Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Boston Cream Pie, 1920 Recipe

     This is another recipe that comes from a 1920 Cookbook called "Recipes For Everyday" that was underwritten by Crisco.  Naturally all the recipes involve crisco in the ingredients but in this case I can an least agree with it because I think that Crisco makes for a good cake and icing.  Now this recipe is already perplexing you as the picture runs counter to the usual Boston Cream Pie we are used to today, i.e. a yellow cake with custard filling and a chocolate ganache icing.  I thought that at first as well but after trying this recipe I think I like it better than what we are used to.

Monday, December 29, 2014

1919 Grape Nuts, Making Girls Round and Rosy

Little girls don't want to be round and rosy today.  They'd rather be thin like the girls that grace the pages of magazines but that is an impossible kind of beauty to achieve since it's all done with computers today.  This ad is from 1919 when the world was well... certainly more innocent than it is today but having just gone through The Great War it certainly had lost the idyllic innocence of the pre war years.  100 years ago this year World War I started, the first but certainly not the last war to be started by an act of terrorism.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Creole Yam Casserole

This is a recipe I've used a couple of times.  It's got many names and variations but I call it Creole because of the use of a praline pecan topping.  Basically imagine it's a crustless sweet potato pie and it makes a nice sweet counterpart to the more savory items on a holiday table.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Playing Doctor and Nurse

This is a child's play set that would not fly today in the prevalence of PC attitudes.  I find it a great item and believe it or not, I had a similar set to play doctor with in the 70's when I was growing up.  My mother was a nurse and of course she encouraged anything to do with medicine.  This set was a bit different however in that it actually contained candy pills... ugh those have definitely become as dead as the Dodo because little miss or jr might actually take a real pill by accident... kind of like how candy cigarettes have disappeared from shelves since it encourages smoking (and big tobacco said they weren't targeting kids).  At any rate this wonderful cart includes "everything needed to pull the patient through until lunchtime"... well except for the ekg.  And little Billy isn't left out since he has the Jr Doctor Case at his disposal.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Review: Sabaw ng Misua or Misua Soup With Meatballs

I thought for a Saturday posting idea it would be cool to review recipes I've tried from other websites.  I lived in the Philippines for 3 years after marrying my wife so I have an appreciation for Philippine cooking.  It's not all vintage recipes all the time, I do sometimes cook Filipino recipes to keep her happy and well, I like them too.  Now soup in the Philippines is different from soup over here.  We've gone happy on cream based soups while in the Philippines the soups are broth based.  They can be normal savory soups or they can be sour soups where the broth is given a tangy taste with the addition of tamarind.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Veg-All News

Here's a recipe that needs to stay forgotten in history, they only thing that would make it more regrettable is if it was encased in Jello and molded into something ridiculous.   Let's open a can of veg all which looks like a concoction of kitchen scraps from the local restaurant and we'll serve it on a lettuce leaf with some mayonnaise topped with pimento... Yummy, or not. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Potato Chip Cookies

Now here's an interesting recipe.  I'm not really sure of the history of these but they date back to at least the 40's and probably before.  They originated in the Baltimore area with the Hutzler's Department Stores where they were sold at the lunch counter and bakery.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Catsup or Ketchup?

When I was a kid growing up I remember that Heinz was the only "Ketchup" and everything else was "Catsup".  You have to laugh just saying the word catsup, as it sounds like something a sick cat would produce.  Since my grandparents were cheap frugal in a Great Depression sense they always had Del Monte Catsup on the table.  Now I prefer Heinz, as do alot of people and I'm so happy they came out with the Simply Heinz line that has no HFCS in it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Graham Popovers

I don't usually do bread with dinner because of the time involved in kneading and proofing but this recipe is relatively easy and just needs less than an hour to bake.  We all know about popovers, those lovely baked morsels with a hollow center just begging to be full of melting butter.  Well this is a variation of that old recipe that I found in an old cookbook from 1920.  These are mix of Graham Flour (White Whole Wheat) and all purpose flour and while they can of course be baked in popover pans, they do equally as well in a regular muffin tin as seen above.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

1931 Shredded Wheat Ad

I've been following the recommendations of this ad recently on the cold mornings here in North Florida.  If you don't think Florida can get cold then you've never been here in the winter.  I find that if you heat the biscuits in an oven set at 350° (I use my toaster oven) for about 8-10 mins they stay crisper in the hot milk.  It's an easy dish, just set the biscuits in the oven and get your milk warming in a pot on the stove.  The biscuits are done at the same time as the milk starts to steam and you're good to go.  I can't recall ever having tasted the large "original size" biscuits as we more often bought the mini-wheats but I took an immediate liking to the taste.  I like cereal in the morning and I like to stick with the old style cereals, Corn Flakes, Grape Nuts and of course Shredded Wheat.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Living On $900 a Year

