Sunday, August 30, 2009

The new cook book's here! The new cook book's here!

We celebrated T's b-day last night [did we ever!] & lucky me, I scored a gifty, too. My friend & vintage cook book comrade Mandy presented me with this dandy:

The Good Housekeeping Book Of Salads
to heighten appetites and brighten meals

And there's a magnif molded salad section - I can't wait to get one from this book on the books! These starters might not all be leafy - but I'll bet they have the propensity to turn you green.

Friday, August 28, 2009

home sweet bungalow

I'm missing our 'old house' today - and every day - a 1920s bungalow on the Missouri side of the state line. But luckily, I can manhandle some of my favorite elements from my real retro kitchen in my persnickety 1990s + tea + sugar + flour canisters =
4 makeshift mirrors for Margie to check her makeup in

our who-left-the-fingerprints-on-the-cookie-jar cookie jar

my beloved. cat-dog-owl planter/scrubber holder.

And we'll be whoop-de-dooing it up right on Tom's bday this weekend in the very neighborhood that nestles our [I just can't give it up] bungalow and scores more in a timeless fashion: with good cocktails and great friends - can't wait to celebrate [and get an eyefull of the house. geez. will I shut up about the house already? no.]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rain, rain - you can stay!

It's a fabby day to bake to-day!

So Marge & I whipped up a 'Reliable Recipe' from the 29th Edition of the Calumet Baking Powder Company's cook book. American Coffee Cake. I'm sure it's just what hits the spot for Ted Nugent after a long day of deer hunting and rifle cleaning. And cans of Coors.

I can't find a publisher's date on the book, but rest assured that 'EVERY INGREDIENT USED [is] OFFICIALLY APPROVED BY U.S. FOOD AUTHORITIES.' Great.

Who in the hell are these authorities? The mad men that want to sneak Calumet Baking Powder into every thing you bake. I can see Don Draper's storyboard illustrating the 'Level. Rounding. & Heaping teaspoons to bake by. And I'm cool with that.

American Coffee Cake
2 1/4 c flour
2 level [double check the dandy illustration for levity] teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/2 level teaspoon [you're on your own] salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 scant cup milk [aka just shy of a cup]
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon mace [I subbed cinnamon]

Sift flour, measure and sift three times with baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. Work in butter with tips of fingers or a knife. Beat egg, combine with milk and add to dry ingredients. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Turn into a square [I walked on the wild side with my rectangle] cake pan and spread with the following mixture:

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs [I, mom of 2, had none. So I subbed old-fashioned oats. Would Calumet approve? Bah.]
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mace [again, I feel safe in my neighborhood, so I subbed cinnamon]
3 tablespoons butter [level? heaping? you be the judge. I did melt it, though.]

Mix all together; spread on cake [we opted for messy crumbling so we could lick our fingers] and bake in a moderate oven thirty to thirty-five minutes @ 325-250 degrees.

A tinsy bit bland. But isn't that the joy of retro baking? Moist - definitely at its peak when served warm - and the sugary-sweet crust that forms is a keeper. Chase it with a cup of joe, it's a coffee cake for heaven's sake! It's a rainy-day or coffee klatsch go-to that you can definitely amp up on your own with brown sugar, vanilla, oats [I am left wondering about the graham crackers, so I'll try my hand at this again once I cross the crackers off my shopping list], apples, or dried fruit. Definitely be deviant with this recipe!

[p.s. I didn't use Calumet Baking Powder. I'm going to hell.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dig up a treasure!

What retro recipe do you treasure? Let me in on it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bend My Ear!

Fab news: I enabled kitschenfeast to allow comments from all ladies & gents of leisure! You now do NOT need a pesky account to throw your 2cents my way. So get your gums flappin' & thanks for keeping an eye on me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Enough with the euphamisms. Or not.

Thanks for humoring my low-ball humor in the preceeding posts. I'm sure you think I'm nuts by now.

These tasty balls from the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago's Ground Meat Cookbook [circa '54, '55, '65 & '70] are a handful. And a bit tart, sweetheart. They're strong enough for a man, when made by a woman [the secret's out].

Lemon Meat Balls
2oz cheddar cheese [about 1/2 c, grated]
Combine with cheese, and mix lightly [take off your rings, unless you have a flesh fettish and want to be picking raw meat out of your anniversary band 'til your next anniversary]:
1 lb ground beef1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 c [about 1 slice] fine, dry bread crumbs
1 T chopped parsley
1 T grated lemon peel [go ahead & zest this time, my lazy ass did]
1 T lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
Add a mixture of:
1 t salt
1/2 t monosodium glutamate [me no likey msg]
1/4 t pepper
Shape into balls about 2" in diameter [bigger is better - a mantra to follow, for sure]. Coat by rolling meat balls in:3 T flour
Heat in skillet
3 T fat
Add meat balls to skillet and brown over medium heat, turning occasionally to brown on all sides. Remove from heat and add slowly, blending well:
1 1/2 c [12 oz can] tomato juice
1 1/4 c hot water
Return to heat, cover and simmer about 40 in. Turn meat balls occasionally.

