Our mission: to explore recipes first published in the year of one’s birth – or at least, in a year within five of one’s birth. Our guides: Mr. Peabody and his boy, Sherman, ready to take us on a culinary tour of the 20th century.
Mr. Peabody: Sherman, set the Waybac Machine for 1987.
Sherman: Yes sir, Mr. Peabody!
First stop is Emily’s White Bean and Pork Chili from Bon Appetit. She wasn’t impressed with it of first, writing “Keebler TownHouse Cornbread crackers […] and Monterey jack cheese saved the chili.”
Sherman: I guess 1987 didn’t need flavor when it had NKTOB!
Mr. Peabody: Quiet, you.
Kirsten serves up Lazy Texas Brisket Bon Appetit which she calls “euphorically delicious and simple.”
For dessert, Brilynn (whose blogger photo is a CABBAGE PATCH DOLL) has Canadian Living’s Cinnamon Buns
They look delicious as well. Hmm, why would recipes from ’82 be more flavorful than those from ’87?
Sherman:I know! By the late 80s we had a distracting bad taste in our mouths due to the Regan administration! God, it all makes sense.
Mr. Peabody: Quiet, you.
I knew Mr. Peabody was a Republican.
Mr. Peabody: Quiet, you.
Hm, well. It’s not worth stopping the Waybac in 1981 to sample Cowboy Cookies from Applehood & Motherpie.They’re pretty flavorless and boring, but maybe that’s the way the Junior Leaguers avoid having to hide food in clothes dryers.
Another two stops in one year – this time, it’s 1975. Stephanie made scrumptious looking Fried Risotto with Gruyere and Truffle filling. "Must I go through the formality of saying this was fabulous?" she writes. "Risotto, which is good. Gruyere, also good. White truffles, decadent. Put them together, and fry them? Heavenly."
Also in 1975 is a trip through The Mickey Mouse Cookbook for the Seven Dwarfs’ Cupcakes. Peabody (the blogger) writes “There is one basic recipe with 7 different adaptations so I decided to make one of each. It said it made twelve, but really only made 7 (how fitting).”
Mr. Peabody: (chuckling) How droll.
Get in the Waybac, Mr. Peabody. This isn’t that kind of website.
1973 offers up a beautifully photography (and delicious looking) Carrot and Apple Salad. Its chef, Pepper, first consulted the House and Garden Drink Guide. "There was one cocktail named Between the Sheets, giving me a mental picture of some mustached, sideburned guy in a light colored, wide lapelled suit mixing up one of these...let's change the channel." Good idea, Pepper. We don’t need Mr. Peabody getting excited again.
Becke turned to the grand dame of retro recipes – the Pillsbury Bakeoff archives – and whipped up the Grand Prize Winner for 1972: Quick ‘n’ Chewy Crescent Bars. “They are very simple to make, and sickly sweet [...] actually, they’re not bad at all, quite good […] It sort of reminds me of the praline topping that I put on top of my yams at Thanksgiving, minus the booze of course."
Sherman: I kind of would like have to have one with booze, Mr. Peabody.
Mr. Peabody: Just. God.
1970 gives us Cheese Toast from Gourmet. Finding it, writes Caryn “as a Yank living in the UK […]seemed somehow serendipitous.” This was after a google a search yielded a recipe for a WMD from The Anarchist Cookbook. Mr. Peabody: Thank you for not making a joke about WMDs and the current administration.
I think I just did, Mr. Peabody.Let’s go to the nuclear age of the 50s, shall we?
Ruth baked up a Date & Nut Loaf from the book “that Jewish mothers traditionally buy for their daughters when they get married -- A Treasure For My Daughter .” It’s a beautiful bread. Mr. Peabody: That’s the only "date" on your horizon, isn’t Sherman?
Sherman: To call you a “son of a bitch” wouldn’t be inaccurate, huh, Mr. Peabody?
1954 yields a Macaroni Sauté from Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cook Book. La Vida Dulce writes that her mom “made this macaroni dish, but she gave it her own flair. Her technique was to leave it uncovered, use canned crushed tomatoes instead of tomato juice, a tiny pinch of comino (ground cumin) and then she added grated Monterey Jack cheese to finish. If it got too dry during cooking, she added more water. It was one of our family favorites.”
Another trip in the Waybac Machine takes us to the rationing of the 40s where Doodles reminisces over Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese. “The soup was probably Campbell's with a can of water added, eeek! And the grilled cheese was probably made with white bread, two eeeks!! But in those days it was made with love just like today. And if we were really good we probably got a pickle to accompany our sandwich.” The last two recipes have indeterminate dates, so bear with the Waybac. John Buehler offers up his Gramma’s recipe for salsa. In an email, John writes “When we were first married, my wife tried it several times and it just didn't taste like Grams. The long notes following the recipe are mostly her secrets to making it taste just right.”
Finally, Joanne Hay has recreated the perfect snack for time travel: Pemmican. “Pemmican is a great way to get nourishment…,” she writes. “Just keep a bag of Pemmican in your car [or Waybac Machine]. It keeps for years out of the fridge.”
Mr. Peabody: Sherman, were you aware that a war was waged over Pemmican?
Sherman: No, and honestly, I’m tired of pretending to care about history.I mean, do you think--
Mr. Peabody: Just SHUT UP.
Well, it’s time to hustle the boys into the Waybac and get back things back to normal. Thanks to everyone who participated -- please email me if I've left anyone out.
See you for Retro Recipe Challenge #4 (just announced)!