Royal Baking Powder Ad 1934

Ok, I know you're reading the title of this post and thinking "Has he lost his mind?"  Well to be honest, I think I lost it years ago but I digress, the title has everything to do with the Ad above from 1934.  In that year, America was still in the grip of a devastating Depression and Americans were looking for more ways to save money.  Manufacturers took advantage of this trend to stress the quality of their products over the competition. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spanish Sauce Recipe

This is part of a series of recipes that I'm going to call the "Miami" recipes because they all come from the Miami Daily News.  I was searching Google Archives for some new recipes and I happened upon the 1920's editions of the Miami News.  In addition to tons of great ads that make me sad for the effect of inflation on our wealth, they posted a daily recipe on the family section.  Most of these recipes are hardly noteworthy, or else I have them already in my other cookbooks, but some, a worthy few caught my eye and this was one of them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

Green Goddess dressing can be traced back to 1923 when it was adapted from an original recipe dating back to the 1600's.  It was created and named in honor of a play by the same name featuring the actor George Arliss and enjoyed a revival in popularity in the 1970's when the dressing maker 7 Seas re-introduced it to the American market.  As with most things culinary it has been on a roller coaster ride of popularity tempered with indifference ever since.

Monday, December 8, 2014

I See You Tonight, Tonight...

Today I have for you a 1904 ad for Bausch and Lomb Camera Lenses.  I love this ad because it has a look similar to the Smashing Pumpkins Video for "Tonight, tonight" which in itself was a tribute to an early century movie about going to the moon.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gift Baskets Galore

Man they don't do gift baskets like they used to.  In this 1947 ad/order sheet, we can get the mother of all fruit baskets, a crate of goodies really, weighing 90lbs!  Holy goobers that's alot of fruit!  I guess they could afford to be generous back then because labor and fruit were cheap.  Even the simple fruit basket, weighing in at a measly 27lbs, only costs $6.  I can't even go to the store and buy 2lbs of fruit for $6 let alone a fruit basket today.  Such is the march of inflation though.  It's a sad fact of my life that when pouring over all the vintage ads that I do in search of something for the blog, I often run across ones with prices.  Ridiculously low prices compared to today, inflation is the culprit, slowly eating away at our wages and our fortunes.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Coffeematic Makes Me Ecstatic

Yes, all brides swoon at the gift of a Coffeematic percolator.  Well I would swoon at least, this thing is an Art Deco dream.  Now here's the truly amazing thing, I just saw one on Ebay the exact same model and it was priced at $25, pretty much the same as what it sold for in 1948 when this ad was made.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rakott Krumpli (Hungarian Potato Casserole)

I'm sorry I didn't take a studio food porn shot of this dish but when I made it we had come home late from work and were very hungry.  I had been looking for something different for dinner and had found this recipe on a list of "Top Ten Hungarian Foods to Try" on some website or another.  Every culture has their own version of potato casserole but this one intrigued me as it is a breakfasty dish you eat for dinner.  It falls into the category of Hungarian comfort food and as such is not in the least healthy but hey, we can't munch kale chips all the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fair Wind and Calm Seas for the SS Cream of Wheat

Jack Sparrow he is not but a heady imagination always takes you to places of wondrous adventure.  This ad is from 1920 when the world of high fashion was transitioning into a more modern appeal.  His outfit actually would have been at home from 1900 onwards and boys wore short pants until they attained the age of manhood and could don their first pair of long pants.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pumpkin Meringue Pie Recipe

Pumpkin pie, what can be more traditional for Thanksgiving dessert than this?  Once there were many recipes for pumpkin pie but then came Libbey's canned pumpkin and the one recipe to rule them all.  I ate my fill of pumpkin pies made with the Libbey's recipe all my life and always wanted something different, something not covered in mounds of whipped cream and not as sweet.  Then I stumbled upon this recipe, dating from 1920.  Many pies we cover with whipped cream today were actually topped with meringue back in the early 1900's.  This recipe has been a huge winner with both me and my wife and even my family liked it.  It's a little more involved than your typical pumpkin pie but the result is worth it.  I get up early in the morning and make the crust from scratch then whip up the pie and have it baked and ready to go before I put the turkey in the oven.  You can make your own pumpkin puree or use canned but here's something to think about, Libbey's pumpkin is actually a variety of butternut squash, not really pumpkin.  Real pie pumpkin has a different texture and a slightly stronger taste. This recipe took first place in The Fresh Market's holiday recipe contest in 2014.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Polar Office Chair

1917 Polar Office Supply

I really want an old office chair like this.  I've seen them come across the local Craigslist from time to time but never in good condition.  I suppose ergonomics has come a long way since 1917.  The surprising thing is that these chairs are really comfortable, besides being built like a tank.  No they don't have the pneumatic bells and whistles that modern office chairs do but who needs all that?  The best part is you have to screw the whole chair down to adjust the height.  Really deflates the wind out of the stupid jerk that likes to lower all the office chairs to the floor.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Uniform Nurse

My my, how nurses uniforms have changed over the years.  In years past they were crisp, snappy and form fitting, not at all practicable for the chores associated with your nursing duties.  My mother would tell me stories about having to wear uniforms such as this when she was in nursing school.  I rather get the impression she hated it, but today we have a much more efficient alternative... scrubs.  Scrubs are baggy rather than form fitting, not flattering to the figure but certainly easier to move around in than the old starched uniforms.  With all things there is progress, sometimes this progress is a bad thing, eliminating what was old and useful in favor of the new fad.  In the case of nurses uniforms though, progress was a good thing.

