Recipe 8: Oprah’s Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Garlic (1994)

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: Miss Beecher’s Plain Macaroni Pudding (1846)

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: Culinary Arts Institute’s Sunshine Slaw (1956)

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: Culinary Arts Institute’s Chicken a la King (1939)

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: Jello’s Crown Jewel Dessert (Broken Window Glass Cake) (1963)

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: Good Housekeeping’s Baked Salsify (1922)

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: Good Housekeeping’s Chicken Terrapin (1909)

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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Probes and Toast

I was really excited after my first “official” blog post and started thinking about all of these different ideas for things I could do for the future. I could order vintage cookbooks from eBay or Etsy! I could go to flea markets and used bookstores for older recipe books! I could scour websites to see if any antique magazines were available for viewing! I could go to the library to see what is available there! I had to be able to find cool and different things to write about because everything I posted had to be interesting and tied to the theme and have informative facts associated with it and have clever commentary and I was just going to have the best blog EVER no matter how many people paid attention to it…

Woah.

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Recipe 1: Betty Crocker’s Green Beans Caesar (1974)

I have to admit…I was a little (ok, VERY) nervous to try this. My first trip back in time! Eek! Thankfully, after several episodes of self-doubt and worrying about how weird this seems, my husband convinced me to just go for it. It isn’t like anyone will see this anyway…

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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.