Category Archives: nostalgia

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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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

If there are no more phone booths, where will Clark Kent change into his Superman duds?

Bell Telephone introduces Airtight Outdoor Telephone Booths, scanned from The American Home, October, 1954. Click image to enlargify.

Bell Telephone: Reminding you that someone, somewhere, would enjoy hearing your voice today.

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Rubbermaid, 1954

This one is posted by special request for a couple of my Instagram chums. The ad is scanned from the October, 1954 issue of The American Home. Click image to biggerize.

Rubbermaid ad, 1954

For anyone interested, I used an inflation calculator to figure out what “just $13.73” is worth in 2011 dollars. It comes in at a shocking $115.59!

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Cookbook Tuesdays: Magical Desserts

If you read last week’s post (and if you didn’t, why not?) then you know that I’m giving away a copy of Magical Desserts with Whip ’n Chill to a random taste-tester of the likely-inedible Banana Tuna Salad.

I still have a hard time typing that out.

Anyway, I thought the prize itself deserved to be shown off with a more in-depth mention than it received last week, so here we go.

Back in the early 1960s, General Foods introduced a product called Whip ’n Chill to their Jell-O brand lineup. Available in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and lemon flavors, this “deluxe dessert” (instant mousse) mix could be served plain or, with the help of this 44-page recipe booklet from 1965, originally available for 25¢ and the tops from two boxes of Whip ’n Chill, be turned into a number of potentially delightful desserts.

You will learn that Whip ’n Chill is synonymous with versatility because its light creamy texture can be chilled plainly in dessert dishes, sherbet glasses, or pie shells. It can be layered in parfait glasses with fruit, nuts, or whipped cream. It can be frozen in fancy shapes or simply in a freezer tray. It an be turned into a frosting or filling to make a plain layer cake or angel food cake an extravagant delight.

Etcetera, etcetera. For every recipe with an unfortunate or uninspired name like Refrigerator Loaf (ladyfingers, vanilla Whip ’n Chill, peanut brittle) or Applesauce Dessert (vanilla Whip ’n Chill, applesauce, nutmeg), there is an equally magnificent sounding recipe the likes of Heavenly Lemon Cream (lemon Whip ’n Chill, sour cream, lemon zest) or Emerald Créme Pie (too many ingredients to list).

But what really got me interested in this cookbook were the photographs of some of the more fanciful desserts. I’ll leave you now with some images from the book (click to enlarge), and encourage you to try your hand at winning a copy for yourself. No box tops required!

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Filed under collections, food, nostalgia, vintage