January 26, 2009

Cottage Cheese Recipes

Introducing Cottage Cheese (1977, 32 pages), published by Borden Inc., was one of the booklets in their New Idea Book series.

Like some of the other booklets in the series, it cost 50 cents and had the five pre-punched holes in the left edge for insertion into a special binder.

While I like the look of the cover, with the four food dishes in sharp contrast to the white background and pretty blue lettering, I can't say I personally care much for many of the recipes found inside.

I like beets and I like cottage cheese, but mixing them together to make Pickled Pink Cottage Cheese doesn't look or sound appetizing to me.

And there's something about the curds of cottage cheese standing out amongst the other ingredients in this Molded Garden Cheese Salad that isn't very appealing either.

Perhaps that's the problem. You can see all too clearly the cottage cheese in most of the recipe photos. In my mind, I think they should blend in more.

The dessert recipes seem okay, but then, there's only a couple of photos. I'd be willing to try this Cottage Cheesecake.


Makes one 9-inch cake.

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 cups Borden Cottage Cheese
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup (1/2 pint) Borden Light Cream
1/4 cup unsifted flour
3 tablespoons ReaLemon Reconstituted Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Borden Whipping Cream, whipped
Chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and butter; mix well. Press on bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Chill. In blender container, blend cheese until smooth. Set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat eggs at high speed until fluffy; gradually beat in sugar. Add remaining ingredients except whipped cream and syrup. Mix well. Pour over crust. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Remove sides from pan. Chill. Spread whipped cream over top; drizzle with syrup. Refrigerate leftovers.

The rear cover is quite interesting to me because it shows a whole pile of Borden products spilling out of a brown grocery sack. It lists the products too, down below the photo. I noticed that there's a typo in the list: "Diary" instead of "Dairy,"

Hope there weren't any typos in the recipes.

January 23, 2009

CSA Workshare Day

Because I was under the weather for the last couple of weeks, I missed the first two days of the CSA workshare that I signed up for. I finally made it out there this week, not really knowing whether or not I was actually up for it since I didn't know what they'd have me doing. I figured I'd either keel over in the field, or not. Fortunately, I'm still here to write about it. I really didn't want to have to cancel for the third time and possibly lose my spot.

The farm is about 35 miles from here, a 45 minute drive, according to the Google Maps. I missed a turn so had to backtrack a bit, and the trip ended up taking about an hour. Next time I'll know. Drop me down with a car and a map into the middle of a strange city of any size and I'm good to go. Put me on a two lane country road with same map and I envariably get lost or take a wrong turn somewhere. I'm a city girl, what can I say? I like places you can get to on the Interstate.

It was cold enough that morning so that I needed four layers on top: a tank top, short sleeve tee shirt, sweatshirt, and lightweight jacket. By about 10:00 I had shed the jacket and then the sweatshirt. By the time I left, around 12:30, it was a beautiful day, in the mid-seventies. It wasn't muddy at all, which was fortunate as I had no rubber boots. I just wore regular utility boots that I didn't care about getting muddy. I could have easily worn sneakers.

I met the owner of the farm, his wife, and a permanent worker as well as a several of the other workshare participants, all very nice people. Our first assignment was to walk down to a field and plant several long rows with tiny cabbage transplants. Lots of walking, bending and stooping was involved--I found out that this workshare thing would be good exercise for me.

We finished that chore in a couple of hours and stoppped on our walk back up to the main area to retrieve the many, many tomato cages that were still sitting out in the rows where the previous season's tomato plants had been. We brought them back down near the main area and stacked them neatly in a pile where they'll stay until they're needed again in the spring.

Our next job was in the greenhouse where we filled seedling flats with soil and then planted them with pepper seeds. We emptied some other seedling trays of their soil and too small/too old transplants to get them ready for planting again.

Then, because it's between seasons, where things operate a little differently than when the official CSA season is in force, we walked back down to the field to harvest what we wanted for ourselves. I'm not sure how it will work during the regular season, but the others talked about how it felt different to be harvesting for oneself instead of for the CSA members.

Luckily I had a canvas bag with me that I had carried my boots and things in, so I was able to use that to hold the vegetables I picked. Some smaller plastic bags would have come in handy to separate out the different greens and herbs.

I didn't take any pictures of the farm because I was new and didn't know how they'd feel about that. Perhaps I'll try and take some another time.

