Monday, November 04, 2013

November, the Food Month

There are some that will say this is the month of Thanksgiving, and others will say this is Indian Heritage Month, and some will say that it's both.  Either way, it's all about food, especially this year now that Food Stamps/SNAP has been cut back.  Thanksgiving for what, exactly?

Yes, this is, by today's standards, an antique.  But back in the day, a person could buy vegetable seeds with them, not just groceries.  Go back in time still further, and you discover famine poetry and folk lore, and such dishes as corn meal mush, which some families fed their kids with the most frequently.  You'll see the Victory Gardens of the Great War as well as World War II, and rationing.  You'll also see why Food Stamps were a good idea, but that was during a time when there was no such thing as a corporate farm or corporate affiliated farms.

I'll be posting vintage recipes such as this peculiar one of Enid's history...

The Hilda in this case is (was) Hilda Crowe, benefactor of Enid's YWCA when she died. She was married to a prominent Enid lawyer who, with his brothers, pretty much ran the Oklahoma Bar Association back in the day, too, and was a veteran of the Great War.

 (I have no idea what paper this is from--tho I suspect it's from an OKC paper--nor the date of this article. On the other side is part of an article regarding a recession, a rise in prices and President Roosevelt.)

A note to all the people visiting my posts about Iran and Egypt: situations are still fluid and my personal opinion is that regardless of whatever else is illegal in Egypt, Morsi's attempt to dictate the constitution should be regarded as just as illegal.  There are no clean hands in Egypt, and certainly not in Iran either.

Does not need to be refrigerated.

It's actually difficult to find organ meats at a reasonable price these days, and I expect it's because there's more money to get for it from dog food manufacturers.

I just located the periodical clipping from which the above recipe was copied, but I still have no idea what periodical it was or exactly when.  Nearly all of these handwritten recipes are vintage 1930s. And some of those recipes perpetuate an invention/fad of the 1920s--the icebox cake.

UPDATE: Still chasing down where this recipe comes from.  Just discovered that the Pineapple Millionaire Pie recipe originated with Furr's Cafeteria chain and was scaled down to family size prior to publication.

The next one is a real headscratcher--

Oklahoma Natural Gas company used to mail out recipes from its homemaking department, which I expect no longer exists. Recipes would come from "Peggy's Pantry".  I'll be posting some of those later.
Ah!  Here we go...

There's just one small trademark problem that a historian might spot right away.  The term "Kitcheneering" was trademarked by Safeway/Good Housekeeping.  Or was it?  It was a term used by Safeway, used by Family Circle in a collaborative cookbook enterprise, but apparently not officially a marca registrada under the laws back in the day (and that covers 1920s thru 1960s where this term is concerned).  The concept of "intellectual property" didn't exist until after Apple vs Microsoft lawsuit over the coding for Windows.  Apple sued citing patent law because it was machine code, but the court ruled that it was a written composition that should be covered under copyright law and so Apple lost.  Microsoft thereafter pushed for the notion of intellectual property so that nobody could screw it the way it screwed Apple.

Ever hear of a Dormeyer mixer?  Well, some cool recipes came with one...

How about Spry shortening?

Yes, Virginia, there really was such a thing as Acme Flour.  I made some of that banana nut cake just this morning, with a few changes to the recipe...

I went with 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans, added 2 tsp of corn starch because it's very crumbly to cut from a 9 x 13 pan, and after pouring the batter, sprinkled it with shredded coconut.  It takes about 40 minutes to bake in a 9 x 13 pan.  I'll use the prescribed sour milk if I have any on hand, but if not, I use buttermilk.  Let me add that when any cake is made from scratch like this, it's extremely important to NOT toss whole eggs into the batter like you would with a cake mix.

That is NOT okay.  Why? It has to do with the type of protein that is in the albumen, and that also means that beating the albumen separately is just as important. Not to "stiff peaks" as you would for a meringue, but just frothy.  If you throw the egg in whole, that doesn't happen and it needs to happen.  Cake mixes have additives which compensate for that.

Now then--double your Food Stamps? ---

Why not.  It's been a long standing veggie substitute for meat to combine rice and beans.

Milk--usage, storage, cost, forms have been an ongoing concern through many cultures and many eras, with fresh milk being the most desirable.  Dried milk has a particular flavor that you either hate or become accustomed to without actually liking it and how strong that flavor is depends entirely on how closely you follow the directions for adding water to it.  Canned milk has similar issues, but here are a few tips--

Fermenting milk for the purpose of preserving it is a time-honored method as well, from the various soft and hard block cheeses to cottage cheese, or using soured milk in a cake-from-scratch recipe. Yogurt, rennet custard, and buttermilk also produced longer-lasting forms of fermented milk.

Soured milk was never just thrown out back in the day, although it is now, over concerns of safety.  Soured milk is completely safe to consume, and it's even sold that way in your grocery store today.  Alarmed that your buttermilk has separated and became congealed by sitting in the fridge too long?  Just pour off the whey and you're good.  Buttermilk was spoiled milk when you  bought it, and it won't be getting worse just by sitting, other than simply generating more whey, and it's the whey that tastes so awful.  Same rule applies to cottage cheese and yogurt.

Other areas of doing more with less can be found in native American cuisine and "soul food".  Looking for foods rich in vitamins, minerals might be right in your own back yard, but you'll have to do a modicum of cultivation to make eating weeds work.  Lambsquarters, for example, is considered a lawn weed but has been a vegetable staple for some native American tribes.  The "organic foods" set have long recognized dandelion greens as good as endive in salads, but here's a tip on getting tender, not tough, shoots for the table: rake a pile of your autumn leaves over a patch of dandelions and they'll grow tender and somewhat blanched, so much like endive that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  How about poke salad?  Poke is an acquired taste, though, and not to be picked except in spring, before it produces that nasty milky substance.

Hey--just like I was saying.  I'm a time traveler.

Another gem from the 1930s--
...back in the good ole days when a grocery list would cost this much...
Yup--from the '30s--

The following recipe book is from 1929--

I'll bet that not a whole lot of people have heard of Knapp-Monarch appliances, either...

...and to think that most folks think that Rival's mainstay was always crock pots...

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