Many young ladies today don't even know what a hope chest is. For those that don't know, a hope chest is a piece of furniture, basically a chest, that contains household linen, clothing, or anything a young lady might need to set up her household, in preparation for her marriage. Women would generally get their hope chest between courting a man and an engagement. Other names for hope chest in the USA are dowry chest, trousseau chest or cedar chest. In the United Kingdom they referred to it as a "bottom drawer", they put aside the bottom drawer in their chest of drawers for their collection. Women in Australia refer to it as a "glory box".
This was a customary gift in the Amish community and they refer to it as a wedding chest. It would be given to the bride & groom. Because brides leave home when they marry, the hope chest was made to be portable. What sort of items would go into the home chest?
Young ladies would do needlework or other artwork and place it in the box for wall hanging in their future homes.
Clothing, such as a pretty/special dress,
Table and bed linens, quilts, blankets, dishware, bake-ware, kitchen items, or a pretty apron.
I think a hope chest is a perfect gift for a young lady approaching a marriageable age.
I particularly like this Coaster Bench Wood Storage Bench. It has a dual purpose. Not only can the young lady store her dowry items but she will now have a seating area in her new home.
Here is a linkfor some hope chest showing you what they look like. There is a large variety of styles and colors to chose from.
This recipe came out of the Taste of Home magazine Aug/Sept 2008 issue, pg 33. Lisa M. who submitted the recipe said she won 1st place in a pumpkin baking contest with this dessert. The judges gave high-marks to the gingersnap-pecan crust and the filling that was creamy and marbled.
1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (apox 30 cookies)
½ cup finely chopped pecans
½ cup melted butter
Two 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
½ cup + ¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
Garnish (both are optional)
Ginger bread cookies, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 350
Place a 9" spring-form pan on an 18" square piece of heavy duty alum foil.
Wrap the foil around the pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the pecan and cookie crumbs. Stir in the butter.
Press in the bottom and 1" up along the sides.
Bake for 9-11 minutes (or until it is set)
Allow to cool in a wire rack.
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and ½ cup of the sugar until smooth
Add vanilla and the eggs.
Place 1 cup of the filling in a small bowl and stir in the pumpking, spices
and remaining sugar.
Set aside ¾ cup of this pumpkin filling.
Pour the remaining pumpkin filling into the crust.
Top with the plain filling.
Drop the reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls onto the top, using a knife,
cut into and give it a swirled appearance.
Place the spring-form pan into a large baking pan, add 1" of hot water to
the large pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until set.
Remove the spring-form pan from the water-bath. Allow to cool on a wire rack
for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Allow to cool an additional hour.
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