Corn Bread

Corn Bread

A Recipe from the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking (1959)

About the Recipe

A friend of mine sent me a text the other day with a mission – She decided to give back this holiday season by stocking full Thanksgiving dinners-for-four in the community fridges in her neighborhood in Brooklyn. Did I have any interest in helping? Of course I did!

So I set my sights on baking 12 mini corn bread loaves for her Thanksgiving trays. Because of the volume of baking to be done, I picked a simple recipe and went to town! I’m not eating it this time around, so all I can say is, these smell amazing, and the batter was delicious!

In order to turn the tray bake into loaves, I got 6×2.5×2″ loaf pans (mine are paper) and I baked them for 40 minutes at 350*F, rotating the tray once during the bake to keep everything even. A knife comes out clean – these are good to go to fill some bellies this Thursday.

Interested in the fridges or in how you can get involved to give back to hungry families this holiday season? Check out Clinton Hill Fort Greene Mutual Aide for more information on the fridges, or to donate today.

About the Book

This Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia is a freaking god-send. When I went looking for a corn bread recipe, I found around 20 different regional variations on the corn bread to take my pick from. It’s such a go-to resource, and I know I’ll be cooking again from it frequently. Check out more recipes in the Mary Margaret McBride Collection here!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup milk
1 egg, well beaten
1 T melted shortening

Directions:

Mix and sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in corn meal.

Add milk to beaten egg and stir into first mixture. Add shortening and blend.

Turn into shallow, greased 8-inch pan. Bake in hot oven (400*F) about 20 minutes. Cut into 6 squares. Serve hot.

Pork Chops, South Seas

Pork Chops, South Seas

A Recipe from Simple Hawaiian Cookery (1964)

About the Recipe

Pork chops are one of my husband’s favorite things to eat, and in truth this is the first time I’ve ever cooked them. This recipe, with its simple execution and easy to find ingredients felt like a good place to start. And actually – it was!

The slow cooking on the pork chops almost stews them so they come out super juicy. The fruit slow cooks into the chops themselves, bringing out a simple sweetness that’s so complimentary to the pork. Definitely a winner here.

One adjustment from me: I substituted half the water out for juice from the can of pineapples.

To make the gravy (just in case!) add about a teaspoon of flour plus a little more as needed and stir it in to thicken.

About the Book

I saw this book in a store and thought – how freaking cute! It’s part of a large (very large) set of cookbooks put out by publisher Peter Pauper in the ’60s. All of the books are this cute, with great illustrations and even better recipes. If you see a Peter Pauper book, snap it up! It’s a great addition to the shelf.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 loin pork chops
salt and pepper
Flour
4 slices canned pineapple
4 pitted prunes
4 carrots
1/3 cup water

Directions:

Wipe chops and season with salt and pepper. Dust with flour, and place in pan. Upon each chop place a ring of pineapple with a pitted prune in the center. Between chops, place whole carrots, and add water.

Cover. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours. Remove to hot platter. Make a gravy from mixture in pan. Pour over chops. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

 

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

A Recipe from The Italian Cookbook (1956)

About the Recipe

I’ve been planning on making eggplant parm for years. I’ve looked at recipes, bought the eggplant, and then chickened out numerous times. It took a small (COVID responsible) gathering to push me to make it, and all I can say is WOW.

Although it feels like a lot of steps, this is actually a very easy to execute recipe. I paired it with the Basic Red Sauce from the New York Times Cookbook (1961) and it was absolutely divine, especially on a chilly northeast autumn evening.

One quick note to add on this one – It’s worth it to take the time and prep your eggplant slices. As you slice them, lay out the slices on a rack and salt one side. Wait about 10-15 minutes and then flip them and salt the other side. Then wait 10-15 minutes again before you pat them dry and move forward with the egg and bread crumbs steps. It results in a crispier, less slimy eggplant, and the extra steps are well worth it.

About the Book

This book is from the Cooking Magic set released by the Culinary Arts Institute. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites (see the ricotta pie recipe on my Instagram page that I used earlier this year for another example of a phenomenal recipe). The one downside is that the recipes are laid out a little funky, especially compared to modern layouts.

