{Old Fashioned} Popovers

Heart-shaped Swedish Waffles, timbales, and popovers, all delights with special shapes, give a dinner party special charm. Try them and see.

Pulled right from the pages of one of my great-grandmother’s vintage magazines, these little breakfast treats are more fun than filling, but have the flavor of a lighter-than-air pancake and are a joy to eat…

Give these a try (and watch them grooooow before you eyes!). Just be sure to have your butter and jam close at hand – and a cup of coffee and good read.

Playing make-believe has always been a favorite pastime of mine, and these piping hot, topsy-turvy little treats transport me to a whole other world:

One where Jackie O. is on the cover of magazines, Sucaryl Sweetener was the latest craze, and my Maindenform girdle is my best friend…

*sigh*

Sometimes, I wish…

Old Fashioned Popovers

From McCall’s “First Magazine for Women”, March 1963

Makes 8 Popovers

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 3 T Salad oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 Cup Sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • A splash of Vanilla and Cinnamon (My own additions…)

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400F. Lightly grease 8 (5-oz) glass custard cups.*
  2. In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk, and salad oil with rotary beater until well combined.
  3. Sift flour with salt over egg mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour into custard cups. Bake 50 minutes. (Note: My custard cups were 7-oz, and the cooking time was closer to 45 minutes.)
  4. Serve hot, with butter and your favorite jam.

*Or preheat cast-iron popover pans (eleven 3-oz cups) until sizzling hot; grease cups lightly just before filling. Bake 40 minutes. Makes 11 popovers.

Take a step back in time, and enjoy!

{Did you happen to notice my lovely, new “toy”? We found this antique hutch for a steal over the holidays at a little shop called the “Swanky Abode”. So fun, such a beautiful backdrop – Perfect place for all my odds and ends!}

Have you had any wonderful finds lately? What are your favorite old fashioned treasures?

Advertisements

Retro Squash {Truffles}

First off, these really aren’t truffles. Sorry to disappoint, but I just didn’t want the name of my post to be “Squash Balls”.

Umm… doesn’t exactly inspire cozy, happy, holiday thoughts. So, because these little treats are round and have somewhat of a crispy, sweet coating… truffles they became.

I found the inspiration for this recipe in a April issue of Family Circle from 1955 (one of my grandmother’s magazines). “Crispy Sweet-Potato Balls” – They are little funky-retro, and a lot fun to eat.

Unlike Mrs. Eisenhower’s Apple Pie, I did make some modifications to this recipe.

With the biggest eating day of the year looming close, I wanted to be sure I could pound some stuffing, mashed potatoes and Black-Friday-Power-Shopping-Frappuccinos without overwhelming guilt.

Don’t worry. The “yummier” PG-13 version is below also… Worth a shot if butter and zweiback crumbs are your thing. I’ll let you choose for yourself ; )

Retro Squash Truffles

Makes about 10 larger-than-golf-ball-sized truffles

Squash Mixture:

  • 2 Cups of roasted squash (I used a Kabocha, but Butternut or Sweet Dumpling would work well also, or even Sweet Potatoes like the original recipe suggests.)
  • 1 T Earth Balance (or butter), melted
  • 1 t Brown sugar (May need to vary based on the sweetness of your squash)
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • Dash of Nutmeg and Pepper (to taste)

Coating Mixture:

  • 2/3 Cups of Panko Breadcrumbs (graham crackers or a few crushed pecans would be great additions, too)
  • 2 t Earth Balance (or butter), melted
  • 1/8 t Cinnamon and Nutmeg and Salt

Directions:

  • Mash squash in a large bowl; add remaining squash-mixture ingredients; beat until fluffy; form into balls truffles.
  • Combine coating-mixture ingredients in a pie-plate; roll truffles in the mixture until coated well, place in a shallow baking pan.
  • Bake in slow oven (325) for about 35 minutes, or until truffles are heated-through and coating is crisp.

Garnish these little spheres of sweet-fluffy-mashed-potato-like goodness with a drizzle of real maple syrup, or….

…yep, I went there.

Add half of a marshmallow for the last five minutes of baking time for a gooey treat. Perfect nestled next to a turkey, and fun to make (and eat) with kids.

