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
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.
For Valentine’s Day I wanted to make something special. Fortunately, I have my handy collection of booklets from the Culinary Arts Institute. There is specifically a book for holiday cooking:
Within it are recipes for the most common holidays, including Valentine’s Day! I excitedly opened to the St. Valentine’s Day section and the first recipe was…Elegant Chicken Loaf. What? Was this ever a thing? What’s so romantic about a chicken loaf? I can find very little evidence for this ever being a traditional Valentine’s Day dinner item, so I would be curious to see why on earth this was included in this section.
The Strawberry Bavarian Cream seemed, err, more appropriate for the occasion.
I feel like Chicken Tonight! Like Chicken Tonight! Chicken Tonight!
Chicken Tonight was a brand of sauces made by Unilever beginning in 1990 in the United States. It came in flavors like Creamy Chicken and Mushroom, Chicken Cacciatore, Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Country French Chicken. The ads were probably the most memorable part of the entire product line and featured people flapping their arms like chickens as the jingle played.
It has been 30 years and I still remember the commercial. 30 YEARS.
My Mom never used the sauces and I thought my chance to try them had passed since products have been discontinued in the United States.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.