Welcome to the Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts blog!For over seven years I have been writing this blog as a fond nostalgic parody of recipes and crafts from the 70's and earlier. Do you remember a trend fondly? From chiffon cakes to pom poms for roller skates, you're speaking my language.
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I found a wonderful pamphlet tucked inside a recipe box – advertising a Betty Crocker Lemon Pie contest due “midsummer 1939.” Along with that is this delightful “Holiday Spaghetti:”
1/2 lb. spaghetti
3 qt. boiling salted water
1/2 cup Shortening
1 large onion, finely minced
1 green pepper, finely minced
1 8-oz. can mushrooms
1 lb. ground round steak
3 tsp salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
4 to 8 tbsp. grated cheese
Break spaghetti into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. Cook till tender in boiling salted water. Drain. Melt shortening in large frying pan. Add onion, green pepper, sliced mushrooms and cook slowly till onion is golden yellow. Add round steak and 1 tsp. salt. Cook 10 minutes.
Add remaining salt, cooked spaghetti, sugar and tomatoes. When whole mixture is hot, transfer to buttered baking dish and sprinkle top with cheese. Bake 15 – 30 minutes in moderate oven (350F) in 10-inch casserole. Garnish with crisp broiled slices of bacon, and sprigs of parsley just before serving. Serves 6 – 8.
Here are a few holiday earring pairs I made to get into the season, as part of the challenge that talented designer SJ Designs Jewelry hosted this year. I’m barely keeping up now with the other things I’m making, the new job, shows and the new anthology coming out (more on that soon) , but am still enjoying making these!
Are you thinking about your Thanksgiving menus yet? Chances are you won’t want this one on there. It’s from one of my favorite handwritten recipe boxes, marked from a woman and “30s-40s-50s”. This one has a grocery list on the back of it, too.
4 cups ground raw carrots 1 t. salt
1 cup ground suet 1 t. cinnamon
1 cup sugar 1 t. allspice
1 1/2 cup flour 1 t. cloves
1/2 lb. raisins/currants 2 t. Baking Powder
Mix dry ingredients and add to other ingredients which have been combined. Steam three hours and serve hot with hard sauce.
Interesting. Does it count as a vegetable even with the 1 cup sugar?
I’m in a silver and blue mood with earrings this week. I had to run a lot of stuff to the boutique this week, though not earrings, so I’m late making these for my designer friend SaraJo’s challenge. These are for me this time and all the beads are from vintage jewelry that I took apart. What are you creating this week?
Molly MacRae helps us face winter ahead with this wonderful recipe today. Enjoy! -Amy Alessio
A couple of years ago, I shared a recipe for bread pudding, and said that it’s our favorite comfort food. But there are always alternatives, aren’t there? When the children were little, I actually made rice pudding more often than bread pudding. The recipe we used is one of the variations suggested for baked custard in the More-with-Less Cookbook (eleventh printing, June 1978) by Doris Janzen Longacre, a Mennonite cookbook given to me as a wedding present. I find the philosophy behind the cookbook a comfort, too: “suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources.” My copy of the book is practically loose-leaf by now, but there are recipes in it that I turn to over and over, especially the barley lentil stew and the baked beans (more comfort food!). Here’s the recipe. I follow the first option, using leftover rice, leaving out the raisins, using brown sugar instead of white sugar or honey, and making it in a one quart casserole instead of individual custard cups. And then, before putting it in the oven, I give the top a sprinkling of wheat germ and nutmeg for added flavor and interest. It makes a nice dessert and an equally delicious breakfast.
I’m putting together a fun presentation on recipes from labels and boxes over the past several decades and found this one in my collection of recipe boxes. Every reader here knows I love S’Mores. This does sound pretty good! Would you make it?
