Friday, July 07, 2006

Welcome to this blog all you who are obsessed with vintage cookbooks, mysteries, young adult literature or any combination of those items. Mainly, though, I need an outlet for my vintage cookbook collection, and a reason to tell my husband why I need more...

I read vintage cookbooks like novels. The recipes show some strange trends - what was up with all the prune recipes, for example. Or the love of all things Hawaiian when it was added as a state. The pictures range from confusing to hilarious, and the helpful hints are amazingly time consuming. What will my son in thirty years think of Rachel Ray's quick cookbooks? I don't know, but I hope he will enjoy looking at history in this way as much as I do.

So - I will discuss my collection, make some recipes and compare notes with readers. I have no claims of being a good cook, merely an adventurous one. I have dreams of winning baking or recipe contests, but I often think there is a cooking gene missing. I've long sewn all kinds of things, from clothes to quilts, and in seventh grade after I forgot the flour in chocolate chip cookies - again - I received a C averaging the A in sewing with well, a poor grade in cooking.

The first one I want to talk about is this fabulous 1967 title. I picked it up for $2 at an antique store, intrigued already by the cover, a dish described as "Franks with a corkscrew cut are sauced with a tomato soup mixture for Saucy Frank Skillet." Yummy description, but I'm not certain I would have chosen that dish for the cover photo shot... The book begins with some fully planned meals of "Family Dinners", then moves on to "Quick and Good" recipes. So far so good.

I've decided to make the Baked Bean Pie, which is listed in a menu with 'Celery Sticks, Radish Roses or Tossed Green Salad, Parsleyed Rye Bread, Peppermint Ice Cream, Coffee or Milk'

BBP recipe:
1 12 oz. can luncheon meat

2 tablespoons maple-flavored syrup

1 1-pound 5-oz. can pork and beans in tomato sauce, partially drained

2 tablespoons hot dog relish

1 teaspoon instant minced onion

1/4 cup shredded sharp process American cheese

Cut luncheon meat in 8 slices; brush each slice with syrup. Arrange meat slices around inner edge of 9-inch pie plate. In saucepan, combine pork and beans, hot dog relish, and onion; bring to boiling. Pour bean mixture into pie plate; sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 20 minutes or till meat is lightly browned. Serves 3 or 4.

There is a picture of this one, that is too dark to scan, apparently. We will see what kind of luck I have finding the big old can of pok and beans in tomato sauce at the local stores this weekend. More to follow. If this is too hard, I will try the Stuffed Burger Bundles with Hot Deviled Potatoes, or the Mexican Supper Casserole - which seems to contain no ingredients inspired by Central America.

Anyone out there have a favorite vintage cookbook waiting to be introduced?

By the way, I just finished Missing in Tokyo by Graham Marks, a YA/Adult novel about a British teen who goes to Tokyo to find his sister, who has disappeared. Decent mystery, with great cultural descriptions - I want to travel to Tokyo now.


PJ said...

I expect lots of fondue cookbooks!

Renee said...

Here's a few ideas for the more *ehem* adventurous cook.