That said, these books are always a winner and they’re still plentiful in the market. If you see one – grab it!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce
4 quarts water
1 T salt
3 cups (8 oz.) noodles
1 eggplant (about 1 lb.)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
3 T olive oil
2/3 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup, grated)
6 slices (3 oz.) Mozzerella cheese

Directions:

Grease a 2 qt. casserole having a tight-fitting cover. Prepare the sauce and set aside.

Heat to boiling the water and salt. Gradually add noodles, stirring with a fork. Boil rapidly uncovered, 10-15 min, or until noodles are tender. Test tenderness by pressing a piece against side of pan with fork or spoon. Drain by pouring into a colander or large sieve. Set aside.

Wash, pare, and cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set aside.

Combine eggs and evaporated milk. Heat the oil in a skillet. Dip eggplant into egg mixture, then into bread crumbs. Place eggplant in skillet and slowly brown on both sides. Meanwhile, grate and set aside cheese.

Place 1/3 of the drained noodles into the casserole. Top with 1/3 of the eggplant slices. Pour into casserole 1 cup of the sauce. Top with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Repeat layers (including sauce and cheese) ending with eggplant slices topped with sliced cheese.

Cover casserole and bake at 350*F for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until cheese is lightly browned. Serve with remaining sauce.

Basic Red Sauce

Basic Red Sauce

A Recipe from The New York Times Cookbook (1961)

About the Recipe

When I was gifted this cookbook, I did what I always do when I get a clearly well-loved tome – I let it fall open to see where it landed. And it landed on this sauce.

As with most oft made recipes, this one has a ton of notes around it, and they’re all phenomenal. Here’s a close-up of it:

I made it fairly close to as written with the notes adjustments. I also threw in some fresh basil, and I did add a little extra salt.

All in all – if you’re looking for a good red sauce recipe, you can’t miss with this one. I used it to make this Eggplant Parmesan from the Italian Cookbook (1956) pictured above – YUM!

About the Book

I was gifted this book by someone close to me. It belonged to their grandmother, and was one an every day cookbook. And in all honesty, I completely understand why. Even today, the New York Times recipes are wonderful, so it’s no surprise that this book delights at every turn.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 1/2 cups canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, undrained (lg. can)
2 small cans tomato paste
2 cups water or meat broth, approximately
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt (no added salt per note)
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t oregano, or 1/4 t each oregano and basil

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until brown, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about two hours. Add more water as necessary.

Add the oregano and continue cooking about fifteen minutes. Remove the bay leaf. The sauce should be thick. Serve over cooked spaghetti or use as an ingredient in such dishes as eggplant parmigiana, meat loaf, soups and stews.

Raisin White Bread

Raisin White Bread

A Recipe from Fleischmann’s Bake-it-easy Yeast Book (1972)

About the Recipe

After a request for raisin bread from my husband was compounded with a weekly challenge in my favorite vintage cookbook group asking for a dish out of a vintage advertising book, I knew exactly where to turn!

Like many folks out there, yeast breads were scary for me. Little by little I’ve been trying my hand at more loaves. While this one is a little bit quirky with the mashed potatoes and starchy water used as a base, it’s absolutely stunningly delicious. The crust is crunchy and the inside is fluffy.

I used golden raisins, which are my favorite to bake with. This recipe would be very easy to substitute any kind of dried fruit into with success. Also, if you’re like me and don’t keep margarine around, just use a little vegetable oil instead of the melted margarine and it’ll work just fine.

Oh! And since you don’t have the book, here’s are the instructions that are provided on shaping the loaf:

About the Book

This was another book from the Bonnie Slotnick grab bag, and she was so on point sending this my way. It has all of my favorite things – advertising, photographs, tried and true recipes designed to get you buying more! The recipes seem pretty simple and straightforward, and all of your favorite types of yeast breads are included. I can’t wait to bake from it again!

About the Glassware

I pulled out my Fire King Meadow Green loaf pan for this one. Something about milk glass just makes the best bread.

I plated on my Old Town Blue Corelle platter. This pattern was released in 1972, so perhaps mine’s not the first Fleischmann’s Bake-it-easy loaf to find its way on to this platter…

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup warm potato water (105*F – 115*F)
2 pkgs Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup warm milk (105*F – 115*F)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
6-7 cups unsifted flour
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup margarine, melted & cooled
2 cups dark seedless raisins

Directions:

Measure potato water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in Fleischmann’s Yeast; stir until disolved. Add milk, 2 T sugar, potatoes, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Cover; let rise until bubbly, about 1/2 hour.

