June 28, 2008

Sunkist Oranges

This little pamphlet caught my eye last night, from its place on the shelf, peeking out from the other side of the ironing board.

The neat, clean, orange and white graphics on the cover are appealing to me. I like how everything is arranged in the tidy little cubbyholes. It's a funny thing about the color orange and how I feel about it. It's my father's favorite color and given the choice, he would always choose the orange version of anything--shirts, furniture upholstery, flowers, wallpaper, paint--you name it. It's kind of a family joke, how he always chooses that color, no matter how loud the shade, over all the others. Growing up, we frequently had orange when orange wasn't cool.

Orange was never my favorite color, but I've noticed lately that it seems to be growing on me. These days, my eye is repeatedly drawn to orange things in the stores, magazines and in advertisements. I even found myself buying an orange flowering plant the other day.

A lot of the old recipe booklets from Sunkist feature lemons. This one is strictly oranges only. 12 Great Fresh Orange Recipes from Sunkist (1978, 8 pages) is a foldout pamphlet and has some really simple recipes inside. It also tells us a little about two types of Sunkist Oranges:

Your market carries Sunkist oranges every month of the year. Navel oranges, usually seedless, have the characteristic navel formation opposite the stem end and are available from November to May. Valencia oranges, with slightly thinner skins and few seeds, are in the market February through October.

If you've ever wondered about Valencia oranges when they look "greenish" in color, be assured they are fully ripe. Valencias, because they are ripening in the warm summer months, are subject to a phenomenon known as "regreening." The oranges turn golden before they are fully ripe. As the weather gets warmer and they hang on the tree to ripen they actually begin to turn green again, starting at the stem end. Regardless of the outside color, oranges are never picked until fully ripe.


6 to 8 cups assorted salad greens (iceberg, romaine, Bibb)
1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked chicken, cut in strips
3 to 4 Sunkist oranges, peeled, sliced in half-cartwheels
3 to 4 hard-cooked eggs, cut in wedges
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion
Orange Poppy Seed Dressing


2/3 cup salad oil
2 tsp. fresh grated orange peel
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. poppy seed
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. salt

In jar with lid, combine all ingredients; chill. Shake well before using. Makes about 1 cup.


3 Sunkist oranges, peeled, cut in bite-size pieces
1 medium head cabbage (about 1-1/2 pounds) cut in long thin shreds
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine oranges, cabbage and onion. In small bowl, blend mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt. Stir into cabbage mixture; chill. Makes 8 to 10 servings (about 8 cups)

Variations: Add any one of the following:

1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup salted peanuts
2 tbsp. chopped pimiento

June 24, 2008

G-E Kitchen Institute

I love to look at pictures of old kitchens, especially those from the 1930s. I found some illustrations of what the most up-to-date modern kitchens might look like during that time period in The New Art of Buying, Preserving and Preparing Foods (1933, 112 pages).

This cookbook was published by the General Electric Kitchen Institute. The G-E Kitchen Institute was located in Cleveland, Ohio in Nela Park. In all the time I spent roaming and exploring northeast Ohio, I somehow missed Nela Park. (Which is kind of irritating to me now, as I wish I had some current pictures of the place.) I did find some photos online though, which I guess is better than nothing. How did I miss a place this large?

The Institute was fairly new at the time of publication. It's purpose is described in the first section, "A New Art in Home Management."

The entire activities of the Institute are devoted to making the home a more enjoyable place to live and work. Electricity has made possible many new and better methods of kitchen management and it is the purpose of the institute to study, develop and perfect these methods and to show you how best to use them.

Here complete all-electric model kitchens of different sizes are installed. These modern kitchens have electric refrigeration for preservation of foods and cold cookery--electric ranges for better cooking and baking--electric dishwashers to wash and dry the dishes--and many other electrical appliances that General Electric has developed to aid the flow of kitchen work. These various appliances are put in use in the Institute under actual home conditions.
This picture, from the front of the book, shows their home economics experts at work in one of the clean, tidy and modern kitchens.

The Kitchen Institute also offered a Kitchen Planning Division, where skilled architects would help you design a new kitchen resplendent with modern efficiency, beauty and convenience.

