which means that nothing is too good for my Freckles-chairs, couches,  bed’s. But I do draw the line on chipmunks nibbling at my table linens, bedding, blankets, etc. When the house is closed for the winter, I met this problem by converting a small bedroom into what I call the tin room. The floor, ceiling and walls are all lined in tin; even the most industrious chipmunk is stymied. When the house is in use the “tin room” is converted into a combination dressing room-linen closet.

 I had a problem dining room. At one end of the room is a rather narrow jut—off with a beautiful stone fireplace, the effect, which was quite lost from the main part of the room. This we turned into a breakfast nook by adding chintz covered benches on either side of the wall. The fireplace mantle makes a perfect display piece for my pitchers, which I have collecting for years. The room is now so cozy we spend many pleasant hours there.

 Camp Sunshine faces the lake, and although there were many windows, folks could never utilize them. So I had a twenty-foot window seat installed. It runs full length of the room. During our leisure moments my guests and I stitched up gay chintz-covered pads to add to the beauty and comfort of the window seats. We also made drapes and great big pillows of the same fabric, creating a wonderful cheery atmosphere. And now everyone from the smallest guests to the assorted animals can look out and enjoy the lake view. 

 The Kate Smith hour every Monday through Friday 1 pm. ( 1951)