Stir down; add remaining 2 T sugar, salt and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Stir in eggs and margarine. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead in raisins. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 5 minutes. Roll each half into a 14×9-inch rectangle. Shape into loaves. Place in 2 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 50 minutes.

Bake at 350* about 45 minutes, or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Potatoes Fried with Bacon

Potatoes Fried with Bacon

A Recipe from Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking (1959)

About the Recipe

The request from my friend was to make a potato dish that would go well with ribs and a veggie dish – so potatoes fried with bacon it was! It’s so simple, but so delicious. I used an extra piece of bacon (because who doesn’t like more bacon?) and a well seasoned cast iron pan to cook the potatoes on the stove top, which worked just fine.

I blanched the potatoes this time around, resulting in the hash-brown look that you see in the photo. The second time around I’ll skip that part which should result in more crispy discs rather than more mushed.

Worth noting – these were also epic leftovers the morning after. Reheat them in the cast iron, and top with a fried egg for the best hangover breakfast.

About the Book

This book is a new acquisition to my collection – and I almost cried when I found it. There are nearly 1,500 pages of recipes gathered together in one spot.

Mary Margaret McBride was a radio show host that focused her content on keeping a good home. Initially these recipes were released in a series of books that were then all pulled into the big encyclopedia. I can’t wait to cook out of it again.

About the Platter

This platter belongs to my good friend at whose house we were enjoying our meal. It belonged to her great-great-aunt who had passed them down to her mother who promptly put it storage. Years later, after her mom had moved to England, the storage was cleared out – and here was this lovely old Wedgwood china!

It’s called Pink Bramble and it’s from about 1949. While not quite appropriate for our barbecue, it’s certainly lovely and might have been used for this very purpose a time ago. Thanks for letting me borrow it, Sara!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 slices of bacon
4 large potatoes
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Directions:

Fry bacon in heavy skillet; remove and crumble.

Pare potatoes; slice very thin. Place in bacon drippings; add salt and pepper.

Fry until almost tender and quite brown. Then cover and move to edge of grill (or turn stovetop to low). Add bacon bits and fry until tender. 

Manicotti

Manicotti

A Recipe from The Dragon’s Fare, Drexel Women’s Club Cookbook (1972)

About the Recipe

Such a simple and delicious base recipe. Becky and I couldn’t find manicotti at the store (because… pandemic.), but we did find some shells so we just used those instead. We spruced up the filling with a little bit of additional spices (this garlic, rosemary, sea salt combo is delish!), and picked a good marinara for the sauce. And of course added a little bit of extra mozzarella for good measure.

All in all, this is a great recipe to have on hand and build from.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

Becky’s Pop-Pop, Jerry Gaines (my great cousin something something something…) used to own a printing company just outside of Philadelphia. A lot of what he used to print were community cookbooks. Every time he found one that he really liked, he just printed an extra – like this one!

Like any great community cookbook this one is packed with easy to follow home recipes. Whatever these ladies were most proud of landed in this giant binder ring of cards, and we were so thrilled to be able to use it.

About the platter

This was an unmarked glass dish, but another that was passed down through a generation or two. It’s one of those great dishes that was passed from person to person and ultimately mother to daughter and no one can quite remember where in the family it came from.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 pkg chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 egg
3 T grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Directions:

Combine ricotta, spinach, egg, and cheese. Stuff manicotti shells and arrange in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Using your favorite spaghetti sauce, pour over manicotti, move to be sure shells do not stick to each other or bottom of baking dish. Cover and cook at 350* for 45 minutes.

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Sour Cream Oatmeal Cookies

Sour Cream Oatmeal Cookies

A Recipe from 50 Wonderful Ways to use Sour Cream (1955)

About the Recipe

This dairy-centric twist on the classic oatmeal cookie results in cookies with the texture of clouds. These come out light and fluffy on top, with a little bit of crunch from the nuts and the bottoms.

