Vintage Cookbooks

Jim and Francie's mom sure can cook!

Here's what to serve at a swell teen's bash! Young people like food, and plenty of it! So what's on the menu here? Pickle pops, meat-topped meat dogs, ice cream sundae cones, hot cider, and cool cookie platters.


Let's take a closer look.


Things were different back when, weren't they?

Those sandwiches are chili dogs topped with canned tamales and cheese. Minus the dog. I confess that in my current mood, that sounds completely delicious, even with the cheese, which is not something I ordinarily go around sticking on things. Better sense and taste usually prevails, but if I had that in front of me right now, I'd eat it.

I'm—really hungry as I type this.

That keen pumpkin is a tureen which contains the hot cider. I'm certain all the teens were just wild for it.

One thing that isn't quite as silly as it looks is the ice cream cones. These recipes often tell people to put them together, dip and garnish them, then freeze them solid ahead of time. So at the moment of serving they'd be okay. I'm less comfortable with the lemon slice-topped hot cider.

The book, Jiffy Cooking (BHG 1967,) also suggests Party Potato Chips, which are potato chips baked for a few minutes with shredded cheese and spice, and Zippy Almonds, which are seasoned similarly to Chex Party Mix.

Anyway, mostly I just wanted to make fun of the pickle pops. Truthfully, in the recipe book, they are called Pickle-sicles. Terrific idea!

As an addendum, I want to dispel any idea that these kids were going to be smoking pot and listening to Cream in the basement. In 1967, that was mostly going on with a somewhat older crowd. Took a few years for that stuff to trickle down. The kids at this party were still into Bandstand and Bosco.

We're being watched

By our food.

I mentioned this first one in another post a long time ago, of recipes that disappointingly did not feature photos. But it turned up in a different cookbook from a few years later, and this is probably a good thing, as food photography had advanced a bit by that time. 


Not enough, though.

There's no explanation as to why this is called ravioli. Well, see, ravioli is a pasta wrap, technically. And then roulade is a French way of rolling something up in something. So, ravioli roulade would be, er, a redundant term for rolling up something wrapped. I dunno, you figure it out. Probably there was this huge argument over whether to call it ravioli because of the outside, or roulade because of the inside. Punches were thrown, someone's glasses got bent, and then the chief editor made the executive decision to use both names. 

There's no actual pasta in this dish, as they've used crescent roll dough instead, and I'm sure it would taste fine, though marinara sauce wouldn't be my choice. 

None of that matters

What matters is that it looks like giant infected toes with eyeballs on top. And antennae. Go ahead, picture yourself picking one up and biting into it. I don't think you can. 

Now, these look like they may leave on their own.


Again, they probably taste perfectly fine. They're like the inside of a stuffed pepper. Or a diseased organ, you make the call. But this time the eyeballs are attached to homing collars. The antennae are part of a sophisticated wing mechanism. This time, they will make their escape.

Meat-stuffed meat

Who can get enough? 

These two gems are from one of my most favorite cookbook treasures, 

Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

I love it so much I wrote it into one of my ongoing stories that might be a whole book someday. There are recipes in it I'd actually make. It's just all so desperate and precious in construction. On a single page, you'll find recipes for "nutted yam balls," "burgers italiano on hero rolls," and "tuna ring with blue-cheese sauce." Overwhelming, I know.

Anyway. What's special about these two dishes is that they have you put the garnishes on the inside, yet when you serve it, there they are revealed, decorative and delectable, at the same time. 

This is a loaf of bread stuffed with meat which is stuffed with more meat. Specifically, it's hamburger stuffed with hot dogs. And pickles, of course. I'm not sure they knew about the colon in 1971, and its role in our ongoing health.*

Frank-and-burger loaf

Frank-and-burger loaf

They show you how to do it with a round loaf and a long one, so you can be creative with your table display. 

Inside the ground beef you'll find all the important garnishes mixed together; egg, onion, green pepper, and, of course, chopped pimiento. What would hamburger be without that? They also recommend 1/8 tsp msg. I don't know why. I don't remember my mom ever having a jar of that in our pantry. 

So you mix up this meatloafish stuff, spread it on bread, top it with hot dogs and sweet gherkins, add more meat and the bread, and bake it. Then you have these sort of sandwiches. To be honest, I think it would taste all right, but the texture confounds me. 

*No, of course they knew we needed "salad" for our insides. They recommend you make one for this meal out of stuffed olive slices in tomato aspic (like this, minus the shrimp.) 

It would come back up really easily, at least. And then you'd have room for the cheesecake they recommend for dessert.

