Monthly Archives: May 2012

Watch It Wiggle, See It Jiggle

White Sangria Splash as pictured in "JELL-O Celebrating 100 Years"

I’m on a gelatin mold kick lately. And by “lately,” I mean for the past 6 months to 20 years. Or so.

Ed. Note: If you are a vegetarian, whenever I say “gelatin” or “JELL-O,” feel free to replace the word(s) with “vegan jel dessert” or “agar” or what have you. Adjust the amounts and directions in recipes for whatever gelling agent you prefer.

Today’s post was going to be a gelatin two-fer, with a recipe that dates to 1955 and has been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember, and also a recipe for a vegetarian gelled tofu-based number lest anyone think that bone-suckers are the only folks who have to suffer through “creative” molded salads. But that post will make an appearance at another time because today’s gelled creation is instead: White Sangria Splash. Because, you know, gelled wine.

This recipe comes from a 96-page booklet called JELL-O Celebrating 100 Years, which is included with a Tupperware Jel-N-Serve mold I’m currently offering over at Tiddleywink Vintage.

White Sangria Splash

1 cup dry white wine
1 pkg (8 servings) or 2 pkgs (4 servings) lemon gelatin
3 cups cold seltzer or club soda
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice or orange liqueur
3 cups seedless grapes, divided
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup whole small strawberries

  1. Bring wine to a boil in small saucepan. Stir boiling wine into gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold seltzer and lime and orange juices. Place bowl of gelatin in larger bowl of ice and water. Let stand about 10 minutes or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression), stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of the grapes and the sliced strawberries. Pour into 6-cup mold.
  3. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold. Garnish with remaining grapes and whole strawberries.

Makes 12 servings. Prep time: 15 minutes. Refrigeration time: 4 hours.



Filed under advertising, food, kitchen, nostalgia, vintage

Time Travel

(This is a mini-post. A full-length post with vintage recipes should arrive in your RSS feed later today. You are subscribed via RSS, right?)

This morning, I noticed that a neighbor has honeysuckle vines which have kindly crept over the top of the property-line fence. I skipped over to take a whiff, and was instantly transported back about 30 years and 1800 miles to the honeysuckle vines that grew on the chain-link fence running between Johnny Van Der Meer Field and the houses on Woodside Ave in Midland Park. Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

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For My Next Trick…

I’m combing my hair, right? And then I set the comb down on my rad, vintage, circle-wire vanity shelf. Which already has a (larger) comb and a bunch of barrettes on it, so the (smaller) comb slides off the top of the pile. I see it fall down, hit the carpet, and bounce under the vanity. So I bend down to pick it up…

and it’s NOT THERE.

Well, of course it has to be there. I check right up against the baseboard…nope. I lift up the area rug…nope.  I check right up against the baseboard again. I shake out the area rug. WTF? The floor in this vanity space is about 3 ft by 4 ft, if that. Not exactly enormous. I am perplexed. I mean, seriously perplexed. This isn’t some hypothetical problem I’m having trouble with, this is a PHYSICAL OBJECT  that I WATCHED fall to the floor. What in the freaking hell is going on? I spend the next 4–5 minutes fruitlessly searching the same 12-sq-ft area, because I don’t know what else to do. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a physical anomaly in my house, so IT HAS TO BE THERE. I am now down on my hands and knees with my head on the floor when I discover, after nearly 9 years of living in this condo, that the baseboard does not actually meet the vanity cabinet. There’s a 1″ high gap above the baseboard, and below the vanity, that the comb must have bounced into. I think about sticking my hand in there to feel around for it, then remember the photo that was posted to Instagram last night of the dessicated rat that someone discovered while demo’ing their kitchen cabinets, and decide against it.

It’s okay, I have another comb.


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Cookbook… no, wait, Cookcards? (Ham and Bananas Hollandaise)


Ham-Banana. Fun to say, questionable to eat. Click for biggyness.

You read this blog, so you know that I lazily collect old cookbooks. That is, I don’t actively seek them out, but I “somehow” have two shelves full and as many more stacked in piles on my dining room table. Bad Housekeeping Seal Of Approval.

When I was a kid, my mom had the McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection set of, well, recipe cards. The plastic bin for them was a light beige on the bottom, hot stamped with some sort of patriotic shield-and-eagle thing, and a clear, hinged lid. I never made a single thing from those recipe cards, and I don’t know if my mom did either. Somewhere along the way, it disappeared. Nobody was saddened.

About 5 years ago, I picked up my own nearly-complete set of the 1978 Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Card Library. I’ve never made a single thing from these recipe cards, either, but I did finally go through each and every one to pick out some that look tasty. Many are dubious, and I’m sure they’ll get posts of their own in the future.

Today’s post is about a stack of those old McCall’s cards, found for me last week by my friend Erin of ThedaBaraVintage. My plan is to share these 1973 recipe cards with my customers, and most of them are feasible for today’s palate. Zucchini Tossed Salad. Peaches in Marsala. Salmon Steaks Tarragon. But a few, just a few, would test the taste buds of anyone I know. It will be a crapshoot, and I hope my customers enjoy the gamble. Will you get a recipe card for Creole Doughnuts (Beignets), or for Perfection (gelatine) Salad?

Because I know that everyone will want to make the Ham and Bananas Hollandaise shown above, I’ll share that recipe with you here.

6 medium bananas
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb)
3 Tbs prepared mustard
2 envelopes (1-1/4 oz size) hollandaise sauce mix
1/4 cup light cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter 2-quart, shallow baking dish.
  2. Peel bananas; sprinkle each with 1/2 Tbs lemon juice to prevent darkening.
  3. Spread ham slices with mustard. Wrap each banana in slice of ham. Arrange in single layer in casserole. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make sauce: In small saucepan, combine sauce mix with 1 cup water, 1 Tbs lemon juice, and cream. Heat, stirring, to boiling; pour over bananas. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until slightly golden. Nice with a green salad for brunch or lunch. Makes 6 servings.

You’re welcome.


Filed under amusement, collections, food, friends, kitchen, nostalgia, vintage

Cookbookery: Big Boy Barbecue Book

Yesterday, I promised my Facebook followers (and IG and Twitter) a post dedicated to one of my newest finds: the Big Boy Barbecue Book: Shows how easy it is to cook on Spit or Grill. And so here you go!

Published in 1957 by the “Tested Recipe Institute” with the “cooperation” of the Big Boy Mfg. Co., this spiral-bound booklet is filled with…well, it’s filled with instructions for using a Big Boy grill or any of the possible Big Boy accessories, such as the (snicker, giggle) Big Boy Electro-Rod briquet fire starter. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of helpful hints to be found, but you have to push through the Big Boy propaganda.

One full page describes the many benefits of barbecuing at home, including this gem:

That’s right, wifey has only to make a salad and dessert! Here’s the first of 4 dessert recipes included in the booklet:

Yup, that shouldn’t require any kitchen time or clean-up!

For those of you hoping that this gem of a book will find its way to the shop, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This one has already been claimed, but I’ll try to make some equally interesting items from my cookbook collection available in the future.

As Julia Child would say, Bon Appétit!

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