That is, unless you get TOO into the retro thing, and make the whole family dress alike…

Just. Don’t. Do it. They won’t appreciate that when they’re older. And, therapy is expensive.

Enjoy!

For all of you adventurers out there, here is the original recipe, as printed:

Crispy Sweet-Potato Balls

Makes 8 large Potato Balls

Potato Mixture

  • 2 Cans (1lb, 2oz each) of vacuum packed sweet potatoes
  • 4 T (1/2 Stick) of melted butter or margarine
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1t Salt
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg
  • 1/8 t Pepper
  • 1 t Lemon juice

Coating Mixture

  • 3/4 Cup coarse zwieback crumbs (About 6 slices)
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 2T Melted Butter or Margarine
  • 1/8 t Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt

Directions: Same as above, but bake for 40 minutes.

Mrs. Eisenhower’s {Apple Pie}

Fall is full of so many wonderful things: The food, the holidays, the desserts, the weather, the food, the clothes….the food.

To celebrate the season, and the fact that we were actually at home for an entire weekend (unheard of!), the Husband and I took a trip a local orchard for their famous cider, and fabulous apples.

Geckle Orchard started as a hobby for owners Gene and Jane , and now is a local favorite for natural, small-batch pressed cider, and a wide variety of apples. They also sell their aged vinegar, and honey from the bees that pollinate their trees.

We got  a mix of Gala, HoneyCrisp (my fav!), Empire, Liberty, Ruby Jonathan, Cortland, Jonagold and McIntosh. Mmmmm…

Well, with all of these apples, what’s a girl to do?

Make a vintage apple pie, that’s what!

My great-grandmother gave me a stack of magazines from the 1950′ and 60’s several years ago. I LOVE looking at the photos, advertisements and reading the stories and editorials from the pages of  “LOOK”, “Modern Bride”, “Women’s Home Companion” and “Ladies Home Journal.”

Well, an issue of Family Circle from September of 1957 (their 25th Anniversary Year) has a wonderful spread on the First Family, “When the Eisenhowers Cook.” And in it, was the perfect, easy apple recipe…

Apparently, the President’s wife, Mamie, didn’t start out being very fabulous in the kitchen. In fact, it was Eisenhower himself that was known for being a “Walking recipe book” and who was “as vain about his dishes as any fussy chef”. As a General, he paid special attention to the Army’s food-service, and it was said that he often used cooking to help him unwind during his time in office.

But, the President passed on some of his skills to wife, and though as a young bride she said she said she could “only make fudge and mayonnaise”, her repertoire expanded with his help (though the fudge did help lure her young second lieutenant). She ended up being very influential in the White House kitchen, and loved to make her husband’s favorite foods.

The dish that caught my eye – nestled between the ads for Hydrox Cookies and Diet Delight Peaches – was Mamie’s Deep Dish Apple Pie. So, I tried it. Unaltered, unhealthified and unmodernized. I wanted to enjoy it just like the First Lady, and it. was. delicious.

Old-Fashioned, and the President’s long-time favorite with cheese, ice cream, or cream

Mamie’s Deep Dish Apple Pie

{Directly from the pages of the magazine}

Ingredients:

  • 10 to 12 tart cooking apples (about 8 cups, cut up – I used Ruby Jonathan)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

Directions:

  1. Pare apples and cut into small pieces into a bowl; stir in sugar and lemon juice to coat fruit well; spoon into buttered 9-inch shallow baking dish.
  2. Combine flour and brown sugar in same bowl; cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender or 2 knives; sprinkle over apples; pat down.
  3. Bake in moderate oven (350) about 45 minutes, or until juice bubbles around edge and topping is golden-brown. Serve warm with cream, ice cream, or snappy cheese.

I was surprised to see this called a “pie”, when there is no crust involved, but I loved it. It was easy, fast and simple…and I haven’t perfected the whole “crust thing” yet anyway ; ) The only thing that might have made it better, would be a handful of chopped pecans added to the topping…

So, grab some apples and your favorite apron, and channel your inner “American royalty” as you take your first delicious bite…

…let me know if you liked the “snappy cheese”.

Enjoy!

{Vintage} Wisdom

Meet Ora Bliss Adams.

Ora is my great-grandmother, and she just turned 96 this week. Always (and still) a bright, strong, fashionable lady; a long chat with her can change your life… So, in her honor,  I’ve decided to pass on a little of her wisdom…

You don’t have it today like we did back then… and I’m sorry.

