Sometimes I attach too much importance to the mundane. But you already knew that.
I got the most pressing of the outdoor needs squared away, and retreated indoors. Yesterday morning we woke up to snow. Just a dusting, but still- snow. In November. BLAAARGH.
The one good thing about cold temps- aside from drawing in those deep breaths of cold air, I love that, but not the kind of cold that makes your lungs feel like they're turning into brittle shards of ice and makes your throat wonder just what it ever did to you to deserve this treatment- aside from all that, the good thing is, of course, baking. Temperatures plummet and my oven beckons. But not in a creepy, come-hither way, you understand, more of a slide-some-apple-pie-into-me-baby way, which gracious sakes, is still creepy. I don't understand what I've done to this post or how I've managed to violate my own oven. I'm beginning to think I shouldn't be allowed to write after 11 p.m.
Right. Baking when it's cold out. Let's focus.
All this cold weather is rather fortuitous, as while we were in Kansas over the weekend celebrating a wedding and eating an early Thanksgiving meal and fighting over whose turn it is to hold the babies, my mom also passed on a recipe book my grandma picked up at an auction recently.
About 3/4 of its contents are dessert recipes and include titles such as Inspiration Cake (above), Peach Luscious, Plain Cake, Sugar-Saving Icing (to get you through all that pesky sugar rationing), and Saucepan Cookies. It contains instructions like "bake in a slow oven" and enough shortening to choke a whale.
My first thought had been to slowly bake my way through the dessert portion, but even I can't stomach the thought of feeding my family that much shortening- do any of you know if butter can be equally substituted? Only one recipe cites its source- McCall's, May 1950- but the few savory recipes only serve to reinforce my opinion of mid-century American cuisine (ooooh, the salad molds): Deviled Frankfurter Filling, Salmon Loaf, Cottage Cheese Salad (it involves cooked prunes and mayonnaise. You don't want to know. Save yourselves.) and Dressing Mold for Left-Over Fowl ("When preparing dressing, fix an extra amount. Grease salad ring mold and fill with dressing. Store in refrigerator. Bake it next day, and fill the center with the remains of the fowl, creamed. Garnish with greens." GACK).
And somebody, PLEASE, shed some light on this untitled recipe: "Mix ground coffee, unbeaten egg, salt and enough cold water to mix easily- corn bread batter- Heat water until steaming- add coffee mixture and bring to rolling boil- Simmer 10 minutes then remove from heat- Add 1 c cold water and let stand 5 minutes. Ready to drink- Dip off carefully. Coffee isn't done until foam breaks."
|Ice Box Cookies!|
Once I solve the shortening-to-butter conversion, I'm not sure where to start. Devil's Food Whirligig Cake? Sea Foam Fudge Cake with Sea Foam Frosting? Or go more seasonally appropriate and try the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie? All I know is I'm staying completely away from the pages labeled "Attractive Salads."