Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Remembrance of Jacob Romick

My Great, Great, Great Grandfather Jacob Romick was in the army twice. In 1841 and again during the Civil War. What a conundrum. I knew about his Civil War service since he has a military gravestone and I have a copy of the receipt for the stone and his pension record. But I had no idea that he was in the army twenty years earlier too.

According to the "Descriptive and Historical Register of Enlisted Soldiers of the Army" Jacob Romick was enlisted by Lt. Bradford in Columbus, Ohio in the 4 Artillery Co. F. on 29 January 1841. He was 21. He was discharged as a Private in July of 1843 in Fort Monroe, VA with a disability.

He returned to Ohio, married Rachel Britton on 30 Sept 1844 and they had 8 children: Mary M, Hosea, Charles M., Rachel L., Jacob E., William, George W. called General, and John T.B.

Flash forward twenty years.

Lt. Jacob Romick was one of the 100 Days Men in the 133 Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Active from 6 May 1864 to 6 Aug 1864, these volunteers along with thousands of others were to help the Union achieve victory in 100 days. You know that did not happen. His pension record indicates that he was an invalid. (I wonder what the original 1843 disability was and if he was injured again.)

I am still digging to learn more about him and his service. I did find out on the 1841 enlistment record that he was born in Fayette County, Ohio (something new I did not know.) and that he was 5 foot 9 inches tall and had brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. It also had his occupation as a saddler. (That might explain why he kept going to war.)

Now if only I could figure out why was in the army at all in 1841. The Texas situation was over and the Mexican American War had not yet begun. I really do love history.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mexican Almond Cake

I brought this cake to our international dessert day at work. I have made it many times and it always comes out perfect. Moist and not too sweet. Several people asked for the recipe, so here it is. It is adapted from Cocina Mexicana by Marlena Spieler.

Torta de Cielo

3/4 C. whole almonds with the peel.
1 C. room temperature sweet butter
1 C. sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
9 Tblsp all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt.

Lightly grease a 8-inch round or square cake pan and put wax paper on the bottom.

Pulverize the almonds until they have become flour. I use a mini-chop for this.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, almond flour and both types of extract. Mix well. Add the flour and the salt. Mix until the flour is incorporated. Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Take the cake out of the oven and cool it on a wire rack or trivet. Pop it out of the pan and put it on a nice serving plate. Sprinkle powdered sugar over it. You can also decorate it with toasted almond slices.