2/3 cup KARO Light Corn Syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (11 1/2 oz.) Nestle milk chocolate morsels
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Golden Grahams (8 cups)
3 cups mini marshmallows
Butter 13×9 baking pan. Heat corn syrup, butter and milk chocolate morsels just to boiling in 3-quart saucepan, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal in large mixing bowl; toss quickly until completely coated with chocolate. Fold in marshmallows, 1 cup at a time. Press mixture evenly in pan with buttered back of spoon. Let stand until firm, at least 1 hour. Cut into about 1 1/2-inch squares. 48 squares.
The jewelry front is going well. The trunk show went better than I hoped, though now I have to make many more scarves and beaded clips. That’s a good problem, right? Thanks again to my talented designer friend at SJ Designs Jewelry for inspiring me with her earring challenge this year. I’m keeping the red and silver leaf ones – inspired by a necklace I made. I just like those green square beads, so that may find their way to my ears, too.
This year is speeding by but lots of fun things are happening. My Etsy shop is not quite ready to go, but I have a trunk show with the jewelry, infinity scarves and place mats next week. I also have a novella in a new anthology coming and the family has stayed healthy for the last couple of weeks, thank goodness.
I wish I had time to make these – maybe this weekend the boys and I will attempt it. What is your favorite apple recipe?
Cream: 1 1/2 C sugar, 3/4 C shortening, 2 eggs.
Sift together and add to above after moistening with coffee: 2 1/2 C flour, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. soda, 3/4 tsp. salt (3/4 C coffee).
Fold into mixture: 3 C apples, 1/2 C nuts
Pour into greased (2) 13×9 loaf pans. Sprinkle with topping.
Topping: 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
I made a couple pairs of earrings for the challenge from my designer friend at SJ Designs Jewelry, but my necklaces are far outselling my earrings so far. Guess I’ll just have to keep these! (I’m already wearing the moon pair…)
Soup weather blew into central Illinois yesterday, and we thought it might be nice to have mushroom soup sometime this week. I’m sure I could find a recipe for it in one of the wonderful cookbooks on my shelves, but instead I decided to try something different – different that’s also kind of the same. My sister Jenny gave me a file full of her favorite recipes as a wedding present in 1978, and among them is one for potato soup that’s become one of our favorites, too. It’s a wonderful, warm, comfort food soup. But the really great thing about the recipe is the way it puts up with substitutions and variations. You can make it with water, make it with broth, leave out the celery, add bacon or sausage, caramelize the onions, substitute leeks, add roasted garlic, add cream, add herbs, or leave out the margarine, etc. I’ve never added mushrooms to the basic recipe, but I bet it’ll make a knockout mushroom soup.
Peel and slice:
2 medium-sized potatoes
Skin and chop:
2 medium-sized onions
4 ribs of celery
Sauté these ingredients in 1 ½ tablespoons butter
Boiling water to cover
½ teaspoon salt
Boil the vegetables about 20 minutes
Pour mixture into a blender with:
2 tablespoons margarine
Makes about 3 cups
P.S. Still no bombe report from my kitchen, and I suspect the same is true for Amy. Isn’t it funny how time slips away? I won’t promise, but maybe I’ll get my experimental Thyme Bombe made by next month.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching self-defense in the morning then earring design at a library How-To Fest. It was so much fun, with a big enthusiastic crowd especially at the earring class.
Today’s recipe is a bit dubious. However, all my pumpkin pies turn out raw, so perhaps I should try this version:
1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 (16-oz.) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 Johnston’s graham cracker Ready-Crust pie crust
In heavy medium saucepan, combine unflavored gelatine, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt; stir in sweetened condensed milk and eggs. Mix well. Let stand 1 minute. Over low heat, cook and stir constantly until gelatine dissolves and mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin, mix well. Pour into prepared crust. Chill 3 hours or until set. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe?
The class cleaned me out of some supplies, but I did have some fun making these for the challenge hosted by my talented friend at SJ Designs Jewelry:
Today all four members of my family are home sick, but on the mend. The boys have sinus infections, the husband has bronchitis, and I’m still on the mend with the asthma/sinus infection. I hope all of you are doing well!