Also it's like the changes in health insurance, you need a good agent for health coverage to find the best insurance... if that's even possible anymore.

A 1920's Breakfast

As you may know, the 1920's was a time of unprecedented wealth in the United States.  It was truly the pinnacle of success for the Middle Class, a success they would not enjoy again until the 1950's.  In my study of everything food related in the vintage era I've been particularly interested in what constituted breakfast back then.  The best information at my disposal dates from the 1920's because by the 1930's breakfast would have been cold leftovers from dinner except Sundays when a more traditional fare would have been served.

Pickled Eggs and Beets

I love making pickled eggs for Easter and Christmas, their red color is reminiscent of the red dyed eggs used at Easter in Ukrainian traditions.  They are extremely easy to make just requiring a few days to sit in the brine and get well flavored.

I have tried to trace the history of adding beets to pickled eggs but I have been stumped every step of the way.  Here in the USA we tend to call them "Amish Style" pickled eggs however variations of the same recipe exist in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Low Countries.  Pickling eggs in a vinegar brine has been around forever and I think the beet variation isn't that much younger.  This recipe is good for 14 eggs.  You'll need 2 quart size mason jars along with lids and rings.  Keep them in the refrigerator after they cool.

Note: This was a recipe I had posted about before Easter but I tried them again except omitting the shortcuts such as using canned beets.  The end result was far beyond my expectations and made me embarrassed that I had ever put the original recipe on this blog.  Here is the modified recipe using fresh ingredients.

Guide To Good Nutrition (1942)

Since the dawn of the 1900's the Government has been subjecting us to "guides to good nutrition" highlighting what what we should be eating in our daily meals.  It's interesting how health modes have changed so much since the 1940's to today.  When I first grabbed this ad it was the meat at the top that caught my eye.  Wonderfully marbled meat with a nice bit of fat to give the meat flavor and to make the consumer full.  Yes, you didn't need to eat as much meat back in the old days because the meat was more filling owing to the fat content.

Friday, October 17, 2014

1930's Meatloaf Recipe

I've been holding on to this recipe for quite some time now and for a really odd reason.  I just kept misplacing the handwritten recipe paper.  Yeah I feel like I'm addlebrained at times but you have to understand that I've moved, twice, in the past 2 years (and we're moving again soon) and stuff always gets misplaced when that happens.  In the meantime I cooked this recipe every time I found the recipe card for it and then promptly misplaced it again.  Well I finally found it again and decided to cook it last night for dinner.  Usually I have a side of mashed potatoes and some sort of vegetable with it and my wife loves it.  Try it with some Southern Cucumber Relish and the vinegary sweetness balances out the rich taste of the meatloaf.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Look Back...

As you can tell, I've been away from writing for a long time.  Things fell apart when we moved and went through a rough spot in finances which didn't allow me to be as creative with my cooking as I was before so I started relying on tried and true recipes for stir fry and Filipino foods along with large amounts of rice to fill our plates at mealtime.  I have posted at least one recipe for stir fry, my modified General Tso's Chicken but I never got much response about it and the one time I posted a Filipino recipe the silence was deafening.  Hence I stopped writing because I really had nothing to write about.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Make Your Own Brown Sugar

I like to keep things as natural as possible in my cooking, or at least keep the ingredients similar to what would have been available back in the old days.  One thing that is devilishly hard to find though is organic brown sugar.  There's one brand available here and despite my love of their other offerings I was not impressed with the brown sugar they make.

See, when I lived in the Philippines, brown sugar meant Muscavado Sugar and I could buy it at the Palengke for about 60 cents a kilo (2.2lbs).  Here it's $7 per half pound so far out of my price range.  Then it struck me one day that brown sugar in the store is just regular sugar with molasses added back into it.  Problem is they use the lowest grade sugar and molasses to make brown sugar but by making it at home you can control the ingredients and have something that comes out like my beloved muscavado sugar from before.

There's no real recipe here, I use Florida Crystals Organic Sugar and Plantation Molasses.  Simply pour some sugar into a small bowl and drizzle a little molasses in.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Less molasses will yield a light brown sugar and more will yield the typical dark brown sugar.  Use as you would normal store bought brown sugar and store any leftover in a glass jar tightly capped in the pantry.

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