Showing posts from 2018

Be A Citizen Archivist!

Our Nation's Archivists Need You!

It's been awhile since I've posted something non-food related, so when I saw this cool service opportunity, I just had to share! The National Archives has millions of documents in its collections that are free for the public to peruse. The challenge, of course, is that most people are not able to visit the archives in person. It's their mission to digitize their documents so that they can be available to all! Neat, huh?

Of course that means tons of volunteers are needed to help transcribe and tag documents. You can be a citizen archivist! You pick a project that looks interesting and get to work. I am super, super excited that one of their projects is transcribing World War II menus! How cool is that??! I think we all know what I'm going to be working on...

I did an internship at my university's archives, so I know how tedious archivists jobs are. But I also know how vital their work is in preserving documents to our nation…

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 8 - Mapleine Animals & Maple-Sugar Graham Crackers

We've only got 5 more weeks of autumn left. Nooo! I want it to last longer! We went to visit family out in Iowa recently and while the whole landscape was filled with beautiful autumn colors, they got snow. I don't think I'm quite ready for the snow thing!

This week's recipes are some fun, kid-friendly recipes. The first is another from The Mapeline Cook Book, ca. 1930s, for Mapleine Animals. I love how the recipe assumes you cook over a fire and that these iced cookies are a "healthful confection for children." haha! I guess if it's a choice between these and a handful of candy, these would win out in a health contest, but still... I find the predominating opinion about sugar in those days to be interesting. I think they definitely shaped our current American sugar addiction. But, that's a discussion for another day. :-)

The second recipe for Maple-Sugar Graham Crackers comes from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, from 1944. The recipe is insanely si…

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 7 - Maple Syrup Cake & Maple Nut Fudge

Another week into the Vintage Autumn Celebration where I highlight some amazing vintage maple recipes. It’s amazing how autumn is just clipping along. My family has already perfected the art of caramel apple cider. And we’ve finally got some fall colors here in Maryland. I thought it would never come! 
Leaves are falling, storms are blowing through. In fact, a small tornado hit my town Friday night! We were a few miles from where all the damage was. Thankfully, no one in town was hurt. Like with any disaster, it's hard to comprehend that just hours or days before, everything was normal but in one brief moment of time, things are destroyed. 
I'm sure people in wartime felt the same way, especially in Britain and with all the bombings they endured. I know it's hard to really understand everything they went through, but in circumstances like natural disasters, I think we can come close to understanding a little. I had the chance to talk with a sweet great-grandma at an autho…

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 6 - Maple Chiffon Pie & Maple Icing

We're half way through the Vintage Autumn Celebration!

I've been living up the maple flavor this week - Maple Yogurt and Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze made with special dark maple syrup. That glaze was pretty mind-blowing! Do you have a favorite maple recipe? I'm always on the hunt for yummy mapley things!
I'm excited about this week's recipes from the 1946 edition of The Joy of Cooking.
The first recipe is for Maple Chiffon Pie that uses gelatine as the thickener. The second recipe for Maple Icing is interesting in that it uses cream, coffee, and Mapleine flavoring. 

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 5 - Maple Tapioca Cream & Maple Sugar Diamonds

Happy October! Have I already said that? I know it's the middle of October, but this past week has been filled with chilly weather, blustering winds, rain, and falling leaves. It finally feels like autumn has arrived! I've had the windows open to let the brisk coolness and natural autumn scents fill our house and it is so wonderful. These are some of my favorite days! This is actually the first autumn since we bought this house that I've been able to have all our windows open. We got the last of the new windows installed and to have screens in all the windows has been glorious! I can finally let all the wonderful seasonal goodness in without the plethora of insects accepting the invitation too.

Anyway, this week's maple recipes look so good. They come from the Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book from 1944. I want to try both of these - Maple Tapioca Cream and Maple Sugar Diamonds. I love tapioca, and this recipe looks amazing. Since I'm used to rich, thick, creamy modern…

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 4 - Maple Nut Ice Cream & Maple Sauce

It's my personal opinion that when the electric refrigerator with an internal freezer became widely available in homes is when American cuisine started to get really interesting. Sure, you could make ice cream before the advent of home freezers, but the amazing expanded frozen dessert potential exploded - ice cream cake rolls, frozen Jello desserts, etc.! I just really love this era of American food history. Can you tell? 😀

Autumn has been languishing under more heat and humidity, so I thought this week would be a good one for Maple Nut Ice Cream and Maple Sauce! The ice cream recipe is one of those interesting ones that uses rennet and it also calls for maple flavoring and maple syrup. The Marshmallow Sauce is just straight up easy. I'm guessing the marshmallow cream is something like Fluff? I'm going to have to make that recipe. It sounds awesome.

These recipes come from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 1944 edition.

