Saturday, November 03, 2007

RRC 10: Story Book Food

This month's host for RRC 10 is Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried . Here's her announcement! -- LR

I am just delighted to be hosting this month's retro recipe challenge and have been racking my brains for something suitably challenging. Rather than go with the obvious Yuletide theme, I thought I would go back to my childhood - the source of all things retro. Being of Irish descent, there were some pretty un-fascinating foods consumed during my childhood - butterscotch angel delight, smash, fluffy eggs (a bizarre speciality of my mother's which actually deserves its own post), and beany mince (yes baked beans with mince), and I think you'll all agree they don't hold much culinary merit or really deserve to be resurrected. Apart from the squidgy bitter-sweet Guinness cake I used to frighten my school friends with - that is truly the stuff of legend.

Instead I turned to the real culinary inspiration of my childhood - story books. From Maurice Sendak's In The Night Kitchen, through Maisie Middleton and her amazing home made breakfast to Brambly Hedge's hedgerow delicacies, I would dream about foods completely unknown to my humble tastebuds.

So my challenge to you is to revisit your childhood story books - it might be Paddington's marmalade or the tiny cake bearing the invitation, 'eat me', that Alice ate in Alice and Wonderland. Then find a way to recreate that dish using those retro recipe resources. The only stipulation is that the original recipe must have been published or originally made before 1980 (seems pretty recent to me!)

Make your story book dish and write a blog post about it - with pictures if possible and maybe even a link or image of the book you used for inspiration. Let us know where you got your recipe from too - even if it is something you remember your mother making. Then send the post to me at: naomidevlin (at) f2s (dot) com - by midnight on December 14th and I will post all the entries on my blog at the end of the month. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dolores at Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity did a FANTASTIC job hosting RRC 9: The Candy Man! Of course, it would be silly not to acknowledge all the RRC particpants' hard work. Everyone did a wonderful job -- Sammy Davis would be proud!

Here's Dolores' RRC 9 round-up--- Laura Rebecca

Sammy, Laura Rebecca and I asked you to take a piece of culinary history, sprinkle it in sugar and create a wild sugar-soaked retro celebration. And over the course of October, you delivered in spades.

Take Pie Lady Brittany from Seattle WA for example. First out of the gate, Brittany covered it with chocolate and a miracle or two, offering us us the Whoopie Pie: a 1920's-era New England chocolate sandwich cookie she found in Betty Groff's Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook. The whoopie pie holds a special place in my heart as one of my mother's favorite confections from *her* childhood. Thanks for joining us Brittany!

Next up is Deb from Wisconsin, who devotes her entire blog Vintage Recipe to recipes of the retro variety. In Sammy's honor she stretches her baking muscles and offers us Lemon Cherry Treats, an adaptation of a recipe she found in the 1962 edition of The Art of Making Good Cookies, Plain and Fancy. They look like a perfect lunch box addition or after school snack on a blustery rainy winter day.

Naomi of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried in the United Kingdom gives us gluten-free retro sweet treats with her raspberry and pomegranate studded Ballymaloe Tarts. She found these 'real food' pastries topped with fresh seasonal fruit in Jane Grigson's English Food, published in 1974. Your hostess is looking forward to recreating these in her kitchen soon, employing pomegranates as pictured and perhaps a persimmon or two.

Checking in from her One-Walled Kitchen in Phoenix, AZ, Julie offers two tasty alternatives to refined sugar desserts. She reaches back to the disco days of 1978, opens Rodale's Naturally Delicious Desserts and Snacks, and dishes up two desserts that replace sugar with honey: Peanut Butter Pudding and Biscuit Tortoni. Having mastered the luxurious pastry cream of the Bostini Cream Pie, I'm eager to try out these much more calorically reasonable creamy confections.

KJ from Canberra, Australia, the brilliant mind behind A Cracking Good Egg struggles a bit with a sticky sweet treat: Turkish Delight No. 1. She sources her recipe from the CWA Cookery Book and Household Hints and has a bit of trouble with the candy's custom to cling to every surface with which it comes in contact. I can't possibly summarize her story in three sentences nearly as well as she relays it. Go. Read her saga for yourself. We'll wait here...

Her hometown of Quebec, Canada provides just the inspiration Liz of Bits and Bites is looking for. She turns to Canada's answer to Julia Child and the "dean of Canadian Cuisine" Jehane Benoit's, consulting her 1955 publication celebrating the cuisine of Quebec. The result: Liz has found a new go-to pastry recipe in a book she's carted around for years but failed to cook from until now -- and an absolutely yummy looking Sugar Pie.

Gigi, the hostess with the mostest at Gigi Cakes, makes her home in Pasadena, CA and takes us back to the first half of the twentieth century with her contribution: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Her recipe is the 1925 winner of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company's annual recipe contest. Today we know the Hawaiian Pineapple company as the mono-syllabic Dole. And like several of the contributions to RR9, she's found a recipe that stands the test of time.

