November 25, 2006

Oak Farms Dairy

Oak Farms is a Texas dairy with headquarters located in Dallas. They are now a subsidiary of Dean Foods (Suiza Foods Corporation) which is the nation's largest milk processor and distributor. There are four main Oak Farms Dairy plants with branches all over the eastern half of the Lone Star state.

The San Antonio plant is the oldest and was built in 1908. The Waco plant came next in 1925, followed by a site in Dallas in 1936 and in Houston in 1940. The site in Houston is the one I remember when I was growing up as we passed by it often.

There are also branches in Wichita Falls, Tyler, Weatherford, Paris, Sherman/Denison, Beaumont, Brenham, McAllen, Uvalde, Austin and Temple. I mention the main plant and branch locations because this information is sometimes helpful when trying to locate old Oak Farms recipe booklets or other Oak Farms memorabilia.

One such recipe book is Oak Farm Recipes (not dated, 48 pp). I suspect it was published sometime in the 1960s or very early 1970s judging by the color photographs of the food and table settings that illustrate the interior. It has a $1.00 price printed on the front cover.

This booklet could have been used as advertising for any dairy as the recipes do not actually call for Oak Farms products, but are generic in nature. An Oak Farms milk carton is shown on the front cover with other company information and the Oak Farms logo found inside the front and rear covers and on the rear cover itself.

The recipes all use dairy products that Oak Farms produced, such as milk, cream, butter, cheese, sour cream, buttermilk and ice cream.

This booklet has a special section on Instant Gourmet Go-Togethers which they describe inside as actually being glamorous throw-togethers. Women back then evidently had the same problems as we do now--a lack of time to hang out in the kitchen. These Go-Togethers were recipes for "gourmet" foods that could be prepared in only 10 minutes.

Examples of Go-Togethers are Snowballs (scoops of vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut and served with chocolate sauce and a maraschino cherry) and Naughty Noodles (noodles mixed with cottage cheese, sour cream, olives and Worcestershire sauce). I'm not quite sure why these noodles are naughty--perhaps they're fattening and therefore not permited if one is watching their calorie intake. There's also a calorie chart in the rear of the booklet.

Other recipe categories include appetizers, cream soups, salads, sauces, casseroles, main courses, vegetables, cakes and desserts.

In the luncheon casseroles section of Casseroles, there are four recipes given for large quantities: Chicken Escallop (50 portions), Ham Loaf (50 portions), Chicken a la King (50 servings) and Macaroni Casserole (24 portions).

There's a page on the nutritional benefits of drinking milk and including other dairy products in your diet.

The rear of the booklet invites consumers to visit and tour the Oak Farms plant and Quality Control laboratory (though it doesn't mention which plant). This may well have been a popular destination for school field trips and scout outings. Although I went on many such field trips in my youth, I don't recall ever visiting Oak Farms.


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