December 11, 2005

Swift'ning Shortening

Swift & Company was incorporated in 1885 by Gustavas Franklin Swift. Located in Chicago's Union Stock Yard, they became one of the largest and most innovative meat packing companies in the U.S.

Commercial refining of lard, an animal fat, was a natural path of diversification for the meat packers. It was one of many products developed to use the discarded portions of the cattle and hogs that were slaughtered for their meat.

The introduction of cottonseed oil as an ingredient in refined lard later led the meat packers into the production of shortening as well. Many meat packers produced shortenings both with and without vegetable oil.

Two of the products sold under the Swift'ning brand name were Swift's Bland Lard and Swift's Shortening.

Swift'ning Shortening, a lard-based product, was developed by Swift & Company during the 1940's. It was marketed as an all purpose shortening and contained a mixture of both animal and vegetable fats.

A number of recipe booklets were published to promote the use of Swift'ning brand shortening.

One such advertising promotion was found on a 3 lb. can of Swift's Shortening. The rear of the can featured a mail-in offer for the recipe booklet 77 Recipes using Swift'ning Make-Your-Own-Mix, by Martha Logan, the Swift & Company Home Economist. (1950, 34 pages). The purchase of a can of shortening was necessary as a paper disc from the top of the can had to be sent in to receive the booklet.

The recipe for Swift'ning Make-Your-Own Mix, a mixture of Swift'ning, flour, salt and baking powder, yielded 13 cups. Stored on the pantry shelf until needed, it could be mixed with milk and a variety of other ingredients to bake a variety of breads, muffins, waffles, cakes, cookies, puddings, dumplings and main dishes.

Another recipe pamphlet, a shorter version called Selections from 77 Recipes Using Swift'ning Make-Your-Own Mix was also published (1950, 6 pages). It featured a plain cover and 22 of the recipes from the original booklet.


At 10:04 PM CDT, Blogger Rolling said...

I would love to have the Cherry Nut Party cake recipe that was on the 3LB. Swif t' ing shortening can. Thank you!

At 7:45 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased at a garage sale a set of toasting glasess offered by Swift'ning. You had to send in the paper disc on the can along with 50 cents. The advertisement says you can buy them for $1.95 in the stores. They are about an inch high and sit around the rim of a cake so each slice has a toasting glass. Has anyone seen any other sets? I would love several.
Thank you!

At 2:39 PM CDT, Blogger pkitty said...

I have the recipe that Rolling is requesting.

Cherry Nut Part Cake

1/2 c. Swift'ning
1/2 c. sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
1 T baking pwdr
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 c. lowfat milk
1/3 c. maraschino cherry juice
1/2 c. finely minced maraschino cherries
1/2 c. minced nuts
Beat egg whites till frothy. Gradually add in 1/2 cup sugar. Beat till peaks form, set aside. Cream Swift'ning and 1/2 cup sugar. Add in sifted dry ingredients alternately with liquids. Add in cherries and nuts. Mix in meringue. Pour into lined pans. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 min. Yields: two 9-inch layers.

At 3:46 PM CST, Anonymous Pam H. said...

I have a cookie recipe that was my mother-in-laws. it came with cookie cutters that were freebies from swift'ning shortening. I have often wondered how they would bake if I were to use the original product. Do you know if & how much lard was in the original product of swift'ning shortening?

At 11:08 AM CST, Anonymous MaryA said...

Kathy, I know this is a very old post on your blog, but I am making Christmas cookies this year with cookie cutters that came from Swift'ning. I have the original recipe sheet from the company. If you are interested in a copy of the recipe sheet, I will scan it in and e-mail it to you. Just let me know where to send it. I also have a story about using them on my blog this week.

Happy Holidays


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