I did take a photo once I arrived back home of the things I'd gotten. This was after carefully separating out the greens and herbs that had all been put loose into the big bag.

I got baby spinach, lettuce, cilantro, dill, Daikon radishes, kohlrabi, some tiny turnips and kale. There were also collards, but I passed on those. This is more than enough for me to eat in the upcoming week since the other person in this house doesn't care for any of this selection at all. Well, maybe the cilantro in some salsa.

They also gave me 15 good-size vegetable plants to take home with me. I was as thrilled about that as anything else because the cost of plants is quite expensive at the nurseries and big box stores these days. I got some broccoli, Chinese cabbage, iceburg lettuce and a regular green cabbage. The other person around here likes iceburg lettuce, so I hope that I can nurse those along before it gets too warm.

I was a good girl and took them right out to the garden and planted them when I got home. It was such a beautiful day, more like April than January, and I couldn't resist staying outside a bit longer.

I also stopped at a hospital volunteer-run thrift store on the way home. One of the reasons I chose the workshare day that I did was because I knew this thrift store would be open on that day. It's only open three days a week and I don't usually visit unless I have other business in that town (which isn't often).

In one of my past kitchen declutterings I had rid myself of my nice large salad spinner because it was so large and I felt it didn't justify the space it took up. There have been times when I've regretted that decision, so I was quite happy to discover a small salad spinner at the thrift for only $1. There was also a larger one, of a nicer quality and five times the price that I didn't choose. I liked that this one would fit easily into my cabinet over the top of the refrigerator. I also like the fact that if I decide to declutter it again in the future, it only cost a dollar.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. I met some nice people, got some exercise, obtained some fresh local vegetables and vegetable plants, with a bonus visit to the thrift store. I even learned a thing or two about gardening that will help me with my own backyard garden, but more about that some other time.

January 22, 2009

General Foods Home Baking

This particular copy of All About Home Baking (1940, 144 pages) is the fourth edition of the cookbook which was originally published in 1933 by the Consumer Service Department of General Foods Corporation. While editions from previous years were published in a hardcover format, this is a softcover edition.

The cookbook is divided into seven sections:

It's a Wise Woman Who Knows Her Baking Rules
Ingredients--The Inside Story of Baking Success
Measuring--How to Play Fair with Recipes
Pans...Oven...Proper Cooling
23 Easy Picture Lessons--The Keys to Baking Success
Some Bright New Menu Ideas for the Hostess

The photo below illustrates the first basic Baking Rule--Be Orderly. Good advice, and still true these many years later.

Be orderly. Do your planning before you start. Choose your recipe, read it through carefully, understand it clearly. Collect all of the ingredients it calls for in their order; assemble all the utensils you will need on your work table. Cultivate the do-it-right habit. It makes the job a joy, and it saves you time, money, and many a worried moment in your baking.

The next photo illustrates the second basic Baking Rule--Use Good Tools. Also still true.

Good tools simplify baking. They enable you to do things more easily, more accurately. They speed up mixing and help you to achieve uniformly successful results. Check up your utensils with the illustration opposite. Here are: standard measuring cup and spoons, a wooden mixing paddle, slotted spoon, scoop, rubber scraper, steel spatula, cutting knives, rotary egg beater, wire whisk, flour sieve, small sieve, mixing bolws with rounded bottoms, baking pans, pastry brush, pastry blender, biscuit cutter, wire cake tester, wire cake rack, oven thermometer, candy thermomenter, pair of scissors, and a cake decorator with assorted tips.

The other rules are:

Choose good ingredients
Measure accurately
Mix carefully
Know your pans and oven, and how to cool your cakes

The next section goes on to explain how not all ingredients are created equal, not only in terms of quality, but also the difference in kinds of ingredients. This chapter tells why the kind of flour and the kind of baking powder used in each recipe is important and why General Foods ingredients are the best because the recipes were developed with these products in mind.

The use of Swan's Down Cake Flour, Calumet Baking Powder, Baker's Chocolate, and Baker's Coconut are all recommended to ensure success with the recipes in this cookbook. And although Diamond Crystal Salt is not specifically mentioned or called for in the recipes, it is shown in this picture below. General Foods acquired the Diamond Crystal Brand in 1929. There are no specific brand recommendations for sugar, shortening, liquids and eggs which probably means that General Foods didn't own any at the time.