About “Grandma Bailey”

Ora was born in a small town in rural Ohio in 1915. She was the youngest of seven children, and her mother passed away when she was just 20 months old. Her kind, loving father and her oldest sister, Wilma, raised her and her siblings.

They studied hard, worked hard, baked, cooked, plowed, slaughtered, milked, churned, laughed, grieved, danced, survived and learned a lot about life on their self-sufficient farm…

Grandma graduated from high school, and married Joe Washington Bailey when she was 18 years old. Their first car was his brand new 1930 Ford Sport Roadster….red and black with a rumble seat. She says it was quite the sight…

She and my grandfather also led busy, involved, generous, hard working lives. They farmed for many years,  had two children: Viora Sue and Steve. “Sue” is my grandmother – my mom’s mother…

Grandma still lives on their 114 acre farm, today.

I can still see the horses, the people, the farms…

Living a long, happy life

There are many themes that run through Grandma’s life, but I would say that hard work, health and fashion tended to stand out. I think she’d agree that the lists below contributed to her seeing her 96th birthday.

Her thoughts about life are precious to me, and luckily, she has an almost photographic memory… Here are just a few for you to take to heart:

Ora’s Fashion Tips

(Circa 1940-60, but still applicable today)

{Sue’s wedding, 1958 – What a dress, what a color.}

1. An A-line dress is possibly the most flattering cut there is. No matter what your waist or hips are like, it can look nice on everyone. (I totally agree!)

2. NEVER wear pleats. They make you look fat. (Proud to say I made the husband throw out all of his pleated pants right after we got married… now this is great advice).

3. Buy versatile pieces – Mix and match your jackets, skirts and slacks. (But, slacks are mostly worn for bowling and farm work…. She’s a member of the national “600 Bowlers Club”, by the way.)

4. DON’T buy cheap shoes. It just isn’t worth it. She’s 96 and has no foot problems and can walk wherever she pleases. She said it is all about quality. (“Tweedies” were her favorite brand. This ad is from a 1956 “Woman’s Home Companion” magazine she gave me. Grandma said that they were $80 a pair in the 1940’s – Whew! Told the Husband about this tip right away…)

Ora’s Health Tips

(On the farm, or in your back yard…try a few)


We ate food that we grew, harvested and butchered…we baked our own bread, had three orchards and 13 swarms of bees…  Dad would always take apples and honey to the neighbors.

1. Eat like a farmer. Grandma ate local food when it was in season. They canned what they didn’t eat immediately, baked, used a root cellar, and never went hungry – even during The Depression and WWII. (You might not be able to eat only what you can grow, but try to stay local, eat what is ripe, and experiment with recipes that call for whole, nutrient rich foods.)

2. Sweets are a treat. It was a big deal to get sweets and penny candies, not a habit. Keep it a special event to share with others. (Even though you don’t have to trudge three miles through mud-covered roads to get your candy bars any more, act like you do…)

3. Walk, run, ride, move. Make it a natural part of your routine. Grandma said they walked everywhere, and didn’t even think about it. She claims it has made all the difference in her health and mobility today… They also rode horses, planted seeds, sweated and milked cows twice a day – Now that’s an arm workout!. (Three miles to church on Sunday, and countless miles there and back to school, to the neighbors, and around the farm.)

4. Dance. In the winter, Grandma’s family held square dances to entertain and keep moving even in bad weather. They rolled up the carpet, found someone to play the violin or banjo, and friends, family and neighbors danced the night away. (While you might not square dance this winter to keep holiday pounds off, try Zumba or a new workout to mix things up.)

{The picture above to the left is of my great-great grandparents. They were married in 1895. The picture above and to the right is of Ora with her dog – She put waves in her hair by standing over a teakettle.}

We worked hard…we led a good life.

I have said that I love stories, and Grandma’s stories are some of the best. I am proud of her and my family, and am thankful to know more about who we are, and where we have been… I challenge you to take the time to find out some of your own stories. You might be surprised at what you find.

{The picture above is one of my favorites. Love the collar and stripes. My Grandma and uncle are pictured with her… See how the fashion sense was passed down?}

{Grandma’s home – A place where joy and memories reside}