Even Charlie Brown loves snack mix

When I found this among my Grandmother’s clipped recipes I was excited because I love Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for their holiday specials. Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away (ABC will have the Gang on Wednesday evening) and Christmas is right around the corner I thought it would be great to share this. I have looked on Amazon for the seasoning packets and they do still exist.  But I certainly prefer making food with fresh ingredients without the added preservatives.

I have been searching online to find the first version of this which was actually called ‘Party Mix’ and have found various versions of the recipe which has differences in the amounts of the ingredients (and bagel chips weren’t part of the first recipe which began in the early 1950’s).  I plan to try one of those this weekend.  There are so many versions on the internet from so many people; the possibilities are truly endless for this  ‘Party Mix.’ A search for ‘vintage cereal box 1950’s images’ is so interesting too.  I recall some of those cereal boxes from my childhood.  Do you have any memories to share regarding your family’s much loved version of this snack mix?

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Dreaming about cookies!

I recently acquired these two cookie books…

And all I’ve been able to do is dream about cookies.

I’ve been making more cookies lately (just the standards which I love so much) and I Love, Love, Love what Betty says in her Picture Cook Book about them:

I don’t have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar but I do like having cookies in an air-tight container on my kitchen counter (as I do now).

So I couldn’t help myself when I learned about Betty’s vintage cooky book.  I was drawn to it immediately and searched for one online; a used one, of course.

This Betty Crocker Cooky Book is from 1963 (First Edition First Printing) and it looks like new.  I don’t know if the price sticker on the front is from 1963 though.  The cover with all of the cookies just draws you to this book and there are many recipes inside.

This Woman’s Day Cookie Cook Book is from 1963, Third Printing.

It only cost 75 cents back when it was sold in ’63 which is such a bargain by today’s standards.

I’m guessing that many housewives in the 1960’s were very busy baking cookies once they retained one or both of these publications.  I can only imagine how magical Christmas must have been back in that time with so many cookies coming out of mom’s oven.  They can really make a home so warm and inviting especially when the smells are floating through the house as they are baking.  Ah…such great memories!!

What cookies do you enjoy making and keeping in your home?  Do you have a proper old-fashioned cookie jar full of cookies all of the time?  Please share some of your cookie memories with me.

Chocolate chip are my most-favorite cookies and I love using milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips versus the semi-sweet; and I must use butter in the recipe!  I’ve been addicted to the Nestle brand of chips because the chocolate content is better than Hershey’s (in my opinion the taste is so much better) and European chocolate is the best over anything because their number one ingredient is almost always chocolate (cocoa) versus sugar.  Do you look at the ingredients listed on your chocolate chips?  When you see sugar listed first you will find that the taste is just not as good as those which have the cocoa ingredients first.

(On a side-note, I love European chocolate over the American chocolate.  If you haven’t tried any European chocolate you’re missing out on something very extraordinary in taste and quality.  It seems like sugar has become the number one ingredient in all chocolate made in America anymore and the cocoa content is minimal.)

So many cookies…

so little time…

The Order of Patrons of Husbandry a/k/a The Grange

You may have heard of The Grange.  You may even be a member or your family was active in their local Grange many years ago.  It doesn’t seem to be an active organization where I live anymore but they still do exist.

As a youth I had heard of the Grange but wasn’t really aware of all that they did in our country’s history and more importantly I didn’t know that they were such an important organization for the many rural families of our country.  I think that they were such an important agricultural type organization where the rural farm families could gather at their local building to support one another, find others with the same interests as their own as well as share food and fellowship with one another.  I seem to remember reading that many rural families during World War 2 would gather there to home-can foods together and share equipment.  That must have been such a fun and wonderful time; don’t you think?

What really peaked my interest in knowing about them is this recipe book.

This book had been my Grandmother’s.

It is evident as I look through that all recipes are from Grange members.

It lost its covers and some pages are missing as well.  As you can see my brother was hired by my Grandmother to make a new cover for it. 🙂

As I was on my journey to bake through all of the Pumpkin Pie recipes in my possession to find the one which I fell in love with first, my Grandmother’s, I had looked at the ones in this book.  You can read all about my Pumpkin Pie adventures in this post: Eating Our Way Through Autumn; One Pumpkin Pie at a Time.