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 3 - Apple Roll & Maple, Cheese, and Nut Sandwiches

Welcome to Week 3 of my Vintage Autumn Celebration series starring Maple! I have always wanted to be apart of a winter harvest tapping sugar maple trees. I know it's a lot of hard work, but the reward is absolutely amazing and delicious. One of my favorite non-fiction books is actually about the history, lore, and facts about maple syrup & sugar. It's called Maple Sugar: From Sap to Syrup. It was a fun book to read with my kids, and reading it, of course, brings quite the cravings for something mapley!

 For this week's two recipes, we've got some really yummy sounding ones. First there's the Apple Roll from The Mapleine Cook Book, ca. 1930s, which utilizes biscuit dough in an interesting way. Mapleine is put into the syrup that the apple/biscuit dough roll is then basted with in the oven. Interesting! Second, there's the recipe for Maple, Cheese, and Nut sandwiches from The Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book from 1944. This recipe looks like a typical 1940s sand…

Vintage Autumn Celebration: Week 2 - Mapled Apples & Mapleine Corn Candy

Sorry I'm a day late, but Saturday was just crazy!

Have you noticed that it's extremely difficult to find maple extract as a flavoring? It's easy to find vanilla extract, even almond and many others, but for some reason maple is a difficult extract to find. Instead you find just plain maple flavoring - no maple in the ingredients. I'm not sure of the reason behind this unless the flavor found in natural maple syrup is difficult to extract. As it talks about in this post at Resurrected Recipes, most artificial flavorings are frowned upon, but America seems to forgive artificial maple syrup without any problem. (Definitely check out that post - it's 1 of 3 that talks about Mapleine and its history!)

Speaking of which, this week's recipes once again come from The Mapleine Cook Book, dated to the 1930s. We've got Mapled Apples which feature an interesting use for bananas and marshmallows, and Mapleine Corn Candy that is not your standard caramel corn recipe! E…

Vintage Autumn Celebration!

Happy Autumn!!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that Fall is here. It's my favorite season, and I've been giddy with anticipation. As you might know, for the past 2 years I've done a fun Fall feature on my blog, and this year is no exception. Instead of featuring wartime autumn menus & recipes though, I wanted to do something different.

Welcome to my Vintage Autumn Celebration featuring: Maple Recipes!

Yippee!! I adore the unmistakable, unique flavor that is maple. Growing up we didn't eat real maple syrup on our pancakes. My mom would use Mapleine flavoring in a sugar syrup for us to use. It tasted okay, I just didn't like how runny it was. So, I started adding the Mapleine flavoring to honey, which was much thicker. Maple honey is pretty good! Now, I splurge to buy the good stuff - real maple syrup. And every April we trek over to the 18th century market fair at Ft. Frederick, Maryland where a man sells his Special Dark maple syrup that h…

Wartime Menu Challenge: August - Navy Bean and Peanut Butter Soup

Today's the last day of August when my challenge comes to an end. Having our house on the market really makes everything in life more complicated. Life sure threw me some curve balls during this challenge, making this a challenge for me in every sense of the word!

For the very last menu, I tried what I felt was quite the doozy - Navy Bean and Peanut Butter Soup. This one was a little scary, folks. Beans and peanut butter. It's just something to give one pause, you know? Which is why I went for it. hahaha!

Here's the original menu:
Navy Bean and Peanut Butter Soup Crackers Chopped Meat and Vegetable Sandwiches Canned Salmon Salad Sandwich Apple Turnover Oatmeal Cookies (from a different menu in August) Cheese Milk
I added an apple after I took pictures, because I didn't think I'd adequately kept the nutrition of the original menu. I made the oatmeal cookies from a different August menu, so I decided to use them in this meal, though, believe me, I would have much prefe…

Wartime Menu Challenge: August - Baked Bean Sandwich & Almond Jam Bars

I'm so happy I was able to squeeze in a ration menu this week! This menu came from the lunchbox meals for taking to school. 
Here's the menu:
Baked Bean Sandwich Spiced Beets Sliced Peaches Almond Jam Bars Milk
I didn't have any beets, which was sad, because I would've loved to make spiced beets! I used some fresh peaches we had instead since they're in season anyway.

First of all, about the sandwich... I love baked beans on toast spread with butter (I use Bush's Baked Beans because they're my favorite), but I was wary of this sandwich for some reason. Let me tell you though, this sandwich was awesome!!! Like beans on toast, but with the softer bread texture. I made it by spreading the bread with butter first, mashed up a 1/2 cup or so of room-temp baked beans, and then spread it on. So good!

The Almond Jam Bars were interesting. They were more crumbly than I like, but were still yummy The almond comes from almond extract in the dough paired with cinnamon a…

Wartime Menu Challenge: August - Finale!