In two of the photos above, you'll notice that a copy of the General Foods Cook Book is shown amongst the tools and ingredients. Laid inside the front pages of this cookbook was a single page flyer with an order form for the cookbook. That cookbook encompassed much more than baking and was available for only $1

January 20, 2009

Vintage Revere Ware

This booklet, Revere's Guide to Better Cooking (1941, 32 pages), probably came with the purchase of a set of Revere Ware pots and pans. The publication date is only a couple of years after the cookware's introduction at the 1939 Chicago Housewares Show.

The covers and the interior pages of the booklet all are printed with the patriotic color scheme of red, white and blue.

Revere Copper and Brass Incorporated of Rome, NY was the manufacturer of the cookware at the time of this book's publication.

The booklet has a short intro about the benefits of waterless cooking and why Revere Ware was the product that would ensure success in this area. There are a few recipes included as well as instructions on caring for and using the cookware.

The positive attributes of the cookware were the copper clad bottoms that were good for even distribution of heat and the stainless steel which provided for "easier cleaning, greater beauty, greater sanitation." They use Dieticians and Chefs as the experts recommending the product. You can click on any of the smaller photos below to enlarge.

One page lists some of Revere Ware's "Extra Features" such as the bakelite handles and the self-sealing lids. No hiding places for germs is an additional benefit.

Tips for keeping your Revere Ware looking "Spotlessly New" are shown on another page.

This is from the Vegetable Cooking Guide, telling how to prepare Spinach, Squash and Turnips in Revere Ware.

Preparing dried fruit, Baked Apples and Applesauce is shown on this page.

This page shows an eleven piece set which was chosen by a jury of "influential women" as being a collection of the most essential pieces.

Another page shows the All Pupose Set:

What I find most interesting are the two pages in the rear of the booklet that show the then-current pieces in the Revere Ware product line. Each piece is illustrated and shows the catalog number, dimensions and capacity.

These two pages can be useful today for cooks who are looking for pieces to fill out their collections.

January 07, 2009

Magazine Recipe Clippings

I know I'm not the only one guilty of saving recipe clippings from magazines and newspapers. Rochelle, for one, admits to having a box full.

My own collection of clippings falls into two categories. Those I have personally saved and those that once belonged to someone else. We'll discuss those that belonged to perfect strangers and why they're now taking up space in my home some other time.

Over the years, I've used several methods to "organize" my clippings. Unlike Rochelle, I never used the box method. Well, not with my own clippings, anyway. I never transferred very many of them to recipe cards like this girl did. I stuck to notebooks and binders.

Here's one binder that's been on my bookshelf for many years. Judging from the dates on some of the clippings, this one looks to be from the first half of the 1980s.

See how organized it is? The only things actually in the binder the way they're supposed to be are the section dividers. They came that way from the factory. I mostly just folded the magazine pages in half and stuck them inside.

Apparently, one of my favorite magazines back then was Good Housekeeping. They had several recipe series over the years, one that featured Susan, the Beginning Cook, Show & Tell, and another called GH Entertains. I saved a lot of those.

I acually tried the Chicken Bonne Femme recipe that's in the photo above. As I recall, it turned out very well. Probably because of all the butter it required (1-1/2 sticks).

There are quite a few brand name recipes in here. Ads from Holland House and Planter's are shown above. Many of them I clipped because I liked the way the advertisement looked. I might have also been clipping between meals and might have been hungry. Lots of things sound and look good when your reading magazines on an empty stomach. Just like at the grocery store.

I never did get around to making the Thanksgiving Bird shown in this ad for Early California Ripe Olives. I still like the way it looks. But I'm not really fond of ripe olives.

Nor have I ever made this cottage cheese and fruit banana split inspired by products from Kraft and Dole. I've got those cute little ice cream dishes stored away somewhere though, just in case I ever do.

I have made these Almond Pinecones a couple of times, though not always with the cream cheese filling in the recipe.

Here's a casserole recipe using Durkee French Fried Onions that's not the infamous Green Bean Casserole. Pork Chop 'N Potato Bake uses frozen hash brown potatoes and cream of celery soup. I'm older now and have learned a lot of cooking short-cuts. If I get a craving (which I sometimes do) for these fat-filled little onions, I just pour some out of the can onto a plate, pop them into the microwave for a few seconds, and eat them that way. Craving satisfied, and no need to go to extremes by preparing an entire casserole.

So although I've tried some of these recipes, and I might actually pull this book off the shelf more frequently than others that languish near it, I've not tried the majority of recipes contained inside. Chances are, I probably never will.