First - skip the msg. There's a reason it's not even good enough for the dingy Chinese take-out dive on the corner. And amp up the lemon flavor. Double, even triple the zest and juice. Pour it on 'til you pucker. I also opted out of simmering the balls [go ahead, you don't have to stifle that giggle] in plain Jane tomato juice. The shame and guilt of essentially frying the meat mix in fat [I used veg shortening, how vegan of me] had me opt for low sodium V8. I'm sure the fatty to healthy ratio was still 3:1. But I noshed on 3 of them [with Nebraska sweetcorn and fresh farmer's market potatoes on the side] regardless of ratios. Screw the math, it was better than good. So much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sometimes You've Gotta Grab Dinner by the BALLS!

I can't wait to get my hands on some of these balls.
Stay tuned - soon we'll grab dinner by 'em.

In the meantime, get outside. Toss some balls around.
Have a ball this weekend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brown Some Ground Round

I can hardly wait to get my hands on something meaty - how about you? But I'll be damned if I'm grinding my own - no matter how charming and pre-Pixar cute those flesh-tearing man-powered machines look on the cover. Expect a beefy recipe for the gents in the coming week...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pretty Easy: Mac & Cheesy

Thanks, Betty, for getting kids in the kitchen!
This kitschy duo is dedicated to my own...
Following in the footsteps of that sweet talker, Betty Crocker, I let Margie flip through the fun & funky pages of the ultimate vintage kid's cook book circa '65 [that has been spilled on and stained by 2 generations before her]. And she was sweet on these cheesy recipes:

Polka-Dotted Macaroni & Cheese [page 72]Mmmm. What a sodium & carb-heavy ingredient list:
1 pkg of macaroni [7oz]
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c milk
1 t Worcestershire sauce [yay! more salt!]
2 frankfurters
[cut into penny-thin slices - shrinkage inevitable, as always]
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook & drain macaroni as directed.
Empty soup into bowl. Slowly stir in milk & Worcestershire.
Spread drained macaroni into baking dish 10x6x 1 1/2 inches. Then pour cheese sauce over macaroni stirring into mix.
Arrange frankfurter slices [men have been arranging their franks for years, so ask one to help] on top of macaroni and cheese. If you are anal retentive, have ocd or are a fan of symmetry, arranging the 'furters will drive you to drink - so cue a cocktail and bend an elbow for the following 25 minutes the mixture bakes. 'Til it's hot and bubbly. Like Tom.

And these sweet little varmints make a swell side dish -
Bunny Salad [page 57]
Here is the recipe. Dissected [nasty, but necessary] by bunny:
Body: 1 chilled pear half
Eyes: 2 raisins
Nose: 1 red cinnamon candy [which, when left in the fridge to 'chill' will resemble a bloody nose - unless there were fisticuffs behind closed doors]
Ears: 2 blanched almonds
Tail: cottage cheese ball

Yay for carnivore-minded kids!

Friday, August 14, 2009

See Ben Learn.

My big kid went to the big K today. Kindergarten.
& he was pretty proud.

I'm glad to see some things never change. The first day of kindergarten is as swell now as it was then.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dessert First!

What else says summer like petite, spongy citrus towers of cake?

Maybe vodka. On the rocks, of course. With a twist.

But, as usual [and ad nauseum] I digress.

Better Homes & Gardens Meals In Minutes [circa '63] pays homage to Baba with these sweet cakes. You'll find the recipe on page 23.Check Spelling

Baba, by French & Polish definitions, means "old lady." I can picture some sweet grannies nibbling on these cakes while they gossip the day away.

Baby Orange Babas:

1 package yellow cake mix

3/4 c sugar

3/4 c water

3/4 c orange juice [live dangerously & fiberously - go w/the extra pulpy carton]

3 T orange peel cut into thin slivers [white part removed - no zesters allowed, unless you have no respect for the way your baba zested her citrus by hand in the 60s!]

Prepare the batter from cake mix according to the package directions. Place well-greased paper hot-drink cups [I couldn't find any, so in a pinch I used juice glasses and greased them with shortening, liberally] on a baking sheet and spoon in the batter, filling cups half-full.

Bake in moderate oven [375o ] 25 minutes or till done [test with cake tester].

Meanwhile [in your spare time...] make the syrup! Combine sugar, water, orange juice and orange peel. Cook mixture for 5 minutes over low heat on the stovetop.

When cakes are done, cool a minute or two [the cups can be pretty darned hot, page through a mag while you wait], then turn out of cups onto serving plate [a challenge, be warned]. Drizzle immediately with hot orange syrup, soaking the cakes well. Chill. Serve cold with whipped cream. Makes 9 or 10.

Delightful. Refreshing just as BH&G suggested.

See you in a jiffy!


kitsch kitchen aid

I'm in awe of avocado. Actually, I'm in awe of this avocado Kitchen Aid mixer circa '76. My mom hand picked this marv mixer when I was toddling around the farm in Nebraska. She used her mad sow money from the sale of one of our two hogs [Stinky & Dinky] to pay for it. This mixer has mixed every Christmas cookie and gingersnap I've eaten in 32 years. And I'm paying homage to the homemaker by using it for all the kitschen feasts I can.

kitsch prep. kitchen prep. mental prep.

Oooh. Ready for some vivid vintage eats? Me, too! I've been pouring over the pages of my retro cookbooks for a decade oogling the crazy colors and combos inspired by the food pyramids of the 60s & 70s. And now? The time is ripe to share these raunchy retro recipies with you. As soon the pyrex and shopping lists align the cooking will commence! So bookmark this one baby - you'll be back!