All you need do to secure the services of the General Electric Institute is make a very rough sketch of your present kitchen, showing dimensions and equipment you now have. Then call in the G-E representative and he will make arrangements with the G-E Institute to help you modernize your kitchen. If you wish, he will make the rough sketch for you similar to the sample sketch shown below.

Kitchen remodels in 1933 weren't any different than they are now in 2008. They're expensive. The cookbook notes that "the complete kitchen can be gradually acquired on the G-E Step-by-Step Plan, making it easy for families with limited budgets to plan for and eventually own a complete, distinctively designed General Electric Kitchen."

I like this one, particularly the floor. The dishwasher is located just to the right of the sink.

This is the Provincial Designed Kitchen in the General Electric Institute.

In promoting their Kitchen Planning Division, they show Before and After views of one kitchen. Here's a BEFORE view. "The old-fashioned kitchen full of work, crossed and re-crossed with countless steps. The scene of hundreds of lost hours loaded with routine drudgery ... the result is lost youth and beauty, and impaired health."

Here's the AFTER view. Looks like they enlarged the window. The cabinetry gives it a whole new look.

This was the new Ten Star GE Refrigerator shown in the cookbook. A GE magazine ad from that time advertised that you could start your new General Electric Kitchen for only $7 a month.

This General Electric Range featured a Calrod heating element, a smokeless broiler pan, sliding shelves, acid-resisting porcelain, a buffet oven top and convenient lighting.

I didn't really realize they had dishwashers available in 1933. The book claims that the General Electric Dishwasher would wash and dry all the day's dishes in 5 minutes. That's quite a bit faster than mine does now.

There's a lot more to look at in this cookbook, but I'll do that another time.

Although I like to look at pictures of kitchens from the 1930s, I'm not particularly fond of cooking in them. Because they don't all look like the illustrations shown in this cookbook. The house I'm in now was built about 1924. Here's a picture of part of the kitchen in 1999 before the house was redone.

I'm pretty sure this was the original kitchen cabinet and sink. If the previous owners hadn't updated the knob and tube wiring, why would they have bothered with new cabinets? Thankfully, it doesn't look quite like this anymore.

Suffice it to say that I watched entirely too much HGTV back then.

June 23, 2008

Tropical Drinks

After I did the luau post, I came across another little recipe booklet on the shelf quite near the original one. Taking into consideration how I bring home, store, and process these cookbooks, it's likely that Exotic Libations (undated, 12 pages) also originally belonged to the same person who owned yesterday's book. Most of the time I can remember exactly where I got which books, but the origins of these two escape me at this hour of the morning.

This booklet is from the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Island of Hawaii and it's so pretty that I couldn't resist adding it on to the tail end of the luau post. And maybe Rochelle, who writes that her family throws a luau every year, will find it useful.

It contains beautiful photography--the cocktails almost come to life on the pages, and it's printed on stiff, glossy paper. The size (3-1/2 x 6-inches) is just perfect for tucking into a bag or suitcase to take home as a little souvenir of a Hawaiian vacation. I'm glad someone did, so I could add it to my collection.

There are seven recipes, five of which I've shown below. Click on the photos to view the enlarged versions and you can see the recipes quite clearly.

June 21, 2008

How to Have a Luau

With the daily escalating cost of air travel, I'm probably not going to be attending a Polynesian party in Hawaii anytime in the near future.

Were I so inclined, I could throw a party in my own steamy, mosquito-populated backyard. There are plenty of books on the subject. There's no shortage of decorations and supplies either.

Before there was Amazon, with multiple books available on every subject, and party supply stores on every corner with decorations for every imaginable theme, people sometimes made do with what they could get their hands on.

In 1984, one might have used the Hawaiian Luau Recipe Book (circa 1984, 16 pages) as a guide to throwing their own Polynesian theme party.

The sponsors of this booklet were SilverStone cookware, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts and Oscar Mayer. They thought of everything.

First, they give you a little luau history:

Known as pa'ina back in ancient times, luaus have evolved into festive Hawaiian feasts for all occasions. Some last for one meal, some last all day. Some are for baby's first birthday, some are for weddings ... others are for just getting together to have a party.

