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Amy AlessioWelcome to my page, where the Vintage Cookbooks blog has lived for over 9 years! Sign up for my newsletter to receive a copy of TREASURES, the first story in my Amazon bestselling Alana O’Neill short mystery series with vintage recipes. My newsletter will send bonus recipes as well as news of my upcoming shows and books right to your email box. Treasures
In TREASURES, Alana, a young mother, discovers an unlikely secret after a fire in an antiques mall in this short mystery with recipes. This is the first in the Alana O’Neill mysteries and includes vintage recipes for: Congo Squares, Kolackys, Chiffon Cake, Pound Cake and Dark Chocolate Cake. Alana’s adventures continue in the separate stories: MISSING ANDY, FELLED BY FRUITCAKE and BLAST FROM THE PAST.
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Lemon Bars – Do you have a favorite recipe?

The sun and warm weather appear to be finally arriving in Chicagoland, though we had some snow yesterday.  Spring makes me think of lemon bars, though I don’t turn them down any time of the year. My mother tried so many recipes of this, and would get exasperated if they didn’t turn out the way her mother’s did. Do you have a favorite version?

This is another from the St. Walter’s “Kitchen Kookery” that I’ve been posting from recently.

Crust:

2 c. flour

1/2 c. confectioners sugar

1 c. margarine

Sift flour and confectioners sugar. Add margarine; cut into flour until clings together. Press into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350F 20 – 25 minutes.

Filling:

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

1/3 c. lemon juice

1/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

While crust bakes beat eggs, sugar, lemon juice. Sift flour and baking powder. Stir in egg mixture. Pour on crust. Bake at 350F 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and let cool.

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100 cookies?

From St. Walter’s Church in Roselle, IL: Kitchen Kookery. This fascinating community cookbook (likely from the early 70′s) has tons of desserts and a few main dishes. How many community cookbooks do you have in your collection? I was interested in this one especially as the church is not too far from my home. My sons were baptized there. I don’t know that I want to make a recipe with 200 cookies, though!

Old Fashioned Powdered Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

1 lb. butter

2 c. sugar (regular granulated)

1 egg

2 c. flour

1 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

5 c. quick oatmeal

Cream butter and sugar well, add rest of ingredients. Batter will be thick; mix by hand if necessary. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes in a 350F oven.  Let stand in pan 5 minutes; remove to paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: 100 2-inch cookies.

 

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Pink Cloud Dessert (Hint: Jello!)

Are you hosting Passover or Easter this year? Do you have a traditional favorite? My good friend once again referred to her family’s Passover Jello with pears and green Jello (often known as Under the Sea Jello in cookbooks).  This is another from the Home Bureau Women from Jersey Cty. and I couldn’t resist posting as it has Jello. Likely the heavy cream could be lightened to something else that wouldn’t necessitate the use of a defibrillator!

Pink Cloud Dessert

1 pkg. strawberry flavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 – 10 oz. package of frozen strawberries

1 cup heavy cream

1 banana

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; add frozen strawberries and stir till thawed. Whip cream and fold into gelatin mixture, fold in 1 sliced banana. Pour into mold and chill until firm.

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Norwegian Egg Salad?

Here’s another from the same 1959 Home Bureau of Jersey Cty. Community Cookbook I’ve been blogging from lately.  I’m not sure what makes this Norwegian. It seems like deviled eggs with ham. It sounds pretty tasty, with a fussy presentation, but nothing unusual about the ingredients.

6 hard cooked eggs

lemon juice

prepared mustard

1/2 c. (cups) cold ground ham (Chopped works for today, I’m sure.)

Mayonnaise

Salt and paprika

Cut hard cooked eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove the yolks and mash. Add an equal amount of ground, cold ham. Add lemon juice, mustard and salt to taste. Fill egg whites and arrange them on shredded lettuce. Place a little mayonnaise on each egg. Sprinkle with paprika.

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Mathematical Pudding

In honor of Stephen Hawking, I decided to post this recipe today. I’m not sure what makes it mathematical, but it sounds pretty good. It’s from the 1959 cookbook from the Home Bureau Women of Jersey County.

“Mathematical Pudding”

Cream 1/2 C. (cup) butter and 1 1/2 C. sugar and 3 eggs, well beaten. Sift 3 C. flour, 2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add this alternately with 1 C. milk to first mixture. Turn into buttered loaf pan, cover with 1 C. raisins. Bake 35 minutes and serve with vanilla or fruit sauce.

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Chocolate Flamingo

This is one of my favorite cookbooks in my collection. It’s a 1961 church cookbook from “The Ladies Aid of the First Evangelical United Brethren Church” of Leavenworth, Kansas. It’s held together with yarn, has this charming crafted cover with fabric scraps, and the title is written in nail polish. This dessert caught my eye, as it sounds amazing. It was contributed by “Chef Hal Rector.” I would think it could be adapted with Cool Whip or whipped cream.

Chocolate Flamingo

Butter oblong pan, 7x9x2 in.

1 angel food cake

3 eggs, separated

Combine 2 pkgs. Bakers Chocolate bits and 4 Tbsp. sugar in top of double boiler over hot water, till melted. Let stand 4 minutes. Add egg yolks; stir till smooth.

Whip egg whites stiff.

Prepare 1 pkg. Dream Whip using 1 large can evaporated milk instead of amount of milk called for on pkg. Add 2 tsp. vanilla to Dream Whip.

Mix stiffly beaten egg whites into Chocolate mixture; then fold in the Dream Whip mixture.

