So today I decided to use up some baking supplies and also some of the apples I bought in Point Pelee, and make the Spiced Apple Cake recipe from the book. I baked one cake right then, and put the dry ingredients for two more in plastic bags. When I pulled out the powdered vanilla, I realized that it had been on the shelf for probably a couple of years, so I asked Mr. Fixit if he would kindly pick up some while he was out radio-hunting this morning. (The bulk store is next to the antiques market.)
The cake recipe sounds like it shouldn't work, or taste good, but it does (both). It has no salt in it; it contains baking soda, but nothing acid like yogurt or sour milk for the soda to act on, so I'm not sure (kitchen-chemistry-wise) why the soda instead of baking powder, but it did rise. I don't have the Bundt pan that the book called for, so I used our 10 x 15 inch glass pan.