Traditionally a large earthen pit known as an imu was dug in the ground and padded with banana stumps. Then the pit was filled with sizzling, hot rocks wrapped in leaves and vines. The heat from the rocks then released the moisture from the banana stumps which effectively turned the imu into one giant steamer.

Into the steaming imu was placed a whole pig, fresh fish, lobster, laulaus, chicken, taro, yams, breadfruit, and many other native delicacies.

As good as the food was ... the company was even better. The fact that everybody knew each other combined with the great food and drink to make each luau a memorable fun-filled occasion for all. Soon guests were playing native games and dancing the hula into the wee small hours.
Strangely enough, they even injected a little humor:

Now you can recreate these good times and good feelings right in your own backyard. And don't worry. You won't have to dig up the lawn to build your imu.
The recipes use convenience products from the local supermarket and the use of DuPont non-stick SilverStone cookware is suggested to make preparation and serving even easier on the host or hostess.

To make things more manageable, the meat from the traditional whole pig is replaced with Oscar Mayer ham slices and ham steaks (requiring quite the stretch of imagination I think, but what can you do?). Nothing wrong with Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts in the recipes, though, can't have too many of those tasty little morsels.

The menu suggestion in this booklet goes like this:

  • Pineapple/Ham Pupus (shown above and on the cover)
  • Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
  • Stuffed Mushrooms Nui
  • Aloha Cheese Dip
  • Macadamia Ham Omelette Waikiki
  • Macadamia Ham Aloha
  • Pacific Island Noodles
  • Island Skillet Ham
  • Apricot Ham Macadamia
  • Bananas Hawaiian
  • Macadami Nut Caramel Sundae Wiki Wiki (shown below)
  • Caramel Sauce

There's liberal use of pineapple, ham and macadamia nuts in all of the recipes. I'm surprised that Dole wasn't included as one of the advertisers, they would have fit in nicely.

And let's not forget the exotic drinks: Tahitian Flower (non-alcoholic) and Hoopihoihoi. It's noted that the sweet fruity taste and high potency of these tropical delights are "perfect for loosening up inhibitions and making your party a social success." Don't forget to use large chilled glasses and garnishes such as fresh fruit, pineapple sticks, marachino cherries and non toxic flowers.

That's not all. Other helpful luau hints are also included. The booklet gives a suggestion for making your own invitations amd advice on dress for the party (aloha shirts, grass skirts, muumuus and bare feet).

With decorations such as this halved coconut shell with a candle in it, you can "make your luau site look like it's right next door to Diamond Head." Flower petals, leaves and other greenery are suggested for the table instead of a tablecloth.

You can add even more authenticity to your luau with a few real Hawaiian words thrown in every now and then.

The book admonishes us not to forget a Hula Contest and Hawaiian Music, as well as a little souvenir like a flower lei or a tiki god for the guests to take home with them.

Despite the large amounts of pineapple and the cutesy recipe names with Hawaiian overtones, it's actually kind of a good, loose guide to throwing a luau. It would be a start anyway, a little bit of Google wouldn't hurt either.

This recipe conveniently utilizes all of the products made by the advertisers. I thought processed cheese dips were more standard fare for football game gatherings, rather than luaus, but who am I to say?


2 slices (1/4 pound) Oscar Mayer Jubilee Ham, diced
1/2 cup green pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
16 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup chopped Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
1 pound pasteurized processed cheese, diced

Melt butter in a saucepan or skillet with SilverStone. Saute green pepper and ham until pepper is just tender. Add remainign ingredients; stirring over low heat until cheese melts.

Serve hot as a dip with crackers, toast or raw vegetables.

June 16, 2008

More on Expiration Dates

"Do you know the signs of aging?"
No, this post isn't about botox or cosmetic surgery. It's about spices.

I thought this 2007 advertisement from McCormick was both clever and informative. If I'm not mistaken, I tore it out of one of those pesky cooking magazine subscription solicitations that all-too-frequently used to arrive in my mailbox. (While I truly appreciated the gift subscription that I received, I loathed the avalanche of junk mail that was generated by being on their subscription list. However, I will say that a call to Customer Service asking to be removed from their list did successfully result in stopping the unwanted mail.)