Peeking out from behind curtain number 8 is Melynda of The Things that Make Us Happy Make us Wise, whose Marguerites don't leave her with a lot of faith in the tastebuds of our culinary predecessors. With the observation that they "look like camel poop and taste like a sandstorm" Melynda wins my admiration for her way with words and the unofficial first place award for the most creative description in this round.

Theresa takes a break from blogging about vintage fashion at Vintage Style Files to share her experience with a retro recipe for Raisin Bon Bons. In response to our call for sugar-soaked sweet treats, she turns to Family Circle's 1972 Illustrated Library of Cooking's Dessert Edition section on candy making. Theresa thinks she'll make these again, next time selecting a chocolate that can stand up a little better to Florida's heat and humidity.

In Pittsburgh, PA Laurie of Quirky Cupcake celebrates the success of her hometown heroes the Pens with a Fresh Apple Cake from her grandmother's favorite cookbook: The "Green" Huntsville Heritage Cookbook published in 1967... and discovered yet another recipe worthy of repeating. This "perfect fall cake" packs powerful fruit flavor, is "moist, sweet and comforting" and "keeps for days."

Melody of Fruit Tart ponders the life of the fantasy stay-at-home-mom watching soaps and popping bon bons (none of which accurately reflects HER reality), checking in with some brightly colored sensational looking Bon Bon Cookies. She takes her inspiration from Betty Crocker's 1963 Cooky Book, experimenting with flavors and fillings to create cookies that double as eye-candy.

Moon represents one-third of the creative genius behind Peanut Butter Etouffee and offers her grandmother's groovy Sugar Pie in homage to Sammy Davis Jr. Her uncle calls it a "Vaseline Pie" ... I think it looks delicious, and delightfully, deliciously, sinfully 1970-something.

"ShannieCakes" Shannon from Corvallis, OR shares a childhood favorite of hers AND mine: the Chocolate Mayonnaise (Cup)cake. She says it's a southern thing and how the recipe made its way to my mid-western grandmother remains a mystery to me, but it's neat to see that someone else out there enjoys the moist cakes it creates as much as I do. I can't wait to try it topped with Shannon's salted caramel butter cream. Because there's not much that doesn't taste better smothered in caramel...

Gretchen Noelle of Canela y Comino in Lima, Peru channels her inner eight-year-old with her contribution to our sugar celebration: Snickerdoodles. She provides a careful history of the Snickerdoodle's emergence on the American cookie scene -- including several period recipes, one from the turn of the 20th century, closing with the recipe as she submitted it to the Peck Family Cookbook back in 1980.

Breadchick Mary treats us to the classic of all classics, Mamie Eisenhower's No Fail Fudge. Who in the United States hasn't enjoyed this marshmallow fluff inspired treat? Mary's a self-proclaimed expert on fudge, claiming Mackinac Island, Michigan as perhaps the fudge capital of the United States. Her childhood nickname for tourists, "Fudgies" had me giggling to myself as I read her post.

Speaking of fluff, check out Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness' neon pink cake -- her contribution to both our Retro Recipe Challenge and Marye's much acclaimed Boobie Bake-Off. She consults the Favorite Recipes from Irvington Kitchens, a 1938 publication of the Irvington (IN) Union of Ladies' Clubs for inspiration, chosing the Delicious White Cake and Buttercream Icing -- then tinting them pink with icing paste.

And lastly but not leastly, my tribute to the American bicentennial celebration, autumn, and all things soaked in alcohol: Drunken Apple Pound Cake. Which the Tribune claims -- since it's made with corn oil rather than solid butter or margerine -- is a-okay for people on a "newfangled" low-cholesterol diet. My, how very far we've come...

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Seventeen celebrations of sugar (and sugar substitutes). Thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in RRC 9.

Hungry for more? Burn off some of the calories you've consumed here... run, don't walk back over to Naomi, from Straight into Bed, Cakefree and Dried. She's hosting Retro Recipe Challenge #10: Story Book Food.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Retro Recipe Challenge #9: The Candy Man!

Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it with dew
Cover it with choc'late and a miracle or two?
The Candy Man...
Oh, the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can
'Cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good.

Delores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity writes:

I'm honored to announce that Laura Rebecca has invited me to host the latest iteration of her delightful Retro Recipe Challenge. With Halloween approaching in all its sweet-centered indulgence, we're celebrating sugar. We've chosen Sammy Davis Junior as our spokesperson for Retro Recipe Challenge #9: The Candy Man...

Who can take a rainbow
Wrap it in a sigh
Soak it in the sun and make a groovy lemon pie?
The Candy Man...
The Candy Man can
The Candy Man can
'Cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good.

So don't just sit there singing along... join us! Dig out your old magazines and cookbooks. Flip to the dessert section. Find a recipe that speaks to you in the language of sugar. Make it. Photograph it. Blog about it. And send me the details...

Who can take tomorrow
Dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream?
The Candy Man...
Oh, the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can
'Cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good.

Are you in?