But as I was reading all of the members’ organization names and county names I began to realize that this particular cookbook wasn’t from the Pennsylvania Grange.  So I began my journey through the world wide web to determine where it could be from.  Lo and behold, somewhere I found a photo of a page of recipes in a Grange cookbook which was being sold on the internet (possibly Amazon) and I compared that page to my book.  Fortunately the page on the internet was in existence in my Grange cookbook.  I finally found the one which my Grandmother used so much and it is the one titled Ohio State Grange Cook Book which is from 1970 (with red spiral bound plastic).

As you can see in the top photo there are a lot of stains and I believe the book became wet somewhere along the way because of the big stains on the top of most of the pages.  Pies were something which my Grandmother often made; she was a great baker and loved to bake all of the time.  The photo above has the Pumpkin Pie recipes on the right page.  I made one of them but I still can’t seem to find the right mixture of ingredients for the pie which she always made unless I’m not remembering the taste correctly.

But onto the cookbooks again…

After determining which Grange this book is from I began to wonder why she had this particular one since we live in Pennsylvania (although Ohio is our neighbor) and, of course, how did she get an Ohio Grange Book??  From what I recall, her one brother (my Great-Uncle) would visit family in Ohio.  I don’t remember if they were my Grandmother’s family too or if they were my Great-Uncle’s wife’s family in Ohio.  But I have seen photos of him visiting a cemetery of family members in Ohio.  So I guess it’s possible that the Grange cookbook found its way from their through that route.  I just don’t know.  I was just so happy to finally learn which Grange this book had come from.  And apparently it was well-loved by my Grandmother.

About two summers ago I had been at a flea market and came across a woman who was selling her late mother-in-law’s things.  They were going to move into the home but there was just so much stuff.  She was telling me information since I was interested in her cookbooks which she was selling.  I bought 3 of them.  Two were vintage Better Homes and Garden cookbooks which I discussed in the post about my collection and one of them was this Grange cookbook.

After reading through this amazing collection of vintage recipes I was so excited to have found such a treasure for what I seem to remember to be only 25 or 75 cents!!!  This book contains so many rare and old recipes which you are not going to find in too many other places.

There is a section containing recipes from various noted individuals in Washington, D.C. of the time (1976) including…..

There are various recipes in the book which claim to have been served to President George Washington in the White House too!
There is even a section titled Special Diabetic Recipes.  I find that unusual for a cookbook published in 1976 and yet so fascinating, especially for a Grange cookbook.  Those Grange members were sure concerned for their members’ health and well being and made sure to include those types of recipes in their Bicentennial Cookbook.  The only recipe which we’ve made so far was the Pennsylvania Dutch Mustard recipe which it says is over 100 years old.  It was a disaster and my husband and I proclaim to never eat any others then French’s!  It smelled horrible and the taste was horrific!  Needless to say it was dumped out.  At least we can say we tried; can’t we?!

But due to these two Grange cookbooks I  began to look at other various used Pennsylvania (PA) Grange cookbooks on the internet; Amazon mostly.  That’s where I tend to visit for used cookbooks, by the way.

I started reading reviews about what appears to be the most-loved of all PA Grange cookbooks.  The one originally published in 1972.  You can buy reprints of this book but I seem to remember to have read some reviews somewhere that stated some recipes are missing from the reprints.  That is one of the main reasons I don’t like buying a reprint.  Too often they are missing items/recipes from the original publication.  So off I began my search for a used one on Amazon for a descent price.  I received an Amazon gift card last year from someone who told me to ‘treat myself’ so I decided to use it towards the purchase of two PA used State Grange Cookbooks.

Here is the 1972 book which claims to be the best loved version of all of the ones which the PA Grange has sold.

And this one is from 1950 even though there is no date on the inside.

I am satisfied with my PA Grange collection of cookbooks.  But most importantly, I have finally determined which one my Grandmother loved the most.

Now if I only could go back in time and watch her make the best Pumpkin Pie ever (and get the recipe)!!!!!

I hope that when I get to Heaven she’ll have one waiting for me as well as a big bowl of her delicious Rivel Soup!

My Vintage Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, Copyright 1950

I love used vintage cookbooks from the early to mid 20th century and I’m happy with my small but ever-growing collection.  When I search online for vintage cookbooks I always narrow my results to ‘used’ books because I want a book with character.

