Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Candlestick Salad (That's what -she- said.)

I remember this recipe from an old children's cookbook read in years past, but when I checked the three I have in my library, it wasn't included. I'd hoped to find a picture, but perhaps it's best that I didn't. (Search Google images if you must.)

As with the recipe for Prune Loaf (jello), I find the shifting societal trends reflected in cookbooks really interesting. In today's world, the only place this salad could be served would be at a bachelorette party.

I wonder when the shift away from phallic shaped foods (other than those served in buns) was complete? Early 1970s perhaps?

If the trend continues, might hot dogs soon be flattened?

Candlestick Salad

For each person allow 1 slice of canned pineapple placed on a lettuce leaf. Put one half a banana in the center, pour a little mayonnaise at one end, to represent the wax running down, with a small piece of red cherry for the flame.Use orange peel or green pepper for the handle.

Monday, May 30, 2011

There's always room for Prune Jello

Now I've got nothing against prunes. I even rather like them; fresh out of the package, in my friend Nancy's prune cake, or even stewed. This recipe from Meals for Small Families however, does not appeal. Wonder how it went over with the author's family?

Were prunes not the butt of jokes then as they are now?

And more importantly, did Jell-o brand ever offer prune flavored gelatin? If not, why not?

Prune Loaf

1/2 lb. prunes soaked in cider overnight
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tablespoonful sugar

Cook prunes in juice in which they were soaked. Remove pits. Save 1 cup of juice, heat and add the following:

3 tablespoonfuls gelatine
1/2 cup ice water
1 orange (juice)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 orange rind, grated
1 cup prune juice

Add the gelatine--soaked in ice water--to the hot prune juice. When dissolved add the fruit juice, orange rind, and chopped nut meat. Pour into wet mold and chill. When set, unmold and serve with whipped cream. This serves 6.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not your Grandmother's Orange Jello

There are a few recipes in Meals for Small Families that I really have to try. Take this little gem for example.
Orange Jelly

1 Orange rind (grated)
2 cups sugar
4 oranges (juice) (sic)
6 tablespoons gelatine (sic)
2 cups ice water
2 cups boiling water

Soak the gelatine in the ice water for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling water over the grated orange rind and dissolve the gelatine in this. Add sugar and orange juice. Pour into wet mold and chill. Serve with whipped cream. This serves 8. The jelly will remain fresh 2 to 3 days if kept on ice.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's for dinner 5/25/11

Three varieties of turkey sliders:

Italian (marinara and Parmesan)
Mexican (salsa & cheddar)
Blue Barbie (barbecue sauce and blue cheese)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Books in the queue

Here are some books that I picked up at an estate sale the other day. Several of them are classics. Interestingly enough, the Dracula book has lots of hand-written notations. I wonder if the family had Transylvanian roots?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pineapple Pan Cake (aka upside down cake)

Here's a recipe that my Dad would probably love. Wish he lived closer so that I could have him taste test it!

Pineapple Pan Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 can pineapple

Melt the butter in a skillet, add sugar and cover the bottom with slices of pineapple. Allow this to brown a few minutes; remove from fire and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes so that the fruit may absorb the sugar and butter.

To this mixture add the following batter:

1 cup sugar
2 eggs (separate)
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoonfuls baking powder

Cream sugar and add beaten yolks, fruit juice and the flour sifted with the baking powder, then fold in stiffly beaten whites. Pour this mixture over the pineapple--which has been cooling--and bake (in the frying pan or skillet) in a slow oven about 45 minutes.

Remove from over and let cool about 15 minutes.

Place a large platter on top of pan and turnout cake. In each one of the pineapple holes place a red cherry. Serve with whipped cream.

Canned peaches may be used in place of the pineapple.

This makes 6 portions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meals for Small Families

My bestest friend Diane picked up this little gem for me yesterday.

It was published in 1929 by Laidlaw Brothers Publishers, Chicago. I love the black and white illustrations, and the insight into kitchens of the era it provides. Check out the inside front cover:

Here's the table of contents, complete with a magazine ad pasted in over the copyright page. The Pillsbury ad contains a recipe for "Eatmor Cranberry-Apple Pie" (sic), complete with a politically incorrect picture of a musket-toting cherry-tomato pilgrim chasing a turkey:

Here's the title page:

I'm not sure what sort of dancing thing this is. Perhaps a tomato?

This recipe for Canadian Christmas Cake contains 6 cups of flour, 12 eggs, and more than 18 cups of fruit and nuts. Wonder what the quantities would be if the cookbook was aimed at large families?

One of the reasons I love old cookbooks is that they let you peek into the kitchens of their era. For example, in this book, many recipes call for washing the butter. A quick Googling disclosed the process. Click here if you'd like to learn how to wash your own butter, Fannie Farmer style circa 1918.

The introduction to the Cereals chapter reads as follows:
"Cooked cereals occupy an important food position on the average daily menu. These may be cold or hot. They make a good breakfast dish, easily prepared.

To be tasty and digestible, long cooking is required, averaging from 45 minutes to 3 hours in a double boiler, a fireless- or pressure-cooker. The cereal is easily prepared during the process of getting dinner. In cold weather the boiler can be set on the radiator and allowed to remain all night. This offers a very excellent form of long-time, slow cooking. In the morning, a few minutes will be sufficient to reheat the food."
The first recipe in this section is for Cream of Wheat, which specifies that you allow at least 45 minutes for cooking! Cornmeal mush and oatmeal should be cooked for 3 hours, and rice for 1 hour!

The Introduction to the Desserts chapter is also interesting. Looks like refrigerators were just becoming mainstream:
"With the modern iceless ice box maintaining an even temperature at all hours the dessert problem has been practically solved. Many concoctions are easily made in the freezing trays with a minimum amount of trouble and it is economy to make a desert sufficient for two meals when it can be kept in perfect condition. This saves both time and fuel.

Today, it is possible for a hostess to prepare most of a meal hours in advance of its actual serving. When preparing the dinner tonight she also can do much towards the actual preparation of dinner for tomorrow through the medium of the ice box."
I'm still going through this little treasure of a book, and will post a few special recipes from it over the next few days. Come back for more!