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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Molly MacRae brings us two wonderful cake recipes today. Lazy Daisy cake goes back to the Depression Era at least, and this looks like an update. It is a favorite of my Mom’s. And really – can you ever have enough chocolate cake recipes? I wish a Chocolate Cake Express would pull up to my house – regularly! -AA
I’ve been overthinking about the names of a couple of cakes. But names and labels are important. They influence how we think about the named entity. More subtly, they can influence how we think about ourselves. Here are two recipes from Reader’s Digest Quick, Thrifty Cooking, published in 1985. Both are quick and easy to make. But why is one “lazy?” Why can’t they both be “express?” Or how about “efficient?” Or how about “for when you’re procrastinating but want to feel like you’re not wasting too much time?” Both cakes are great. They turn out better than most box mixes and you’ll feel like a baking superstar when you serve them.
Another delightful recipe from the same 1983 church cookbook where I was blogging from earlier in the week. I don’t know if we can call this salad. It’s a take on Hawaiian Salad and Frozen Fruit Salad, both vintage cookbook staples. I wonder about the addition of the cheese. Any cheese?
1 -16 to 20 oz. can pineapple chunks
1/2 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
2 beaten eggs
1 C miniature marshmallows
1 C. diced cheese
Drain pineapple; add water to juice to make 1 cup. Cook together with sugar, cornstarch and eggs until thick. Add marshmallows, pineapple and cheese. Chill.
What are you cooking this weekend?
I’m still doing some fill in at the library in the midst of a busy summer teaching an online grad school course, working for AuthorRx, giving talks, working on a couple books coming up, and trying to spend time with my wonderful boys.
When I go in to the library to cover a desk every few weeks or so I usually have a cookbook from a reference librarian friend who spots funny donations he thinks I would enjoy. This one is an absolute gem. It’s a 1983 church cookbook and the excellent selection of no-nonsense easy recipes is fantastic.
Here’s Blueberry Dessert:
15 crushed graham crackers
1/4 C. melted butter
1/4 lb. (about 20) marshmallows
1/2 C. milk
1 C. whipping cream, whipped
1 can blueberry pie filling
Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Put 1/2 of crumb mixture in bottom of 9×9″ pan. Over low heat, melt marshmallows in milk; cool. After cool, add whipped cream to marshmallow mixture. Put 1/2 of cream mixture on crumbs in pan. Top with blueberry pie filling and then remaining cream mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Refrigerate. Serves 9.
Make the night before or several hours before using. Can also use cherry pie filling.
Molly MacRae gives us a fun recipe to enjoy for this holiday. How are you celebrating? -AA
Happy 4th of July!
Parades, picnics, and evening fireworks are all more exciting plans than reading a blog today, so I won’t keep you. But here’s a great recipe from a great friend who
shared it with me in the late 70s. Cold, refreshing, and pretty to look at, these Fire Crackers stand the test of time. Enjoy a fabulous – and safe – 4th!
1 small can frozen orange juice
1 small an frozen lemonade
32 oz. jar cranberry juice
4 shots of rum (more or less)
Mix together and freeze (the rum will let keep it from freezing solid)
Mix equal parts slush and 7-Up
Molly’s June post takes us to some Jello cookbooks. How can she not like Jello? These are always among the favorite in my collection – prunes aside! -AA
Two dear friends gave me a couple of cookbooks they bought at an estate sale recently. They found one and thought it was kind of fun. A little later, they found the sequel to the first one, and they knew they couldn’t leave either of them behind. They were pretty sure I’d like them. Were they right? Absolutely. How could anyone not love The Joys of Jell-O and The New Joys of Jell-O?
I don’t like Jell-O and never have, but these cookbooks are such a charming snapshot of popular culture from 1963 and 1973. And the first one includes “The Story of Jell-O . . . And Why It Grew.” Grew? Ew, but I read the story and loved it from the very first sentence: “Jell-O Gelatin first grandly shimmered its way into American dining rooms in 1897.” What a great image. I like almost anything that shimmers. Then there’s this sentence a little further along: “And it’s easy to fix all kinds of ways – some we’ll wager that have never entered your mind.” They’d win that bet, all right.
I only have two quibbles with these gems. One is that although there are wonderful photographs of some of the creations, and many that look as though they glow in the dark, there aren’t pictures of all of them. I might not like Jell-O, but I do like staring at pictures of it. Here’s one of my favorite. These kids are “enjoying” their Jell-O. They are? Really? My other quibble is that the second book does something I didn’t think possible; it ruins prune whip.
Amy thinks it’s the prunes that ruin prune whip. We’ve agreed to disagree about that (until I give her some in a blind taste test and she’s blown away by a spoonful of prune whip as it’s meant to be). But I’ll wager we give identical answers to this question: If there’s always room for Jell-O, is there room for Jellied Prune Whip?