I decided to treat myself and leave work early one day last week to go to a used-book sale at a library in the city where I work (“early bird gets the worm,” as they say).  They have two sales a year and I was there for one before but this time I was concentrating on looking through all of the cookbooks for anything vintage.  So many of the books looked rather new and appeared as if they weren’t even opened or used and only $2.00 for most books.  I found several Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks and Betty Crocker ones too.  Most were newer and not the vintage ones I enjoy but I did find a reprint of the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book.  On the inside it states that it is a reprint of the 1950 book and I believe the reprint date was 1988 or somewhere around that time and that it includes all of the original content/recipes from the book.  I chuckled to myself as I flipped through it and recognized the pages from my original book which is the First Edition (Sixth Printing).  Also, this one had a soft cover and copies of the front and back cover of the original one and it just wasn’t the same for me (many pages seemed distorted as it was “reprinted”).

Here is my original book which I bought last year through Amazon and has the character I’m looking for in a vintage book.  It is in very good condition for its age too.  I’m not going to get into too much detail about this book in relation to the recipes and content exclusive to this cookbook because Marianne over at Happily Mrs has chosen to cook-through this book for my challenge and she will most likely be sharing much with you as she blogs about her food.  I bet you will want to buy one for yourself too! 🙂

These older cookbooks are more then just a collection of recipes.  They give us a glimpse into the home life of housewives during the time period they were written and are so valuable in that regard.  The newer cookbooks today just don’t compare to these older ones, in my opinion.  Everything which I’ve made from this book so far has been really good and a “keeper.”  I love all of the photos and how-tos included.  I’ve been successful with my white yeast breads using the recipe and photo instructions in here.

I want to share the character of my book with you which makes it so much more special.  I am thinking of myself as a safe-keeper of these older books until I pass on into the next life.  Hopefully the next person will care for these books in the same manner that I do.  They are getting more rare and difficult to find in such good condition.  But the antique business has picked up in recent years in the United States and throughout the world more people are beginning to appreciate the value of these vintage items and prices are going through-the-roof for such things.

At one time it lived here although I don’t remember if the seller who sent it to me was from this place.

As I turn the page with the above sticker I am greeted by such a wonderful dedication page.

I’m sure Hilma so enjoyed cooking with this book.  It probably brought a smile to her face every time she saw this from her friend, Sarah Fiske.

This book has a section on ‘making work easy’ with short cuts.  I wrote about this once before at this link: Unique Discovery.

This book is truly a treasure and has so much it in that I want to make as well.  If I could go back to the 1950’s and have a cookbook club I would certainly use this book and have a monthly dinner party to enjoy all of the foods. 🙂  I’ve been wondering though how much this book cost when it was published and sold in the 1950’s.  Does anyone know?  I’m very happy that I purchased this book as ‘used’ versus a reprint.  I would like to read it as a novel but I keep getting distracted or side-tracked with something in the book or something else all together.  As I type this post I am sitting here listening to Old Fashioned (Vintage) Christmas music and enjoying my trek through the mid 20th century.  If you find one of these used treasures somewhere along your travels in life just hang onto it.  There is a lot inside that you will enjoy!

Re-purposing vintage household items in my kitchen

I love to re-purpose items which I already own; in other words “make do with what I already have.”  I have made a more conscientious effort to cease bringing things into my home which I certainly do not need because to me “less is more.”

I already have quite an accumulation of many different items but I have begun to donate to a local “Good Will” store to benefit others.  I also dislike clutter in the home which truly affects your life.

In my kitchen I have re-purposed some vintage items which I already own and want to share these tips with you.

For many years now already I have used crocks to hold my kitchen cooking utensils.

I have a large crock to hold the larger ones and a smaller one to hold the smaller items in the corner of my cupboard near my stove.  We love them!

I always keeps napkins available somewhere on either the counter or table and recently I debated on what to place them in.  I had them on my table for awhile but I didn’t want that anymore and I wanted something for the counter but nothing too large or out of place.  I have many different crocks throughout the house so I took one of the smallest ones which I have, removed all of the pine cones which it was holding as decor, and washed it out.

