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Healthy, delicious Golden Era recipes

Discussion in 'The Home Front Woman' started by St. Louis, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Does anyone else here cook from period cookbooks or magazines? This is a side-hobby of mine. I've learned a great deal about what people liked then: the flavors, textures, consistency, preparation techniques, and so on. I thought it might be interesting to talk about our discoveries.

    Today I worked at home, so I was able to cook my own lunch. This is a recipe from the May 1943 issue of Woman's Day, and it's absolutely wonderful. It's especially timely now because the local farms around here have an abundance of patty pan squash, and I've been looking for new ways of preparing them.

    This recipe took no time to make, and I think it's one of the healthiest dishes I've ever tried from a Golden Era publication.

    Squash and Tomatoes, Pan-Steamed.

    2T fat
    2 sliced onions
    1 patty pan squash (I used 2)
    3 tomatoes, sliced
    1 green pepper, cut up
    salt and pepper

    Cook onions in fat 2-3 min. Add squash, tomatoes, and green pepper. Season, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 min. (I added about a quarter cup of water.) Uncover and cook quickly 5 minutes longer. (I took this to mean, turn up the heat.)

    This was supposed to be served with Savory Cottage Cheese & Peanut Sandwiches and Baked Apples. I wasn't hungry enough to eat that much.

    Try it! It's wonderful. I used Vidalia onions, which are now unfortunately gone from the markets, but if you have some -- delicious!

    If anyone else has "vintage" recipes or cooking experiences, I'd love to hear about them. I'm interested in anything before the 1950s.
    MonavilleHatLady likes this.
  2. Sometimes, I do. Especially when it comes to baking or classics. I usually use my grandmothers Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but I have a TON of vintage cookbooks and mini cooking pamphlets.
  3. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    What are some of your favorite recipes? And have you noticed anything particularly surprising about this style of cooking?
  4. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Okay, so this is completely unhealthy, but might be delicious, or might be perfectly horrible. I found this in a 1944 June issue of the Ladies Home Journal: make a bacon and peanut butter sandwich, then dip the whole thing in beaten eggs, then deep fry.
  5. ^^^^^
    I bet that's delicious (but the kind of meal you always regret afterwards).
    I have lots of 40s ration cookbooks, I'll get them out & post some recipes :)
  6. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Lolly, that would be fantastic! Please do.

    Okay, so now this looks much more disgusting than it was in reality. I made a jellied tomato salad (though as you can see I didn't do such a great job of unmolding it). I've seen this recipe in several different magazines from the late 1930s through the war years, and some version of this is in cookbooks as well. It must have been immensely popular.

    It's essentially a "no. 2" can of tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups), shredded carrots, celery, cabbage, and onions, jellied with vinegar, unflavored gelatin & some spices. As always the recipes call for a light touch with the powdered mustard, pepper, and tabasco sauce, but I laid it on with a heavy hand. It was actually quite good, but the next time I make it I'll use fresh tomatoes instead. One of the versions of this recipe does suggest substituting fresh for canned. I wish I understood why so many Era recipes call for canned fruit and veg. Makes no sense to me in the summer months. I should explain that I always take my recipes from magazines published in the same season. Wouldn't most people have been able to grow tomatoes in their back yards?

  7. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    Here in Sweden, tomatoes were very rare in the Era and not commonly grown so most people only ever saw the canned version. My great-grandfather, who was a bit of a gourmet, was renowned for his food eccentricities in the smalltown he lived in, and one of them was that he requested fresh tomatoes in the summer. The shop ordered them especially for him and they were shipped weekly from the big city, and people found it very peculiar.
  8. I wonder if even in the US culture didn't play a role. Italian and Polish families likely grew tomatoes, but I wonder if they were as commonly grown by people of other ethnicities that didn't use tomatoes so commonly in their heritage cooking. You might use them in a few recipes, but not everyday.

    Also, in NYS, we're lucky to get two or maybe three good months of tomato production. The rest of the year we rely on canned (or frozen or dried).
  9. I know that tomatoes were defintely not part of our traditional food here -- to the point where we find the idea of tomato sauce in baked beans revolting. Even ketchup was suspect when I was growing up, and to this day Maine hot dog stands have signs warning that "'Everything' on a hot dog does *not* include ketchup."