This look good – I do love anything with that Butterscotch Instant Pudding.
1/3 C shortening
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 pkg. Butterscotch pudding
1 egg unbeaten
1/3 cup milk
1/4 c dates
1 pkg. choc. chips
1/4 c. nuts
1 cup flour plus 2 tsp.
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
(Is that a big or small package of chips? Likely small, but I do love chocolate chips. The dates likely add an interesting note to these, too.)
Bake 350F for 12 minutes.
I made some book earrings for my sister and some more fall ones for the boutique that carries some of my necklaces and earrings. I may keep the book ones, though! Thanks as always to my talented friend SaraJo for her earring challenge this year and constant inspiration and encouragement.
Molly MacRae delves into the mysteries of handwritten recipes and old clippings today. I have a collection of these from my Mom and some that I’ve purchased. This is always fun to do!
Molly’s latest Haunted Yarn Shop mystery, KNOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS, is out! I have my copy! Do you? http://amzn.to/1KA8vMp
Oh, and Molly? Prunes and caramel should not even be typed on the same page! -AA
Last month I said I was going to experiment with a dessert called a bombe and report back on how it turned out. Bombes are made by layering several kinds of ice cream into a round mold or bowl. When unmolded, a bombe looks something like a cannon ball or one of those round bombs you used to see in Saturday morning cartoons. I was going to use two kinds of gelato – ginger for the outside layer, and lemon with thyme for the center – and call it a Thyme Bombe. I asked Amy to make a bombe with vanilla ice cream and prune caramel ice cream. Amy, did you get around to doing that? If you didn’t, don’t worry. I bombed on the bombe, too. But we can make them this month, though, okay?
To make up for the missing bombe report, I got out an old stationery box of my grandmother’s handwritten recipes and newspaper clippings dating from the turn of the last century to the mid-to-late 40s. There are a lot of cooked cucumber recipes and several dozen clippings from a column of suggestions for housewives on everything from how to make a cleaning fluid by mixing salt and gasoline to how to kill rats (interestingly, not with the salt/gasoline).
Tonight I found three intriguing clippings from the Chicago Record Herald, a paper published from 1901-1914. Unfortunately, my grandmother clipped everything so closely, there are only partial dates to tease us. These three items came from a paper dated October 8th in an unknown year. Someday I’ll go to the University of Illinois Newspaper Library and track that paper down.
The first item is a recipe for Tomato Figs – a way of preserving little pear tomatoes the way you might figs or dates. Don’t they sound interesting? And what a great way to use up an abundance of tiny toms at the end of the summer. I’m really tempted to try this. The next recipe I’m not at all tempted to try, but it shows how eating habits have changed. When was the last time you ran cold water over brains until they were plump? And how do you like the way Granny cut off the last line “and serve with . . .” I hope it wasn’t tomato figs.
The last item is the best, though. It’s from the column on the back side of the recipe page, and because of where the recipe ended (and Granny’s habit of clipping closely), we’re left with only part of a story and a couple of lines that ought to tickle the brains of any amateur sleuth, baked or otherwise. “Priest is found dead in be[d].” “Rev. J.P. Aylward of Kankakee is thir[d] to expire suddenly.” What do you think? Sounds fishy to me.
We usually make an apple pie from apples we’ve picked over Labor day weekend, but it’s 90 degrees here now and I’ve been struggling with smallish asthma attacks all week. But these sound good, despite scant directions! What are you cooking this weekend?
Sugar Cookies Filled
Bake 350F until brown
about 20 minutes (feeling) then cool
Cream: 1 cup margarine, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs – well beaten, 1 tsp. soda in 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. baking powder
Add flour to right thickness. Dough will be soft. Keep soft & work with. Roll out and add filling.
Filling: 2 cups raisins, 1 cup cold water, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 Tblsp. flour, 1 tsp. margarine.
Cook about 20 mins. then cool.