I'm quite aware of the usual, and often vague, advice directing one to use only fresh herbs and spices and discarding those that are past their prime. To be honest, I'm not very diligent about that. But this ad, with its suspiciously familiar spice bottles and red and white tins, sent me straight to the pantry to investigate.

The ad says that McCormick spices in the rectangular tins and glass bottles with labels that say "Baltimore, MD" are at least 15 years old. Fifteen years. That would be 1993. Or before.

Sure enough, I found four offenders in the McCormick brand alone. The ancient (in spice years) bottles contain Cream of Tartar, Anise Seed, Curry Powder and Thyme. Pretty sloppy for someone who obsesses about food expiration dates like I do.

I can't remember what I used the Anise Seed for, but it must have been only once, because there's only a teaspoon or so missing. I used the Curry Powder in a spiced fruit dish on a couple of Thanksgivings a long time ago. I don't care much for the flavor of curry powder and that's the only recipe I've ever used it in. The Cream of Tartar and Thyme have long since been replaced by a succession of newer bottles.

There's also a partially filled bottle of Arrowroot from Durkee Famous Foods. I vaguely remember buying this to use as a thickening agent in a recipe a long time ago. I don't remember what the recipe was. The price tag showing $1.69 is still on the bottle. There's a nagging suspicion that this purchase was made while I was still married. If so, this has really been on the shelf for a while--I've been divorced for over twenty years.

The plastic bottle of Food Club Rubbed Sage? Who knows how long it's been there. It must have gotten lost because I know I've purchased several bottles of sage since this one.

To give myself credit, I do recall throwing away numerous rectangular spice tins from various brands eight or nine years ago. Somehow these strays just missed the cut.

In case you're wondering, I don't have any more antique spices in my pantry. The rest of them are fairly new and fresh. The food companies put expiration dates on everything else. Why not spices?

June 07, 2008

Wesson Oil Cakes

I've got another vintage foodservice cookbook going out the door today. Chiffon Cakes - Including Lovelight Cakes and Icings (undated, 32 pages) was published by the Hunt Wesson Sales Company in Fullerton, California.

These recipes are all for Chiffon cakes and Lovelight cakes and they use Wesson Oil in the cake batter rather than melted butter or shortening. The recipe yields are meant for bakeries and institutional facilities. It is suggested that the baker who sells these special Chiffon cakes will most certainly see increased profits.

I've noticed that the foodservice booklets all mention how profits will increase with the use of whichever brand name product they're promoting.

A few of the recipes included in this booklet are: Banana Chiffon Cake, Cherry Cordial Chiffon Cake, Fruit Bouquet Chiffon Cake, Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake, Mint Jelly Chiffon Cake, Praline Chiffon Cake and a Strawberry Chiffon Cake.

Some of the icings are: Banana Icing, New Orleans Mocha Icing, Orange Chiffon Icing, Strawberry Fluff and the Deluxe Butter Cream Icing (with variations). All of the icings use Quik-Blend Shortening, another product in the Hunt-Wesson family.

Under "Feature Items" are: Lovelight Chiffon Cake, Lovelight Devil's Food Chiffon Cake and a Chiffon Cheese Cake.

Someone is going to have to clue me in as to what exactly a "Lovelight" cake is, because I don't know.

These make lots of cake batter. You can see from the sample page below that the Praline Chiffon Cake makes 19 pounds of batter. Information in the front of the booklet tells you how much batter will fit into the different size pans. I noticed that this particular recipe has Mapleine Flavoring in it. It seems I remember people having a hard time finding this at one time, but I believe I saw some on the shelf at the Super Wal-Mart just the other day. I think you can now also order it from McCormick.

The back of the booklet tells about some other Hunt-Wesson Shortenings and Oils that were available at that time.

MFB - For frying, pie doughs, rolls, and biscuits. An all-purpose shortening, all hydrogenated, with high smoke point to resist breakdown under heaviest continuous frying. Won't gum up fryer. Heavy-Duty MFB is bland, has wide plastic range.

Quik-Blend - For cakes, icings, and sweet doughs. This high emulsifying shortening is ideal for bakers and eating places that bake on the premises. Creams to perfection...absorbs air quickly...has high moisture-holding capacity. With Quik-Blend, icings spread further, cakes are lighter, sweet doughs are wonderfully tender.