    What tomatoes we did eat were in "Italian" food -- which is what we called anything served with a red sauce. Sliced tomatoes were and are also a defining feature of the traditional Maine "Italian Sandwich."
  10. Ketchup on hot dogs IS suspicious...

    The Polish have a love of tomatos thanks to Queen Bona. Growing up in a heavily Italian and Polish area, tomatos were the ONE thing in almost every garden growing up.

    But it is totally cultural... apparently many people in India grow brocolli as an ornamental and don't eat it...
  11. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Now that I've been studying more summer-time recipes in magazines I'm finding more tomatoes.

    Anyway, today's dinner was an experiment. These unusual concoctions are supposed to be sandwiches, but because I wasn't sure whether they'd be great or a disaster, I only made them as open-faced small finger-sandwiches. Surprisingly tasty & probably not too unhealthy when eaten with a salad and fruit. I made them with thinly sliced whole-wheat bread. I will absolutely make them again. Here are the original recipes from the American Woman Cookbook, 1940 edition.

    Peanut Butter and Onion Sandwiches

    1 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    1 small Bermuda or Spanish onion (I used a leftover Vidalia.)

    Beat peanut butter, add mayonnaise and spread sandwiches. Slice onion in very thin slices and put a layer of them over mixture on bread.

    Cheese and Anchovy Sandwiches

    1 cup cream cheese or 10 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    1/4 cup anchovy paste
    Pinch of mustard

    Mix the anchovy paste with the cheese and add mustard if desired. Spread between slices of buttered bread (I left out the butter) or toast.

    I have to say, I thought these sandwiches might be awful, but they were both really delicious.
  12. Wow, I'll have to try the peanut butter and onion! I dislike anchovies. :p I don't have any favorite recipes in my vintage cookbooks, but when I want to bake something they are my go to places. Who needs a box mix!
  13. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    A friend gifted me with a 1943 edition of The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book: Wartime Edition a few years ago. This thing is massively thick and has a plethora of recipes. Seriously. It has it all.
  14. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    I'd be interested in any sandwich recipes that look good or interesting!
  15. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Ok! I'll take a look...and take some pics to share!
  16. I stumbled across this today, here's Australian wartime propaganda encouraging people to be a patriot & drink wine (I kid you not). I understand why they encourage milk drinking (saving tea for Britain) but a glass of port at 11am? It's a wonder anyone got anything done! EDIT clearer link here you can also enlarge it to read the text.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1436773662.267236.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1436773674.393538.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  17. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    That's interesting, Lolly. My grandparents owned a vineyard and they did have a small glass of wine with supper occasionally, but the idea of drinking port at 11:00 a.m. is stunning. Do you have the date on that newspaper article?

    I looked up Australian wartime rationing regulations. It does appear that some meat was rationed. Here's a link to the chart.
  18. The advert is catalogued at the Australian War Museum, but unfortunately no date is recorded. Rationing & price controlling of food began in 1942. So around that time.
    Here's something else I found interesting. "How USA and Australian eating habits differ” in Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia 1942, Special Services Division, Services of Supply, United States Army, Published by U.S. War and Navy Departments, Washington DC.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  19. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Getting back to the anchovy/cheese sandwiches: I know a lot of people have a visceral, and quite negative reaction to anchovies, but anchovy paste is quite different. I adore anchovies and even I find that "salty eyebrow" look a little off-putting. But anchovy paste smartens up a lot of sauces and sandwiches. Do give it a try.

    I've now made these sandwiches several times. I think the anchovy paste-mayo combination works better with cream cheese than with Parmesan. The Parm is just too salty for me when combined with the anchovies.

    The peanut-butter / onion / Miracle Whip sandwich is fantastic. Around here you can get some wonderful onions at local farmers' markets, like candy onions or torpedo onions, which are flavorful and not too sharp. If you cut them into very thin rings, then they're absolutely delicious with the peanut butter & mayo.

    Today I'm going to try a new salad recipe from the AWC cookbook: avocado slices, grapefruit slices, and French Dressing (which is really just an olive oil / lemon juice / spices dressing) on Romaine lettuce. I'll report later.
  20. MissNathalieVintage

    MissNathalieVintage A-List Customer

    This is such a great idea. I like the sandwich recipes a lot, especially for the summer. I do not have air con, so cooking in the hot weather makes the house hotter. I can't wait to try St. Louis' peanut butter and onion sandwich recipe, I'll change the onion to a red one and use vegan mayo.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015

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