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Time travel…will never be impossible forever.

— Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident

Revisiting the Past…One Recipe at a Time

I started this blog both as a way to learn to cook and learn about the past. I have always been fascinated by the concept of time travel and realized recently that preparing food might be one of the best ways to experience different periods in history. I am using this blog strictly for personal development and learning.

Recipe 11: Betty Crocker's Galaxy Cookies (1974)

I saw this recipe when I was looking through my mom’s Betty Crocker’s Cookbook from 1974 when I was first starting this project in November. I can only find a few other versions of this recipe online (here and here and here, although I know there are probably a few more that I missed), so I don’t feel like I am doing anything derivative or copying someone else’s work. I love astronomy and for several years have been trying to finish this class from The Great Courses called “Understanding the Universe” taught by the coolest astronomer ever, Alex Filippenko. I have not succeeded yet but am still trying! This was the main motivation to try this recipe.

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Recipe 10: Fritos Swiss Dip

This is a great moment in Recipe Replay history…

I MAY HAVE FOUND A RECIPE THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS DONE!!!!!!

You wouldn’t believe how many times I stumble upon what I think is a unique recipe only to find that 10 other people have done it and done it better. I assumed that would be the case with this recipe but I CANNOT FIND A RECORD OF IT ONLINE! I thought that I would be the first person to post something from the booklet from which I obtained the recipe but, alas, Quaint Cooking did a different dip first and better. Still, I AM SO EXCITED!

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Recipe 9: Celeriac au Gratin

Yay! Another obscure root vegetable!

In my research I have stumbled upon several foods that were completely unknown to me. Celeriac is one of them. I decided that the next recipe I would do would be this one after I actually found celeriac at our local Ingles. Imagine that!

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Recipe 8: Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Garlic

OMG this recipe and the MEMORIES!

This recipe comes from In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes by Rosie Daley. The book was published in 1994. I was about 12 or 13. My mom had this book so that she could lose weight but I wouldn’t go near it. I thought all of the recipes in it were garbage because I was too cool for some kind of lame-o Oprah cookbook. I knew how to be in shape, thank you very much! I said all of this at the same time that I was binge eating Baked Lays because they were “healthy” and low fat, blotting my pizza on Pizza Day Friday in middle school because YM said I “could save 100 calories a slice” if I did this, and doing Elle Macpherson’s “Your Personal Best” VHS tape in my bedroom every day for fitness. Ahh, the 90s.

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Recipe 7: Plain Macaroni Pudding

These vintage recipes are magical. There are so many things you can think about while making one that will have you transported to a different time.

The recipe we are doing today is “Plain Macaroni Pudding” which is found in Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt Book published in 1846. The book is written by Catharine Beecher (1800-1878). She was born 219 years ago. TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN YEARS AGO! Think about it-when she was born:

  • John Adams was President of the United States and moved into an unfurnished White House,
  • Abraham Lincoln had not yet been born
  • The United States was still 60 years from having the Civil War
  • There were only 16 states
  • The average life expectancy was 37 years
  • The largest urban area in the United States was New York City with a population of 60,515 (the US Census now estimates it at approximately 8.4 million as of July 2018)
  • My own state of Georgia looked like this until 1802:
Photo Credit: Carl Vinson Institute of Government via This Day in Georgia History

Wow.

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Recipe 6: Sunshine Slaw

I will admit it…I am a sucker for resolutions.

I really am that person that gets excited every January 1 and decides that “this year will be different” and “I will get so much done” and has a huge list of “achievable, measurable goals” to “make sure that I do things right” this year. I’m SURE 2020 will be the year I succeed in all of my resolutions.

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Recipe 5: Chicken a la King

It is the holidays and I grew up watching “A Christmas Story” (1983) like most people my age. My favorite part is when the Bumpus hounds run into the house and eat all of the turkey meant for Christmas dinner. The narrator exclaims:

“The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, all gone!”

A Christmas Story 1983

The family ends up eating duck at a Chinese restaurant instead.

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Recipe 4: Crown Jewel Dessert (Broken Window Glass Cake)

I wanted to do something festive since it is Christmas and scoured my recipes (even ordering a special holiday cookbook from the 1950’s) before deciding that I was now experienced enough (3 recipes down!) to delve into the world of Jello cooking. The horrors of retro gelatin cooking have been described in great detail all over the internet (see here, and here, and again here, and then here…you get the idea). I wanted something that was actually edible so that the food would not go to waste. After reading a few cookbooks and obtaining a Joys of Jello cookbook (9th edition, which is undated but most on the internet estimate it was published around 1963), I decided to attempt to make a Crown Jewel Dessert.

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Recipe 3: Baked Salsify

I was a fish biologist in college and grad school. My favorite fish of all time was the Coelacanth, this bony fish that was thought extinct 66 million years ago but was discovered to be living in the Indian Ocean in the 1930’s. It has been called “A Fish Out Of Time” because it is a relic from the distant past.

Don’t worry, this is not on the menu today.

Salsify is a dish out of time.

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Recipe 2: Chicken Terrapin

I have learned several things during my first week as a blogger:

  • Chances are, my “original ideas” have been done online.
  • Lots of people enjoy vintage/retro cooking.
  • There are many knowledgeable individuals online in the area of vintage/retro cooking.
  • Blogging takes a lot of work! It amazes me that other bloggers can make such wonderful posts and make it look effortless!

All of these things are in my mind as I time travel to 1909 thanks to the assistance of the Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cookbook. This has always been one of my favorite times in the 20th Century (I even did my first research report in 5th grade on life in the early part of the 1900’s). I was excited to see how things were done when my Great Grandma (the only great-grandparent I ever knew) was 12 years old.

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