I can't believe it's been six months already! The end of the challenge is finally here, and I've planned something special. I've pulled this month's menus from a ration cookbook from my collection that I haven't had the chance to explore yet. I've loved exploring the awesome variety of wartime recipes in this rare cookbook.

The menus feature lunch box ideas. I wanted to go back to this topic, because it's fun and there are so many great lunch ideas from wartime! The book has four different weeks of lunch box menus for four different job types - school, office, factory, and home - and I share them all! That's a lot of great ideas to help give your own lunch box a boost of 1940s wartime goodness.

Thanks again for following along! Please let me know if you try any of the recipes and how it went.

Keep checking back for more vintage recipes, challenges, and miscellaneous History adventures!

You can get the August menus HERE.

Wartime Menu Challenge: July - Griddlecakes

Griddlecakes, or pancakes, are a pretty standard feature around our house. I like trying new versions of the recipe to find different textures and variations on this American classic. Some of my favorite ration recipes for griddlecakes include Cornmeal Griddlecakes and Oatmeal Griddlecakes.
The recipe in this menu for griddlecakes was a new variation for me in that it used a couple tablespoons of cornmeal.

But first, let me show the menu:

Applesauce or Apple Juice Griddlecakes and Corn Syrup or Poached Eggs on Toast Slab Bacon Milk, Coffee
We love having applesauce on top of our pancakes or French Toast, so the applesauce suggestion was perfect. I used real maple syrup and some bacon ends I had in the depths of my freezer that I'd forgotten about. The griddlecake recipe was a good one! The cornmeal added a subtle texture that I thought was nice. It was great to have a familiar and easy meal for dinner!

Wartime Menu Challenge: July - Butterscotch Toast

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done some ration cooking. I've been going through withdrawals too, but when your kitchen is under renovation, there's not a whole lot you can do. Today's menu was something I fit into our regular dinnertime, even though this month's recipes focus on breakfast. I was thinking French Toast maybe, and knew one of the menus this month involved French Toast. Bingo! So here's the menu:

Chilled Orange Juice or Canned Tomato Juice French Toast or Butterscotch Toast Maple-Flavored Sirup (original spelling!) Crisp Bacon Strips (slab bacon) Milk, Coffee
This is what we actually ended up having due to not having some things on hand:
Grapefruit Juice Butterscotch Toast Egg Scramble  with Ground Beef, reconstituted dehydrated red & green peppers, and onions Milk
Having the protein in the meal was important to me, so I used some already cooked ground beef I had in the fridge, 7 of the bajillions of eggs laying around …

Wartime Menu Challenge: July's Menus are Here!

Aah! The season of berries! 
Due to crazy kitchen renovations and the stress that comes with all of that, I managed just the one measly recipe from all of June's menus. SIGH. So, June was a bust. I did manage to can 15 quarts of cherry pie filling though... Go figure that! But it is cherry season, and once those cherries are picked, you kind of have to do something about them. haha!

Oh well, on to July. July is all about breakfast menus, so that should make things loads easier! Included is a bonus menu for a 4th of July dinner! Happy Birthday, America!

Download July's Menus Here

Wartime Menu Challenge: June - Cherry Cobbler

I was finally able to try a recipe from June's menus!  Don't worry. We didn't have Cherry Cobbler for a meal. haha! I consider this quite an accomplishment among all the craziness that is home remodeling. Here was the whole menu:
Main Course Salad Cream of Wheat Rolls Cherry Cobbler
Sigh. It's not like this month's menus are even that intense, but since we're remodeling the kitchen which is where I spend most of my time, it's very hard for me to recover from the chaos. Not to mention that we had to take my Hoosier out so we could put in countertops and cupboards where the Hoosier used to sit. The Hoosier held all of my baking stuff and it's been a nightmare trying to hunt down just basic ingredients. Gratefully, we put stuff back in the new cupboards, so I can get started on baking again. But it won't be the same without my Hoosier. 😥 sniff.
Anyway, because it's cherry season, I knew I had to at least make this Cherry Cobbler! Cherry Cobbler is …

Crickets... and a Museum Trip!

It's been a bit quiet around here, because I haven't been able to do ANY ration cooking. We've been in basics mode because we're remodeling our kitchen. My heart is crying right now from not being able to cook and bake like I want to! All this is temporary, I know, but it doesn't make it any easier. We're getting close to the end, and my husband is working so hard to get it all done. He's such a champ!!

Since the house is a little bit chaotic as a result of the work, I've been taking the kids out and about. We've been to the National Capital Radio and Television Museum when my husband's mom was in town, the Hagerstown City Park just the other day (which has oodles of ducks and geese as well as a swan with lovely waterways), and various parks and play dates. Oh, and we've been around looking at houses, since we're hoping to sell soon. Today, we looked at a lovely 1930s brick home smack in the middle of cropland. The views were gorgeous a…