This is quite a close-up of it and I keep this on the counter versus the table.

I also have one of my Grandmother’s vintage molds (a small one).  I honestly can’t remember if she used it for anything when she was living but I had received it.  I wanted to display it on my counter and thought what a wonderful candy dish this would be.

The kitty perched on the “tower” is actually for the side of a flower pot and I re-purposed her too!  She tends to fall off quite a bit though and land in the candy (I guess she’s hungry for some!).

When someone wants a nibble on something they can help themselves.

Before you go out and spend money on something you really don’t need to own just look through all of the stuff that you have already.  It’s all waiting to be used again!

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, First Edition from 1942

I love seeking out vintage cookbooks from the early and mid 20th century.

Last Spring while browsing through a book-corner in a farmer’s market building I found a 1942 edition (the first edition of this book) of the Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book.  I don’t recall ever seeing this cookbook before but was immediately captured by its vintage beauty and history and I knew that I had to add it to my growing collection.

The price written on the inside was a nice surprise as well!

For the age of this book it is in near perfect like-new condition with a few pages (beginning at page 653) which are away from the binding but are still included with the book.  Those pages are in the Frozen Desserts section of the book.

There were no other recipe clippings in amongst the pages, which I love to find, and I haven’t noticed any writing in the book either.   I so enjoy finding those types of things when I purchase a previously-owned vintage cookbook; it adds character to the history of that book and gives an insight into the cook who owned it before.

Recently I’ve looked on the internet to find that this book is being sold by some at prices upwards of $50.00 and so I am happy at what I consider to be a ‘steal’ of a buy.

There is so much history in these types of books.  For example, this book includes a Wartime Postscript in the front of the book which many people mention when discussing this particular cookbook.

And in the final paragraph of the ‘Foreword’ of the book you will see that there is mention of ‘our world at war.’

This is a nice bonus for me because I enjoy learning so much about the 1930’s and 1940’s War World 2 period and of the home front life as well.

I love all of the additional information which can be found in these older cookbooks apart from the hundreds of recipes included.  In fact, this book has about 2600 recipes in all as mentioned in the Introduction of the book.

Even today where would you find such a large volume of recipes with so many extras included (and a few photos to boot!)?!  It is a bit heavy to carry around but that isn’t something that I would do with this book anyway.

I don’t know if any of my family members had owned this book but I do know that the best recipes which I have ever used, and continue to use today, are those which were passed onto me from the ‘Greatest Generation’ and they are the ones which evoke the best memories which I hold so dearly to my heart.

If you have owned this book or learned to cook/bake through one of these, no matter the edition, I’d love to hear stories from you!   I also know that Woman’s Home Companion was a magazine for Women during those early years and I’ve read that some cookbooks like this one were given to Women when Encyclopedias were purchased.  I would love to know more regarding other ways that these were “sold” to American Cooks.  If you know of any stories please share.  You can read more about the magazine at Wikipedia.

Please leave comments below and thank you in advance!

Family Photos

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 Does this make it any easier or less painful to sell someone else’s family memories in a consignment shop?

I still wonder how someone’s beloved family photos would end up here.

Maybe some are extras from the photo studio which took the image but other ones have personal messages/dates/names written on the back.

I looked through this basket just to make sure none of my family were waiting to be found…

Vintage Appliance Cookbooks

When I received my Grandmother’s cookbooks and recipes I found she had held onto several cookbooks/leaflets which were given when she purchased an appliance.  I remember them from when I was a child and would look through her cookbooks.  I didn’t realize at that time how rare and priceless they are.  Now I do.

Anytime I cruise through vintage items for sale I will look through these types of cookbooks for the unique ones which catch my eye or call to me through nostalgia.

 My husband is an International Harvester Collector so looking for anything which was made by IHC is something which we do all the time.

Here is an example of one of the cookbooks which they gave when you purchased their freezers.

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Did you know that?!  They made freezers as well as many other items in addition to their well-known tractors.  Quite a history behind that company alone.  It is part of our country’s history and so interesting to learn about.

GE appliances are part of my history and my family has owned many GE items; especially stoves.  My Grandmother had this among her collection:

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It is a little worn but still a keeper.

And who hasn’t heard about Kenmore?   Sears’ appliances were/are found in many homes and Kenmore has been a name that has been around for many years.