I’m recovering from foot surgery and am getting ready to spring into some exciting new things with this blog and my site. Stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy Molly MacRae‘s delicious and delightful monthly post. -AA
Here’s a treasure that looks like it’s about to disappear – a recipe written in a spiral notebook my mom gave to our boys about thirty years ago. The handwriting is mine, but the recipe is Mom’s and it’s for the best lemonade there is (except for rosemary-infused watermelon lemonade, but that’s a different animal altogether). If you like your lemonade tart and refreshing, this is for you. Anyone want to guess what the two-year-old was drawing? My husband thinks it’s the goat. I think it might be a picture of my husband.
6 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar (white or brown or a combination)
Molly MacRae brings us a delicious sounding pudding recipe this month. Have you made pudding from scratch? It’s not that hard (You know if I say that, it’s really easy!) and usually turns out well. Enjoy! -AA
Here’s a recipe for an old-fashioned steamed pudding. I love picturing the cook in her kitchen weighing the ingredients. Can’t you see her with the eggs on one side of the balance, carefully adding first the butter, then the sugar, then the flour to the other side so she ends up with comparable weight of each? The directions that follow the weighing are plain enough, with rubbing, creaming, dissolving, and whatnot (although I don’t know what German strawberries are). But then, after all that, we’re left with the unhelpful instruction, “steam three hours,” and the offhand remark, “some use a little more flour.” The flour I can deal with, but the steaming? In what? Where? Someday maybe I’ll try to find the answers, or I’ll experiment. But for now, it’s too much mystery for me.
March kicks off with another funny post from popular mystery author MollyMacRae. What are your favorite family recipes? Did you change them?
Stay tuned for some lucky St. Patrick’s Day posts and a March giveaway as this blog celebrates 10 years of vintage recipes! -AA
My Auntie’s Antipasto
Here’s a recipe from my Great-Aunt Ruth. I don’t think I had a taste of it more than a few times back in the 1960s, but I remember it as utterly delicious served on saltines. Great-Aunt Ruth was also my godmother, and she drove a big black car with tail fins. She was extremely cool. I love that she made a “typo” in the last line – “take out and hour before using.” I make this same typo – often – when I’m typing.
Celebrate fun desserts and recipes this month, featuring my Alana O’Neill Blast From the Past novella. Scenes from an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day story will be included.
Are you new to the Alana series? She’s an antique mall bookkeeper who is an adventurous rather than skilled cook. She also helps solve mysteries. In Blast, she encounters the mysterious appeal of chili chocolates, murder, and a necklace while hosting a Valentine’s Day festival at the antiques mall. Her intrepid teen son Elliott is around to sample chocolates and maybe have a little romance himself. If you’d like the first Alana story, simply sign up for my quarterly newsletter and a free copy will be sent to you.
I will have weekly drawings for jewelry, recipes, cookbooks and more this month. Simply comment after the recipe posts or post one of your favorite dessert recipes!
Frozen Fluffy Strawberry Pie
2 1/2 cups lightly toasted coconut
1/3 cups butter
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz.) can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated)
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened thawed strawberries, mashed or pureed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup (1/2 ) pink whipping cream, whipped.
Additional fresh strawberries, optional.
In large saucepan, melt margarine, stir in toasted coconut. Mix well. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate; chill. In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy; beat in Eagle. Stir in pureed strawberries and lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into coconut crust (mixture should mound slightly). Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Before serving, garnish with additional fresh strawberries if desired. Return leftovers to freezer.
Molly MacRae kicks off an exciting February with this fun pudding recipe! At least there are no prunes! Molly always knows how to keep her many readers entertained if not well fed. Stay tuned for a February Blog Blast right here with chances to win prizes. -AA
It’s February, and I’m already wondering where the year is going to so fast. Maybe it’s zipping by because I’m writing as fast and hard as I can on a new book, hoping to meet a deadline that’s coming at me as though it’s in hyper-drive. So what better recipe to share than one called Hurry-up Pudding?
This is another recipe from Dutch Oven: a Cook Book of coveted traditional Recipes from the Kitchens of Lunenburg. It’s a wonderful collection of savory and sweet treats, each of them facsimiles of handwritten recipes contributed by members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lunenburg Hospital Society in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in 1953. I haven’t tested Hurry-up Pudding, yet. It looks easy enough, but lacking that crucial piece of information – bake for ??? minutes – it’ll have to wait until I have time to jump up over and over to see if it’s done. And that’s another missing piece of information – what do you suppose the pudding looks like, and what’s the consistency when it’s done? All clues welcome!
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. B. Powder
½ cup milk
1 cup raisins or dates
Sift together dry ingredients
Add milk and mix well.
The add raisins or dates
Bake in a moderate oven,
And serve with whipped cream.
Florence E. Hewat