However, I fear that, like the Biscuit Box, it's destined to be on my shelves forever.

I don't save many recipes from magazines or newspapers anymore because I don't buy or subscribe to as many. Although I prefer to read a paper copy of anything rather than something on a computer screen, I have managed to reign in my recipe clipping tendencies by not letting the paper into the house in the first place.

For those of you who are surely thinking , but what about all those cookbooks?, I can only say, we're talking about newspaper and magazine clippings here, remember? That's different.

All of that said, I must mention what brought this entire post about in the first place. I was looking through the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Everyday Food and came across this ad from Barilla pasta:

I noticed that they refrained from printing the entire recipe in the ad; only part of it's shown. Instead, they encourage one to go to their website to find the rest of the recipe.

This is one magazine clipping that's not going to be in anyone's recipe binder twenty years from now. It's not even going to make it to the clipping stage.

What will the recipe clipping collections be like in the future?

Perhaps the computer-savvy now prefer to cut-and-paste all their recipes from the web and save them into neat little folders on their computer. Maybe they'll be able to access those files in the future, maybe not. Maybe they'll go so far as to print them out, organizing them into a new style of clipping collections. Will these have as much personality as all of the colorful pages ripped from magazines? Will they bring back the same memories?

What's you clipping collection like. I know you have one.

January 06, 2009

Random Doings

Here it is January 6 and I've yet to post anything for the new year. This is mainly because I can't seem to focus on any one cookbook, or any cookbook at all, for that matter. My mind still seems to be cluttered with things from the old year.

Perhaps a post about some of the random things I've been doing or thinking about will get me motivated and I can get back on track.

First of all, although Santa did not bring me a new camera last Christmas as I had hoped, he did bring me one this year. My old digital camera was purchased many, many years ago, specifically to take pictures for Ebay. Surprisingly it had not yet given up the ghost, but it was past time for a new one. Like my refrigerator and the Energizer Bunny, it just never seemed to quit, so I was having a hard time rationalizing my "need" for a replacement. (This is one of the ways in which I manage to not have to rejoin the corporate world; by exercising patience--lots and lots of patience.)

I have a bad habit of not using new things right away, letting them sit around in the box or bag, for quite a while in some cases. Case in point, I have been hand washing dishes for months because the new replacement dishwasher is not quite all the way installed. (I hope it works.)

The camera brought the pressure of having only 30 days to decide if it was one I liked. Darn those return policy rules! This meant I have had to actually get it out and use it, whether I felt like it or not. So far I have managed to take some pictures and get them downloaded to the computer. There's still about 160 pages in the manual that I haven't yet addressed.

I though these pictures from the garden turned out okay. At least, they look okay to me, on my monitor, another thing I've not yet taken the time to fine tune.

This was the first time I've ever grown broccoli. One of my neighbors told me it was easy. And she was right. I wish I had planted more.

This is my Bok Choy, also a first. I think I may have let it get a little larger than it's supposed to be before harvesting.

And the Lettuce, something else that's easy when the temperature's not too hot.

The old camera would have never taken pictures like these. Now I can take a decent picture of a ladybug on a leaf if I want to.

Another neighbor brought us two more jars of Cowboy Candy just before Christmas. I shared one jar with my gardening buddy, who loves it even more than I do, and plan to ration the remaining jar out over a period of time. I think this was the best new food that I tried in all of 2008.

This picture, taken indoors in poor lighting, is not so great, though you can see the remants of the old masking tape on the jar lid pretty well. If I had time to mess with learning more detailed photo editing, I suppose it could be made to disappear.

I've also signed up for a Workshare in a CSA in a neighboring town. (This is where a corporate job would come in handy, enabling me to fork over the cash for a regular share instead of doing it this way.) We'll see how that goes as my first day is scheduled for later this week. I think rubber boots will be in order, although it remains to be seen whether I'll be wearing a jacket and gloves or a tank top and shorts to go with the boots. The weather can't decide if it's winter or summer. I wonder if they'll kick me out if they find out I have a blog that features processsed food cookbooks?

I noticed that Robb Walsh, restaurant critic for the Houston Press and author of my favorite Tex-Mex cookbook, has a new book out about oysters. He has a slideshow, Oyster Moments, with some great photos he took during the course of writing the book.

Okay, now that I've gotten all this out of my system, do I feel compelled to grab a cookbook off the shelf and start writing? Not really. But maybe tomorrow.