Keap - The frying shortening. For buyers who need a specialty shortening for frying only. Keap has high stability...methyl silicones added for longer frying life...for quantity frying at high temperatures...resists breakdown...fully hydrogenated and bland to the taste for best possible frying results.

Kneedit Margarine - For cooking and baking this fine margarine carries a guarantee that it will surpass in flavor any commerical (or consumer) margarine. It's the margarine with the butter-like flavor.

Wesson - America's largest selling pure vegetable oil...excellent for salad dressings. Delicate Wesson is so highly refined it stands up under heaviest frying..."babies" the flavor of fried foods. For baking, Wesson is easy to measure, easy to blend.

June 05, 2008

Oklahoma Peanuts

Many people are allergic to peanuts. I'm fortunate because I'm not one of them. Hopefully you're not either, because today's booklet is filled with recipes for this tasty legume.

It's Easy to be a Gourmet with Peanuts... (undated, 30 pages) was published by the Oklahoma Peanut Commission sometime in the mid-1960s. (The chart inside displaying nutritive values of protein foods comes from a 1963 USDA Handbook.)

According to the information in this booklet, there were over 4,000 peanut growers in Oklahoma at the time of publication. A map shows the Oklahoma peanut producing counties; they make up about 2/3 of the state, mostly the central and southern counties. Today, Oklahoma produces over 1 million pounds of peanuts a year

The recipes and menu ideas in the book are devoted primarily to peanut butter as an ingredient, although there are basic directions for blanching, french frying and roasting. Some of the recipes do use chopped or whole peanuts. They also tell you how to make your own peanut butter.

One interesting fact I learned from his booklet was that raw peanuts can be kept in a fresh state indefinitely if placed in the deep freeze or freezer portion of the refrigerator. This is good information to know in the event we ever come across a good deal on fresh peanuts.

There are several unusual recipes in here: one is a recipe for Protein-Packed Pizza with peanut butter blended into the sauce/topping mixture and another 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts into the dough for the crust.

Others that are slightly unusual are a Peanut Butter Pineapple Salad Dressing, a Peanut Butter Corn Loaf and a Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

Elvis was a fan of grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I know this because I once received an Elvis cookbook from a coworker who was a huge Elvis fan. That gift nicely illustrated how our two totally unrelated interests could somehow be merged together in a mutually satisfactory way. She probably had fun buying another Elvis item and spreading her love of Elvis and I was able to add another cookbook to my collection. I still have the book and think of her every time I run across it on the bookshelf. Some of the recipes are actually pretty good.

The booklet doesn't waste a lot of space on illustrations. The section headings contain little drawings of peanuts with human characteristics. I thought these little peanut-men were especially interesting because they're all sporting headbands with a feather. What a clever way to tie the state's Native American heritage in with the peanut advertising.

Since there are so few illustrations, the pages contain plenty of recipes. Categories range from Main Dishes all the way to Desserts. There are quite a few candy recipes.

One candy recipe is for Peanut Patties--those round pink sugar patties filled with Spanish peanuts. There's nothing quite like a fresh peanut patty. I've never made any myself because I can buy the Dickies brand (made by the Tyler Candy Company) at a nearby store. They're usually very fresh because they fly off the shelves and the stock is replenished often. The recipe in this book sounds good, although it does call for the addition of evaporated milk, which I don't normally associate with peanut patties. I am of the opinion, however, that evaporated milk makes anything taste better.


2-1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. white corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
3 c. raw spanish peanuts
1 t. vanilla
1 t. butter

Mix sugar, syrup, milk and peanuts together and cook over low heat for 1 hr. Add butter and vanilla and beat until creamy and spoon out on wax paper to form patties. Add red cake coloring if desired while beating.

(I tell myself the nutritional value of the peanuts offsets all that sugar.)

Surprisingly, the one recipe I did not find in this booklet was one for Boiled Peanuts. This is a treat that I always get when traveling through Alabama or Mississippi. Normally I wouldn't be fishing anything to eat out of a crockpot on a convenience store counter, but these are an exception. I've never noticed any boiled peanuts for sale on my trips to Oklahoma. I guess that delicacy is more common to the southeastern portion of the U.S.