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The bakers of Brooklin are coming through with 30 cakes to celebrate Friend Memorial Public Library’s 100th birthday on Sunday, July 29.
The birthday party will be under a tent at the library from 2 to 4 p.m. The Brooklin Band will play. Each attendee will receive a copy of The First Hundred Years: Friend Memorial Library, a 20-page book by Emily Blair Stribling, organizers announced in a press release.
The conclusion of the party also will be the conclusion of A Century of Books, a silent auction of 100 or more works with local roots. The auction started July 17 at the library, featuring books by authors both contemporary—the likes of Peter Behrens and Michael Chabon—and time-honored, such as E.B. White and Mary Ellen Chase. Bids can be placed during library hours.
Some of the cake offerings have history of their own. Steven Feinstein is making his mother’s “war cake,” a rationing-inspired recipe from the 1940s made with one-seventh of the butter and one egg instead of three. She bulked the batter up with nuts.
Unlike the other cakes on offer, Feinstein said, this one might be there mostly for looks. “It’s heavy and not so flavorful.”
Rich in both history and flavor will be a devil’s food layer cake that Polly Pratt will make from her mother’s recipe of the 1950s. It’s a “seven-day cake,” so called because a secret ingredient (mayonnaise) keeps it moist. “It never stayed around for seven days,” she noted. “It was too good.”
Nancy and Bruce Fowler will make a recipe from Lily’s Cafe in Stonington, notable for having won kudos from French Chef Julia Child when served for her birthday two years running. The chocolate/sour-cream cake has a dark chocolate filling and cream cheese frosting.
Carol Merrifield will help her three young granddaughters make a spice cake in the shape of a book, complete with bookmark. Merrifield chose a spice cake because “it’s denser and easier to cut” when sculpting.
Throughout the month of July, the Brooklin Keeping Society is displaying historical photos and artifacts at the library. The Keeping Society’s archives were a resource for Stribling as she compiled her history of the library. Stribling also consulted local historians June Eaton and Arthur Wood, among others. The book is designed by Sherry Streeter of Brooklin.
For more information about the auction or birthday celebration, call the library at 359-2276.