Pinch Angel Food Cake into small pieces. Use 1/2 of cake to cover bottom of buttered pan. Spread 1/2 of the Chocolate mixture evenly over the cake bits. Pinch the other half of cake over the Chocolate mixture and spread the remainder of Chocolate mixture over the top. Let stand in refrigerator 24 hours before serving.

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Cleaning Out the Collection: Blueberry Boy – Bait?

I’m clearing out a few cookbooks, and found a delightful late 1950′s community cookbook “Compiled by the Home Bureau Women of Jersey County” with a vinyl cover and held with metal rings. There is a terrific easy bread and roll section. I’d never heard of this recipe, though it seems like a version of Blueberry Buckle, which I love. My Dad was a big blueberry lover, and my boys seem to have inherited this even with adoption!

Have you had anything like this?

Blueberry Boy – Bait? (Does that mean it tempts everyone to come eat it?)

2 cups sifted flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup butter

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup blueberries

Sift flour and sugar, cut in butter. Measure 3/4 cup of this mixture and save for top. Add baking powder, salt, 2 egg yolks and milk to remaining crumb mixture. Beat 3 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff, fold gently into batter. Arrange blueberries over batter. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top. Bake 350F for 40 – 50 minutes. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

The instruction that seems to be missing is: Eat in one sitting.

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Molly MacRae: The Case of the Mysteriously Named Ice Cream Sauce

Molly MacRae returns this month with an interesting Ice Cream Sauce…-AA

We had a good crop of dill in our garden again this summer. By “crop” I mean volunteer weeds and by “garden” I mean the expansion crack along the edge of our driveway. That’s really the best kind of crop or garden for a busy family – totally self-directed and self-contained. The dill is pretty and it attracts pipevine swallowtail butterflies, plus it’s fantastic in cold cucumber soup.

I’m always on the lookout for other recipes using loads of dill. I’ve made dill bread, and I plan to try cheddar dill scones, but today I was looking through my mother’s seventh edition Boston Cooking School Cook Book to see if they were doing anything interesting with dill when it came out in 1945. The answer? Pickles and pickle sandwiches. So, no, nothing unusual.

But I came across something else that was interesting. In the index, right above “Dill” and right below “Dexter Canapés,” there’s something called “Dewey Sauce.” Dewey! Like the decimal system! And Amy and I both work in libraries! Even better, it’s a recipe for ice cream sauce – perfect for the last hot days of summer (plus it includes two kinds of alcohol, arguably making the sauce perfect for the last long days of summer reading at the library).

There’s no explanation in the cookbook for why it’s called Dewey Sauce. In an Internet search, I couldn’t even find the sauce. On the recipe page, the sauce is called “Curaçao or Dewey Sauce.” Is that a clue? Is the Dewey reference anything to do with Admiral George Dewey and the Venezuelan incident during the Christmas holidays of 1902, when Dewey took his battleships to Trinidad and the rest of the fleet went St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Antigua, and Curaçao? Or does the sauce have something to do with Thomas E. Dewey who ran for president in 1944, the year before the cookbook was completely revised by Wilma Lord Perkins? Or was the sauce indeed named for Melvil Dewey? Did he, in addition to inventing the decimal system for organizing libraries, also spend time in the kitchen perfecting a recipe for ice cream sauce?

If you have any information about Dewey Sauce, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, this is a mystery I may never solve.

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Summer Adventures

For the past 10 years, I’ve enjoyed blogging about vintage recipes and crafts. I haven’t been blogging as much lately, but I’ve been making cooking and booking videos (talking about cooking and books) with my sons this summer at https://www.facebook.com/AlanaMysteries/ . I hope to transfer the videos here soon, but come join me over there! You can still find many recipes and patterns here.

I have a new librarian book too, co-written with Katie and Emily again, as with our last book on Millennial programs: 

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Molly MacRae Mondays: Summer Cooking – It’s a Beach!

Happy summer! As she is finishing her next delightful book, Molly MacRae brings us a fun post and recipe to spark your memories of vintage mold salads. In the next week, I’ll be uploading the video book reviews and posts I’ve been making on FB Live at my author page on there. My younger son, Owen, envisions himself as a YouTube cooking star and quickly took over my book review posts. You can see the posts there, too.

I came across a few beach cookbooks recently. One had pretty pictures and a good variety of recipes, but it’s too recent to be much fun. The other, from 1983, probably isn’t quite old enough to be considered vintage, but it has the advantage of being entirely about crabs. The Art of Catching and Cooking Crabs, by Lynette L. Walther, is part of The Shellfish Series published by Sussex Prints, Inc. It’s full of interesting information about crab biology, including a chapter called “The Crab Persona.” I’m a pretty good example of that persona from time to time. The real draw to the crab book, though, is the recipe for Crab Mold. Amy loves any recipe with ‘mold’ in the title, and if you say ‘crab mold’ over and over and over while letting your imagination run free, you’ll understand why.

 

Crab Mold

1 ½ cups boiling water

2 Three-ounce boxes lemon gelatin

1 cup chili sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups (or two seven and one-half ounce cans lump) crab meat

Sauce: recipe follows

In boiling water, dissolve gelatin and stir in chili sauce and mayonnaise. Chill until slightly thickened. Stir crab meat, relish and celery into gelatin mixture. Turn into a six-cup mold and refrigerate overnight until firm.

Unmold and serve, garnished with black olives and cherry tomatoes and this cucumber sauce:

Cucumber Sauce

            Mix two cups sour cream and two cups of unpeeled, well-drained, chopped cucumber, one tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of sugar and enough horseradish to give the sauce a slightly sharp taste.

Serves 10 to 12.

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