Another meaty Autumn entry:

Ham-rolled beef birds

Ham-rolled beef birds

You are not, no matter how you try, going to guess how this goes, so here goes:

1. cook some chicken livers and mushrooms in butter, salt and pepper, then chop finely.

2. sprinkle slices of boneless top round with salt and pepper, and some of the liver mush.

3. add strips of ham.

4. alternate adding carrot sticks and "pickle sticks."

5. roll up, secure with toothpicks, roll in flour, brown in butter.

6. add onions, tomato paste, condensed beef bouillon, simmer for 90 minutes and watch the magic unfold. 

(Suggested side dishes: buttered macaroni shells and chopped broccoli. Mince pie for dessert. Buy an extra plunger for tomorrow.)

Anyway, they're called beef birds because when you cut them open and see the pickles, carrots, ham and liver inside, it looks like the interior cavity of a pheasant. 

No, I don't know, they just used to call beef that whenever they rolled it up with stuff. Bon appetit!

More blender magic

(originally posted 1.15.06)

This gets a thumbs down. 



It's Blender Cucumber Salad with Cottage Cheese Dressing. Yes. a cup of pureed cucumber is added to dissolved gelatin for this tasty delight, and then a dressing of of pureed cottage cheese, lemon juice, sugar and milk, is poured over the top, which--I am uncomfortable with this, because, have you ever accidentally put both lemon and milk in your tea? It looks like a 4th grade science experiment. Plus, I still don't know how to manage the carrot curls when serving this cool and crisp lunch delight.

Even stranger, though, is the non-pictured recipe beneath this one, for Avocado Salad Ring. You blend lemon jello and boiling water, then add sour cream, mayo, avocado chunks, onion, lemon juice and salt, puree til smooth, and add food coloring. What color? Why, green, of course. (Kind of makes you wonder with surprise why Jell-O never introduced guacamole-flavored gelatin, doesn't it?)

The center of this beauty gets filled with orange and grapefruit sections, then served with "blender mayonnaise." Yum.

Sometimes I am a child

(originally posted 1.10.06)

From Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, Volume 1, published 1972

How To Dress Drinks For A Party:

Make a catchy cartwheel: spinning kebabs look summery-gay and are so easy to make.

Go gay with kebabs; thread combinations of fruits on drinking straws or stirrer sticks.

The camera adds 10 pounds

(originally posted 1.10.06)

This food might have actually tasted good before it congealed. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of brown sugar, though. It perplexes me how they'll call for 1/4 teaspoon of some random spice and call the meal zesty! or zippy! But they have no qualms about just dumping a heap of sugar into it. 


I always want to know who gets the kicky little bit of garnish on top. Do people fight over it, like with the frosting roses on a birthday cake? Or do they discreetly avoid it, dipping the spoon around it, until all that's left on the plate are wilted carrot curls and parsley, quick-set into congealed sauce along with a piece of onion and half a noodle? Heh. I sort of just grossed myself out. Enjoy!

Who chooses which recipes get photos?

(originally posted 1.10.06)

It seems sort of suspect, really.

From Better Homes & Gardens Meat Stretcher Cookbook, published in 1974

Ravioli Roulade: the "ravioli" is refrigerated crescent rolls, wrapped around a "roulade" of ham, cheese, and spinach mixture, baked, then topped with marinara sauce and garnished with pimento olives. 4.13.10 UPDATE! I now have a photo of ravioli roulade! Unlike with most of these recipes, the photo actually looks better than it sounds. I'll add it soon, in a post about meat stuffing.

Sombrero Surprises: Sometimes the name yields no clue as to what sort of food it represents. If you were handed a sort of flattened, stuffed and baked biscuit with melted cheese on top, would you expect to find a hamburger inside, fully dressed with lettuce, onion, ketchup and mustard?

Ham Souffle in Pepper Cups: This is a fairly simple recipe; a cheese souffle with chopped ham, baked in hollowed-out green peppers. It's just that any recipe with ham in the title cracks me up, like a little kid who laughs when someone says "boobies."

Shregglive bowl

(originally posted 1.10.06)

I dunno. This photo was on the back cover of Good Housekeeping Complete Book of Home Entertaining, and I just can't figure out where the recipe is inside the book. There are some really pink shrimp, eggs with a sauce on top, olives, and capers. There might be a whole layer of other stuff underneath that we can't see. Or two layers, even.


4.13.10 UPDATE:

I really can't find the exact recipe. It might be called Shrimp À La Cocina (kitchen shrimp, y'all,) as part of the Mexican Luncheon, or one of the appetizers for Brunch À La Barcelona. It could be part of the French Peasant Supper. But the pineapple leads me toward Mexican as the most likely choice. They do recommend paper napkins with large flowers on them. So there's that.