May 22, 2010

Complimentary Meat Recipes

This little booklet, Meat Recipes and Menus (1949-1950, 40 pp.), was published by the Home Economics Department of the National Live Stock and Meat Board. The "Meat Board" was established in 1922 with the goal of promoting beef, lamb and pork through education, research and information.

This particular copy was given away during the holidays by Marron's Meat Market in Oakland, California.

The booklet is divided into different sections, the first few being different methods of preparing the meats: roasting, broiling, panbroiling, braising and cooking in liquid. It then addresses Sausages and Ready-to-Serve Meals and Leftover Meals. There's also a secion on Desserts.

It's illustrated with small black and white images of the finished dishes.

The recipes aren't just for boring old hamburgers and pot roasts. This recipe for Sweetbread Grill is found in the Broiling section.

There are Suggested Menu ideas for each recipe. Here are some examples:

Tropical Ham Slice, corn on the cob, asparagus spears, coleslaw, hot rolls, butter or margarine, apple dumplings, milk, coffee

Double-Stuffed Meat Loaf, green beans, parsleyed potatoes, tossed salad, hard rolls, butter or margarine, Party Pineapple Cheese Pie, coffee, milk

Lamb Loin Chops, potatoes au gratin, broccoli, minted peach salad, hot rolls, butter or margarine, double fudge cake, milk, coffee

P.S. - Don't forget the butter and margarine for your rolls!

This recipe for Brain Oysters, found in the Cooking in Liquid section, caught my eye. At first, I mistakenly thought it was a recipe for oysters.


1 pound brains
1 quart water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
Cracker crumbs
Lard or drippings for frying

Wash brains. Add water, salt and vinegar or lemon juice. Simmer 20 minutes. Drain and remove outer membrane. Separate brains into pieces about the size of an oysster. Dip in egg then in cracker crumbs. Fry in lard or drippings until well browned on both sides. 4 servings.

Undecided on what to serve with this lovely entree? Here's the Meat Board's suggestion: Brain Oysters, shoestring potatoes, green beans, Waldorf salad, bacon muffins, butter or margarine, apple brown betty, milk, coffee.

The use of lard as a cooking fat was quite common back then--it's in many of the main dish meat recipes and in this Homemade Biscuit Mix. They didn't leave it out of the cake and pastry recipes either.

There are plenty of Time Tables to help you out. There are invidivual Time Tables for Roasting, Broiling, Braising and Cooking in Liquid.

The handy index in the back of the booklet lists all of the recipes. I like the illustration on this page.

May 12, 2010

Chun King Oriental Cookery

Remember when cooking Chinese food at home meant La Choy or Chun King? These were the brands most commonly found on the shelves of your grocery store aisle.

A young man from Minnesota named Jeno Paulucci started the company called Chun King in 1947. According to this article, the name Chun King "was his idea of a Chinese-sounding city". His initial $2,500 investment made him a fortune when he sold his company to R.J. Reynolds in 1967 for $63,000,000. (Isn't that an impressive increase in zeros?)

American Oriental Cookery - Quick and Easy (1962, 36 pp.) was one of the promotional recipe booklets published to help market his products. At the time of publication the company offered 21 different canned products and 14 frozen products.

I can't say that that either the photography of the finished recipes or the recipes themselves do anything to increase my appetite. But perhaps things were different in 1962. I was too young at that time to be influenced by this sort of advertising.

I do remember my father eating the canned Chow Mein, but then his tastes have always run toward the unusual (Vienna sausages were another favorite of his). I don't recall ever even visiting a Chinese restaurant until I was well into my teens and choosing my own places to dine with my friends.

The booklet actually advertises three different brand name products: Chun King, Mazola Corn Oil and Argo Corn Starch.

I'm not sure which two dishes are displayed on the rear cover, but neither of them look particularly appetizing.

There's a convenient index in the back where the recipes are listed by category. Here you can see the variety of recipes (including desserts) that are included in the booklet. The chapter titles are more imaginative: Appetizers for the Cocktail Hour, Ways with Eggs, Entrees with Oriental Flavor, For Brunch or Lunch, Feminine Hospitality, Family Dinner Menu, For Men Only, Teen-Age Bill of Fare, Salads and Salad Dressings, International Dishes American Style, Vegetable Dishes with Oriental Flavor, Dishes for Lent and Entrees for Gourmets.

This is a listing of the different Chun King products available in 1962.

The booklet was published by Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. Notice how similar the cookbook style is to the Culinary Arts cookbooks. These recipes are from the Interntional Dishes American Style section.

The best part of this old booklet for me was the fact that I found it with the original mailing envelope. I love that old Chun King mailing label. It looks like it came off of a gummed pad and it's hand addressed rather than typed. The postmark indicates that it was mailed on February 25, 1966 from Duluth, Minnesota. The return mailing address is The Chun King Corporation, P.O. Box 206, 5020 Roosevelt Street, Duluth, 1, Minnesota. The postmark message says "The Royalty of Nationality Convenience Foods". It was sent via Third Class Mail and cost six cents.