Let's take a little closer look at the guidelines: First, we're primarily interested in recipes published before 1980, but we're flexible. Ideally, your blog post should cite your source (even if that's grandma's recipe box) and share your experience with the recipe. You're welcome to use the Retro Recipe Sources [at right] for inspiration. Pictures are lovely, but optional.

Next, send me your contribution, including a link to the post, your name and location before midnight PDT on October 26. Send it to dolores{dot}ferrero{at}gmail{dot}com . Look for a sugar soaked round up the round up on October 31.

The Candy Man makes everything he bakes
Satisfying and delicious
Talk about your childhood wishes
You can even eat the dishes...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Looking For Hosts!

"Me! I want to be a hostess with the mostess! Me! Me!"

Interested in hosting the next Retro Recipe Challenge? Please drop a line to LauraRebeccasKitchen{at}gmail{dot}com for details!

Monday, August 13, 2007

RRC#8: Retro Wobbles But It Won't Fall Down Round Up

Cross-posted at FoodMaven by this round's host, Rachel.

Fruittart didn't use a recipe but made these retro Jell-O parfaits.

The originator of the retro recipe round up, Laura Rebecca made Coconut Custard

Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once made this elegant Port Wine Jelly.

Simone (aka Xiao Zhu)of Curiously Ravenous made this kitschy Lime Fluff

Sarina Nicole at made this Spiced Orange Mold .

I loved hosting this event and couldn't resist the opportunity to make a homemade version of the '60s era discontinued, cult favorite Jell-O 1-2-3.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Retro Recipe Challege # 8: Retro Wobbles But It Won't Fall Down

I'm thrilled to announce that the next edition of the Retro Recipe Challenge will be hosted by Rachel of Food Maven. (Thank you, Rachel!)

Here's her announcement & fabulous theme!

I'm excited to be hosting RRC #8: Retro Wobbles But It Won't Fall Down. This time around we will be making food that wiggles and wobbles. Think aspic, Jell-O salad, gelatin parfaits, jelly candies or even jam. The only catch? You have to use a recipe that was first published before 1985. For help in finding a recipe, check out the "helpful links" sidebar.

Once you've created your dish, post a picture of the finished product, along with the recipe and your review to your blog or flickr account. Don't forget to include the year the recipe was first published and its source.

When you're done, send an email to coconutlimeblogATgmailDOTcom by August 10th at 11:59pm EST. In the email, please include:

Your name or blogging nickname
Your blog's name and URL
The recipe's title
The post's URL
Please attach a photo (no larger than 100x100 pixels) and include "RRC#8" in the subject line.

The round-up will posted by August 12th on Food Maven and here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

UPDATED! From Retro, With Love: Retro Recipe Challenge No. 7 Round-Up

Let's take trip 'round the world, retro style, shall we?

Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once offers a delicious "uber retro, Swiss-classic, fondue" perfect for any well-heeled jet-setter.

The recipe hails from Graham Kerr's classic 1973 cookbook, The Complete Galloping Gourmet Cookbook.

Retro pro Emily at Appetitive Behavior visited France via Hungary (read her post for the details) to create "Flaky, uberbuttery, layer-y, crisp on the outside and soft inside, and all told pretty darn awesome [croissants]." They look fabulously French (yet make me hungry for Hungary).

The recipe comes from the Illustrated Good Housekeeping Encyclopedic Cookbook, 1965, Vol. 3.

Theresa at Vintage Style Files (a woman & blog after my own heart) took a tour of the orient with her gorgeous Tokyo Salad. It's a "spicy Asian shrimp and noodle" hailing from Kitchen Fare, International Menus Cookbook, just the kind of book that inspired the RRC No. 7's theme.

Tara at the hilariously named Should You Eat That? (have you been looking in my fridge, Tara?) tantalizes the taste buds with Sweet and Sour Pork. She found a classic irony in retro recipes: turning something healthy into food that could take down an elephant.

"I found it amusing," Tara writes, "that [the recipe] required lean pork, which was then deep fried, but I suppose it is better than the alternative of 'fat' pork being deep fried."

Rachel at Coconut and Lime whets the palate and wets the tongue with her fizzy Moscow Mule, which is "credited with having popularized vodka in the United States" during the 1950s.

Having recently been to Russia, I can definitively say the Moscow Mule is vast improvement over the traditional Russian summertime drink, квас (kvas).

The Expat Chef in The Expatriate's Kitchen takes a turn updating a classic favorite, Spinach Artichoke Dip, with her Spinach Artichoke Tart in Puff Pastry.

She writes, "You can actually taste the vegetables now that your taste buds aren’t doing the backstroke in butterfat."

Last but not least, Gillian at Food History provides dessert with her Dundee Cake. Gillian writes, "This is another of those 1950s recipes from my grandmother. We used to make Dundee Cake a great deal in the late sixties, but I haven’t seen it anywhere recently. I think it’s time it was revived!"

And that's the tour of the globe! Thank you to all who participated! (If I've neglected to include a submission, please email me right away. Except you, porn site. We don't feature that kind of eating on this blog.)

If you're interested in hosting the next round of the Retro Recipe Challenge, please drop me a line!