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These two are unique to me though:

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What do you have hiding among your vintage cookbooks?

1965 Cookie Cookbook

I purchased a vintage cookie cookbook in 2015 while cruising through a consignment shop.  The book was marked at $10.00 but I happened to be there when all cookbooks in that particular stall were 50% off and I decided to purchase it.  It has been a cool find!

The book is from 1965.  And just viewing the cover pulls you in and yet takes you back in time.

1965 cookie cookbook

As I sat down to stroll through the pages I came across many unique features and entries among them.

I love purchasing used vintage cookbooks because they tell a unique story.  There are almost always written notes among the pages and sometimes clipped recipes are used for page markers.  On the inside on the first printed page are someone’s notes marking her favorites so she would know exactly where to turn for these constant-makes.

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This page also tells me who published the book as well as indicating that it was from 1965 (MCMLXV).

I also found that the First Ladies of the time period had submitted their favorites.  This includes the First Lady of the White House at that time: Ms. Lyndon B. Johnson.

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I think that it is so cool that so many Women in Washington shared cookie recipes from their own kitchens which they made for their own families.

I had also found a recipe in the book from a woman who shares the same name as my one sister-in-law and the last name is quite unique.  I have given a copy of that page to my sister-in-law and my husband’s family found it so cool as well (and we know that it isn’t my sister-in-law who submitted that recipe since she wasn’t born until 1970 anyway!).

There were some other unique recipes which I didn’t know about until I found them in these pages.

Here is one of them:

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If there is anyone reading this who remembers these cookies or a story about them, I’d love to hear it.

And as this particular recipe shows you, there were notes as well on other recipes to tell you a little history about it.  I think that is a cool feature too.

There truly are over 500 cookie recipes in this little ‘gem’ which I’ve found and I’ve tried a few.  I think that once the weather gets cooler I will venture into a few more to add to my repertoire.

Happy Baking!

Unique Discovery

One think which I really love about vintage cookbooks are the unexpected and quite unique features which are often found within those pages.  There are always tips and advice which wouldn’t be found in a present-day cookbook.  I think those are indicators of a simpler time of life and the mores of society.  When reading these things it is hard to imagine that they would be tolerable or even printable in today’s society.  I find no offense when reading these things but enjoyment and often find that they are useful tools to have in my arsenal.

Here is an example of one such unique discovery which I found in my ‘Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.’

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Here are “Short cuts to making work easy.”  I know this is referring to housework since many women in the 1950’s didn’t work outside of the home but who couldn’t use some of these tips today anyway?

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And a rhyme to enjoy!

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“Wear comfortable clothes and properly fitted shoes while working around the house.”

To be honest, you won’t find me wearing a dress and heels while cleaning the house. 🙂  But, I think many women may have done that in past.

In the “For personal outlook” block-I certainly don’t apply make-up, cologne and earrings before I eat breakfast! 🙂

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In the “If you feel tired” block-I laugh when I read that one! :OP

The middle block advice is a great one though and we should all strive to follow that to help with our personal health.

In the “If you have just a moment” block-that’s funny too!

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Been hearing about good posture since I was a child.

Alternate sitting and standing is always good for health and back.

“Check up on yourself” is sage advice; don’t you think?!

“Refresh your spirits” is a good one too.  

I don’t find it humorous when a cat is stuck in a tree though!

Well…some of that advice is good but some of it is just too funny to me too. 🙂  I still enjoy finding these types of things in vintage printings of the past.  It reminds me of a simpler time, in my opinion, and of a time which I really wish I could have truly experienced.

My BHG Collection

I do not remember cooking or baking much as a child.  My mother cooked for us and a baked item was a rare treat.  My grandmother, on the other hand, loved to bake a lot and we benefited from the goodies which came out of her kitchen.

As I got older and began dating the man whom I would eventually marry, my interest in cooking and baking took root inside me and became a hobby which I still enjoy today.  I began collecting recipes, books and magazines from everywhere and received cookbooks as gifts too.

