Golden Oldies From A 1950s Cookbook

IN THE KITCHEN

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While I was born in 1955, I don't have any specific memories about the food we ate, but I suspect it was not all that different than the food we ate in the 1960s.

At my grandmothers' tables we usually had some kind of fried meat or sometimes a roast, potatoes -- usually in mashed form -- and a vegetable, either peas or green beans, occasionally corn.

At my mother's table it was either something from the pressure cooker or a roast, occasionally spaghetti, mashed or baked potatoes and peas or green beans.

Not a lot of variety. I am sure we ate other things, but most often this is what we had.

After my grandfather died in December 2004, my uncle, his executor, let us take the things we wanted from the house; what was left would be sold at an estate sale. I have more-or-less been the family history keeper since I was 10 and started asking about my grandparents' childhood and their parents.

So, I took the boxes of old pictures. I also collect cookbooks, and found a few -- though I don't remember my grandmother using a cookbook, except one she had from the Methodist ladies with a fantastic hot roll recipe.

Anyway, among the cookbooks was the "Mirro Cook Book," which probably came with a set of cookware from that company. The copyright is 1950, so I thought I could come up with few "Golden oldie recipes" to go along with the feature in this edition of the Review.

Among the few recognizable appetizers featured in my grandmother's cookbook are Stuffed Eggs and Stuffed Celery.

Stuffed Eggs

6 hard cooked eggs

1/2 teaspoon onion juice

2 sardines, boned and mashed

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Chopped parsley and sliced, stuffed olives for garnish

Cut eggs lengthwise, scoop out yolks and put through coarse sieve (or mash with a fork). Mix yolks with onion juice, sardines and Worcestershire sauce. Refill cavity of egg with mixture and garnish with chopped parsley and sliced, stuffed olives.

Stuffed Celery

Inner stalks of crisp celery

Equal parts cream cheese and Roquefort cheese, plus a little butter

Paprika

Clean celery. Mix cheeses and butter until smooth. Fill celery with mixture and dust with paprika.

Southern Fried Chicken

1, 4-pound chicken, cut into individual servings

Enough seasoned flour to cover chicken pieces

1/2 cup shortening or oil

Heat oil in chicken fryer or deep skillet. Roll individual chicken pieces in seasoned flour and brown in hot oil. Reduce heat and fry slowly to brown evenly. (After initial browning in hot oil, the chicken may be baked, uncovered for 1-1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

Salmon Patties

2 cups cooked salmon, flaked

1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Flake salmon enough to remove as many of the bones as possible. Combine all ingredients (finely chopped onion, onion powder or dried, minced onions can also be added for seasoning) and make patties from mixture. Melt shortening in frying pan, or add oil to cover bottom. Heat, then fry patties until golden brown.

Pork Chops with Dressing

8 pork chops

4 cups bread, diced

2/3 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons bacon fat

1/4 cup water

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients except pork chops, and pack into roasting pan. Arrange chops on top of dressing and bake, uncovered for 1-1/4 hours at 350 degrees, turning chops occasionally.

Pot Roast in Dutch Oven

4 pounds chuck roast

2 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons fat

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 teaspoons salt

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups diced carrots

1 onion, chopped fine

1 cup of peas

Wipe meat and rub flour over surface. Sear meat in fat until browned in Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and cook slowly over low heat until tender, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. In last hour of cooking, add vegetables.

Tuna Casserole

1 tablespoon shortening

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 can tuna, flaked

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 cup small peas

1 can pimiento

Buttered crumbs

Melt the shortening and stir in the flour, blend well. Add salt and sour cream, stir until thoroughly mixed and thickened. Add tuna, peas and mushrooms to cream sauce. Grease a bread pan, sprinkle bottom with buttered crumbs, pour mixture on top of crumbs, garnish with pimiento. Bake in a pan of water for 40 to 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuna and Vegetable Casserole

1, 8-ounce package of noodles

6 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons pimiento

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1-1/2 cups cooked carrots, sliced

1 small cauliflower, chopped

1 cup tuna or other fish

4 tablespoons parsley

Cook noodles uncovered in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, then drain. Make white sauce of butter, flour, salt and milk. Set aside about a third of white sauce and then stir chopped vegetables into the remaining two thirds of the sauce. Place a layer of cooked, drained noodles in a greased casserole, then cover with a layer of the vegetable mixture, Put tuna in center, add a second layer of vegetables over tuna and top with a layer of cooked, drained noodles and reserved white sauce. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley and serve.

Molded Pineapple and Cream Cheese Salad

1-1/2 tablespoons plain gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup cold water

1/4 pound cream cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups grated pineapple (crushed pineapple, undrained)

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Heat sugar and 1 cup cold water to boiling point, then remove from heat and add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool. Add softened cream cheese, pineapple and juice, lemon juice and salt. Stir well and chill. When mixture becomes the consistency of syrup, fold in whipped cream. Place in individual aluminum molds, chill until set, then serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with olives.

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