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 23: Fruited Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens (1979)*

*Slightly modified based on available supplies

What makes this chicken recipe so special are the two ingredients, soy sauce, and pineapple, that add an Oriental touch to the tender chicken pieces. A perfect partner for oven-baked Chicken is a casserole dish full of rice…

Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Card 15G 1979

If the picture of the recipe or the fact that the recipe came out of a recipe card box that is straight out of the 1970’s doesn’t make this recipe feel like it came from another time, the use of the term “Oriental” reminds us that we are definitely cooking in the past.

Continue reading “Recipe 23: Fruited Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens (1979)*”

Recipe 22: Good Housekeeping’s Fricassee of Parsnips (1909)

I have been sitting on this recipe for a week trying to figure out SOMETHING to write for it. Parsnips have a long history of cultivation and can be found in records of antiquity but they are not as popular today. They are full of nutrients and fiber but taste so good that they were used as a sweetener before sugar cane was readily available. It is unfortunate that they are not more commonly used (I had never had a parsnip in my life prior to this recipe).

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Recipe 21: The Silver Palate’s Chicken Dijonnaise (1982)*

*Slightly modified for COVID-19 shortages of certain foods

I purchased or otherwise obtained all of the most popular cookbooks from each decade of the 20th century when I started this blog. I learned from Taste of Home’s site that The Silver Palate Cookbook was the most popular book from the 1980’s. I had no idea what The Silver Palate was until yesterday. I thought it was a restaurant until I actually read the introduction in the book and realized that The Silver Palate was actually a food store in New York City that closed in 1993 but still has an online store today.

Continue reading “Recipe 21: The Silver Palate’s Chicken Dijonnaise (1982)*”

Recipe 20: Shortcut Cooking’s Cottage Mashed Potatoes (1969)

We have turned our shelter-in-place requirement into a game to see how long we can go without going to the actual grocery store. We are allowed to purchase things sold at my job at a chain retail pharmacy (because I have to go to work anyway, so I’m not making a special trip). Otherwise, we have to use what we have at home. As a result, some of the upcoming recipes will be…creative until I break down and return to normal.

(The main reason I am doing this is our local grocery store has arrows on the floor directing the flow of traffic down the aisle that everyone I encounter says are confusing. I would rather eat dishes like this one I just made than have to wander around a grocery store getting in trouble for driving my cart down the wrong side of an aisle. Life is awkward enough as it is for me…)

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Recipe 19: The Joy of Cooking’s Pecan (or Walnut) Puffs (1923)

I have eaten all of the cookies at home and have vowed to use what I have to make what I need instead of going to the store. I found a copy of the original The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker online and saw the recipe for Pecan Puffs on Page 615. The cookies looked easy to make, so simple that even I could not screw them up.

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Recipe 18: Jules Harder’s Glazed Turnips (White) for Garniture (1885)

I do not plan to leave the house for the next month except to go to work (yay for being an essential worker) and stocked up on things that would last a while in my refrigerator and pantry before my exile. As a result, I am making yet another post on an obscure root vegetable, the turnip.

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Recipe 17: Good Housekeeping’s Rumtopf (1978)

I chose this recipe because it used up some ingredients from the Ginger Ale Salad made two weeks ago (yay) AND had a funny name (YAY)!

Rumtopf is a German and Danish liquor dessert typically consumed around Christmas. It involves mixing the fruit with sugar and very high alcohol content rum and letting it sit for a period of time to allow the fruit to completely absorb the alcohol. Rumtopf means “rum pot” when translated.

Now I know!

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Recipe 16: Gold Medal Flour’s Sour Cream Dressing (1910)

I didn’t know if I should keep attempting these recipes with everything happening. I went back and forth between worrying that I was being insensitive about the current state of affairs and thinking that I should keep things as normal as possible. I chose the latter. I decided that I would make recipes that used ingredients that I already had in the house and would make food I would actually eat (sadly, no more strange puddings for a while).

I looked through the only cookbook that I have from the 1910s, The Gold Medal Flour Cookbook, which was published in the year 1910. This is one of the most popular cookbooks from this decade according to Taste of Home.

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Recipe 15: 1001 Famous Recipes Cookbook’s Ginger Ale Jelly Salad (approximately 1940)

I received a box of various recipes and cookbooks from Ebay a few months ago and found this cookbook enclosed:

There is no date on the book, so I looked up the title of the book and the author (Jean Dumont Le Sage compiled the recipes and the book was published by the Miller Bank Service), I found very little.

  • The only thing I can really confirm about Miller Bank Service is that it produced a metal Abraham Lincoln coin bank and published these cookbooks that were distributed to various banks around 1940 (I have seen estimates from 1925 to 1950, but the general consensus seems to be that these were distributed around 1940)
  • A Chinese restaurant called Dragon Gate now exists at 6528 North Clark Street in Chicago, which is where Miller Bank Service was located
  • First Federal Savings and Loan Association of San Antonio was founded in 1934 and is no longer in existence after a merger somehwere between 1988 and 1990
  • Jean Dumont Le Sage is a complete enigma and this compilation seems to be his only claim to fame-there is a Jean Lesage that was the Premier of Quebec but I doubt he spent his time gathering recipes

I found this recipe for Ginger Ale Jelly Salad and went with it because I had all of the ingredients in the house and would not need to purchase a thing. Thank goodness.

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Recipe 14: Betty Crocker’s Beef Stroganoff (1974)

I just finished reading Crime and Punishment and wanted to make something Russian. I previously vowed to never make any international recipes because I do not know enough about the cultures to know what a vintage recipe would be in different nations. I made an exception here because I’m the boss and I can. The only recipe that seemed possible for which I had a retro recipe was Beef Stroganoff, thanks to my good old Betty Crocker’s 1974 Cookbook.

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