In 1996, I was to be a bridesmaid in my (then) best friend’s wedding.  I decided to purchase kitchen goodies and a cookbook for her bridal shower gifts.  ‘What a great idea for a young bride and her husband to begin their journey in life together,’ I thought.  Also because I enjoy being in the kitchen and it is a necessity to eat, I wanted to give her those gifts.  I purchased a soft-cover Better Homes & Gardens cookbook which was updated for the 1990’s and the current edition for purchase.  I then just innocently began to look through that book and all the scrumptious recipes; a book which I didn’t own.  Yet.  At some point before that bridal shower, I decided to keep that cookbook and I didn’t give it to her.  That is a decision which I have never regretted.

So began my journey and love affair with the world of Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks, magazines and recipes.  A love which has endured all those years and still exists today.  That Better Homes & Gardens cookbook became my most favorite cookbook and it has shown its use.  It is falling apart but still my favorite.

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Even the pricing sticker is still there!

It became my first BHG cookbook but certainly not the last.  I eventually inherited my grandmother’s vintage cookbooks and recipe card boxes and among all of that stuff was this special spiral bound BHG book.

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I love the added bonus of information on the inside of the covers!

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20160331_201319Funky kitchen, don’t ya think?!

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More very important information which we can always use.

I have to admit my love affair with BHG is rather strong.  I have subscribed to their magazine for many years and have added more vintage editions of their cookbook to my ever-growing collection.

For Christmas one year, my husband gave me this very unique and rare edition.  I absolutely love it.  It has the Wartime Cooking Supplement which I’ve never seen before.  All of these new additions to my kitchen are pre-owned which gives them even more special character traits which I love.

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I must be very careful with this one especially, because the pages are spiral-bound but tear away easily.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much moving of the book and they tear away from their spine; but otherwise it is in great condition!

And recently at a flea market I purchased these older versions “for a song,” practically.  The woman who was selling them said they belonged to her recently deceased mother-in-law who was quite old when she died.  They were planning to move into her home but needed to start purging and selling things.  The one book cost $.50 and when I asked about the other, she said $.75 since it was bigger. 🙂  I wasn’t going to argue with those prices.

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This is for the one book but I can’t find a date in the other one; the pages must be missing.

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It looks like the reviews are ‘Super’ & ‘Terrific’ on this particular cake!  What do you think?! 🙂

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I just saw this recipe for the first time and they sound scrumptious!

I have compared editions and various recipes and it is cool to see the various changes through the years in the recipes; some have stayed while others just disappear.  It must be due to Homemakers’ requests and how families are eating through the decades.

I have borrowed newer BHG cookbooks from the local library but I don’t really care for any of them.  I love the older vintage ones with all that extra bonus stuff that’s included inside on the covers and the notes which previous owners include in their editions.  I will stay with my vintage collection of cookbooks and keep cooking and baking the way my mother and grandmother did.  Their food was the bomb!!

(By the way, the book holder which I used for these photos is a homemade cookbook stand which my hubby made for me!  I absolutely love it and it is rather large and very useful on the kitchen counter)!  🙂

Reaching Back In Time

Is it so taboo to want to live the simple life?

In this time period, where just about everyone is “plugged-in” to something electronic or a social media site, it seems like we are evolving at such a rapid pace and no one wants to slow down.

To each generation, the term ‘good ol’ days’ has a different meaning.  As a baby born in the 1970’s, I think often of the 1980’s, of my childhood and what I deem to be my ‘good ol’ days.’  I miss the people most, who are no longer a part of my life now.  And, as strange as it may seem to some, I also miss the life I was living.  It certainly wasn’t easy and there are some bad memories mixed in there, but as a child I didn’t have all the worries and responsibilities as I do now.  And, I had lots more fun!!

For a very long time, I’ve always felt I have an ‘old soul.’  I haven’t had memories, dreams, flashbacks or recollections of a former life, but I just feel older in my soul, than my actual years and get deja’ vu quite often.

My grandparents’ generation lived through the Great Depression and endured and fought World War II.  My maternal grandmother was in Europe at that time and probably had the harshest life imaginable during all of the fighting.  I’m so drawn to that time period and I seek to learn all I can of the 1920’s through the 1940’s; especially the War itself.  I imagine what life would’ve been like on the home front (USA) or abroad in Europe during all of that time.  I wish I could ask my Grandparents.  As a child I didn’t have interest in “the War”, but I do now.  If I could go back in time to live through a time period, I would choose the early 1930’s and live forward.  Would I join the War effort as a Nurse in the WAC or choose to keep the home fires burning here for a man?  I don’t know.  But it is a part of history which I feel so much more at ease with.  I enjoy vintage items and recipes which kept company during all of that.  I’ve been canning food for many years and have been expanding my repertoire in the last few.  I will keep my Victory Garden going the best way that I can (with lots of help from my hubby!).