I like whole raisins in my cookies, so I didn’t chop them up. For future batches, I would sub out the nutmeg for something a little bit more interesting – maybe half nutmeg half ginger, or some pie spice. All in all – this recipe is easy cookie perfection just as it is.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

When I asked Becky about this book, she said it had come from her mom, Bonnie. When I asked Bonnie about the book she said “oh you know, you just used to send away for them!” I love that this was an original to our family book that’s now been passed down a few generations, and I can’t wait to use it again.

About the platter

This little dome platter came to Becky from her Dossie & Pop-Pop, and was originally used to hold cheese or other such small appetizers. I have no clue what it’s make is as there are no markings on it. But it was so cute and just the right size for the cookies.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup sifted flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2/3 cup quick cooking oatmeal

Directions:

Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and blend. Add vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Lastly fold in raisins, nuts, and oatmeal. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cooky sheet and bake in a 425*F oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from cooky sheet and cool on cake racks.

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Potato Kugel (Meat)

Potato Kugel (Meat)

A Recipe from Grandma’s Kosher Recipes (1968)

About the Recipe

The same way that every Italian family has its own red sauce, every Jewish family has its own kugel recipe. Full disclosure – this is not my family’s recipe, but it is really freaking good.

This is the kind of recipe that could be adapted for any occasion. Do you need it to go with a kosher milk meal? Just use oil instead of smaltz. Do you need it to be kosher for Passover? Substitute the flour for potato starch or a very fine matzo meal and you’re set! This versatile dish is perfect for every table.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

This book belonged to my great-aunt Martha on my mom’s side of the family. It came to Becky by way of her mom. How it got into Becky’s mom’s hands? No idea. But there we go.

Dinners with Aunt Martha and Grandma Koppelman (Abigail or Gail to those who knew her) were full of warmth and joy. Making this dish and smelling the potatoes and smaltz as it cooked brought me back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Salisbury, MD.

Two days ago was Grandma’s yartzeit (anniversary of her death). While she passed away 4 years ago, she’s still present in every family meal and gathering. To the Holt sisters in heaven – Abigail, Edith, & Martha – we remember you.

About the glassware

We made the kugel in a vintage Pyrex 232 lasagna pan. It’s one of those great dishes that was passed from person to person and ultimately mother to daughter and no one can quite remember where in the family it came from.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

5 potatoes
1 onion
salt & pepper
3 T smaltz (chicken fat) or oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil for pan

Directions:

Grate potatoes and 1 onion, add salt and pepper, melt chicken fat and add, beat eggs and add, then flour. Mix well. Pour oil in bottom of pan and pour kugel in. Bake 1 hour or until brown at 375*F. Serve hot.

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Do-It-Yourself Casserole

Do-It-Yourself Casserole

A Recipe from Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, A Campbell Cookbook (1970)

About the Recipe

I’ve been making casseroles for years and years, and had never quite been able to articulate what’s been clearly printed in this book – the perfect proportions for a fantastic casserole. And the cardinal rule in vintage cooking applies – when a note says “very good,” you give that recipe a go!

Becky and I used some diced rotisserie chicken, and added some additional spice (Penzy’s Galena Street Rib & Chicken Rub) with our cream of chicken soup. I also added some shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top under the breadcrumbs. This is really a recipe that you can play and have fun with.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

My cousin Becky was my introduction to the wonder that is the Campbell’s Soup Cookbooks – and they are wonderful. This one belonged to her great-aunt Sylvia and there are little check marks and notes all over it.

About the glassware

This little Spice o Life Corning Ware dish belonged to my cousin Doris (Becky’s Grandma). Growing up, her whole house was a treasure trove of lovely old things. It’s easy to see where the love of keeping these little treasures alive came from in my family.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 can (10.5 oz) cream of celery, chicken, or mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 to 1.5 cups cooked or canned meat, fish, or poultry (diced)
2 cups cooked medium noodles
1/2 cup cooked peas or green beans
2 T buttered bread crumbs, slightly crushed corn flakes, or herb-seasoned stuffing mix

Directions:

Combine ingredients according to the proportions listed above to create a variety of casseroles.

In 1 1/2-quart casserole, blend soup and milk. Stir in meat, noodles, and vegetable. If desired, season with a bit of finely minced onion or chopped parsley or a dash of herb such as thyme or sage. Top with crumbs, crisp cereal, or stuffing. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.

NOTE: Two cups cooked rice may be substituted for noodles if milk is increased to 3/4 cup.

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