As I get older, I keep wanting to reach back to a much simpler life and time.  I feel technology is exploding at a very rapid pace and I just feel so lost in all of it.  I don’t use social media mega giant Facebook and don’t feel the need or desire to.  And to be extremely honest with you, the Internet is growing too rapidly that I often sit in front of the computer and feel overwhelmed by it all.  I enjoy the “task” of writing a good old-fashioned letter and putting a stamp on it and mailing it (stickers on the envelope are fun to add too!).  At least I feel that I’m doing my part to help the United States Postal Service stay open-lol!!  I think that old fashioned writing of letters is a lost art and quickly becoming forgotten.  And, I saw too much fraud when I was a bank employee so I still enjoy writing out a check and paying my bills by mail!

I love the process of making and creating by hand versus buying something which was mass produced or made by someone else.  Knitting, crocheting, cooking and baking are things which I enjoy immensely.  I recently purchased a vintage cook book through Amazon titled ‘Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book’, copywrite 1950.  I bought a used one because I wanted an original from the time period with character.  And I got it!!  (I read some posts from others who purchased a new reprint of the book and recipes are missing)!

 

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I love making the old family recipes which I have and cooking from vintage cook books.  It certainly transports me back to a better place and time.  I decided to make the recipe for White Bread (yeast) from this cook book and I used the yeast which I have which is Rapid Rise.  Using that replaces the first rise in a bread recipe and shortens the time to get it ready for the 30-minute baking.  I used that yeast because it is what I have in my fridge and I’m all about using up what I got (see previous post).  It turned out to be the BEST loaf of white yeast bread which I’ve ever made and it was PERFECT!  Instead of using milk, as I’ve done in the past with previous recipes, I used water.  It was a tasty bread loaf; better then the ones you buy at the local bakery.  Many bakeries and family-owned restaurants tend to use their cherished old family recipes and those foods are the BEST!  I keep looking at all the new recipe books from my library and the same recipes just keep revolving around with a few differences (just compare several books of the same type of cuisine and you’ll see each author’s ‘spin’ on classic recipes).  I think the older recipes are best.  They keep things simple and use items which are stocked year-round in my home but the taste is fantastic.  When the Greatest Generation was growing up and living life in their early years, the best thing they enjoyed was putting a great meal on the table for their families and friends and everyone who visited was considered family.  They didn’t go out to eat at restaurants or order take-away food to eat at home.  Why would they?  Their recipes are the best ever!

There’s no way known, yet, to turn back time and most people wouldn’t want that anyway.  But, I can still daydream of a life that is simpler and of what I lived as a child.  I grew up, and still live, in the country.  My family was farming crops and animals with big gardens.  My mother and paternal grandmother canned lots of food each summer to help us endure those harsh winters which we once had and my family hunted to put meat in the freezer as well.  I had a good childhood in many ways; but, at the time, I didn’t think it was.  I do now.  I was fortunate compared to many others.  I’d get on my bicycle and ride to town (up a very steep hill) and visit with my best friend.  We’d spend the day together and sometimes ride all over town, or to the local library where her mother worked.  I’d return before dark and no one worried (too much!).  No cell phones, computers or electronic toys.  We’d go outside and play all day and it truly was fun!  We’d write snail-mail letters to each other and call and talk on the rotary wall phone for hours (with no call waiting).  Boy!  I sure miss all of that!  I certainly would embrace the simple life; however, others around me wouldn’t.  They are evolving, along with the rest of the world, using all electronics and social media, which has gripped the world quickly.

I think that as humans age and look to their final years on Earth, they become more nostalgic and wish for their youth.  It appears to just be a part of the cycle of life.

And, as a final thought, I will say that I really love Miranda Lambert’s song ‘Automatic.’  Here’s a link to the video on YouTube.  Listen closely to the lyrics; I think you’ll feel what I feel.  Let me know….