Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Vintage Cookbooks and Recipes

Jerry Stratton, January 29, 2022

This is a work in progress. It’s here because I have to point the short URL to something. It will eventually be filled with more about whatever it was that sent you here.

January 3, 2024: Looking back over 1950 in vintage cooking
Distracted vintage chef: Last year’s vintage cookbook jealous of this year’s.; cookbooks; memes; food history; vintage cookbooks

On December 28 of last year, I posted A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023 and wrote that:

I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe from this calendar each month come January.

I didn’t use as many of these recipes as I would have liked. Life kept intruding, and new cookbooks kept beckoning. But I did manage to try July’s Banana Cream Whip recipe well after the Fourth, August’s Date-Peanut Butter Filling for summer guests, November’s Cranberry Ice Box Pudding for Thanksgiving, and December’s Fruited Peanut Butter Rolls for Christmas.

I remade October’s Bacon-Corn Fondue over the holidays, as I planned to do, although I didn’t use ham this time.

Given how few recipes there are per month, I do wonder how often members of the Hope Lutheran community brought the same dishes to get-togethers! Fortunately, making these recipes 73 years later I didn’t have to worry about someone else bringing the same one.

Independence Day’s Banana Cream Whip is such a lovely and simple recipe, I’m surprised it’s not in the Chiquita Banana Recipe Book.

Banana Cream Whip

Banana Cream Whip

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 1 hour
A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023
Hope Lutheran 1950 calendar of recipes (PDF File, 11.7 MB)


  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup whipping cream, whipped


  1. Mix bananas, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
  2. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. Chill.
  4. Serve as is, with sliced fruit, or sprinkled with granola.
November 1, 2023: Eddie Doucette’s Potato Bread
Potato Bread: Potato Bread, from Eddie Doucette’s “You Can Have Fun With Yeast” in the Alton Evening Telegraph of April 4, 1967.; bread; potatoes; Eddie Doucette

Friday is National Sandwich Day. If you’re having a backyard barbecue or picnic, or just making sandwiches for lunch, consider making this light, flavorful potato bread to help celebrate the occasion.

I found this recipe in the April 4, 1967, Alton Evening Telegraph. It was part of a media blitz for Eddie Doucette’s “French Cooking Can Be Fun” show at Alton’s Monticello College. There was a lot of cool stuff in there, which you can see in Tempt Them with Tastier Foods. Tempt Them is a free download, and it’s also available in print if you (as I do) prefer having a book in the kitchen.

I can’t overemphasize how much fun Eddie Doucette’s recipes are, how much joy he takes in spreading the message that “cooking can be fun”.

The article that featured this recipe is “You Can Have Fun With Yeast”. It’s a typically upbeat and encouraging article from Chef Doucette. He starts off quoting his mother about the importance of bread, talks about the nostalgia, drama, and romance of working with yeast, and ends with a positive affirmation about the pleasures of home cooking:

With our modern mode of cooking and baking it is a pleasure to produce sumptuous light taste-provoking baked goods, whether it be for your own table, a surprise gift for a dear friend, a church social or what-have-you, I’m certain you’ll find you can have “Fun With Yeast.”

It’s an upbeat sentiment that others can only see pessimistically.

When I was growing up nobody could show me how to bake bread—and it’s only gotten worse. It seems such a shame that as a culture we don’t teach our children about the basic things in life—bread making, gardening, sewing—and the value of work. At some point, all these things got to be beneath our dignity. If you can’t work with your hands, you lose the richness of your life and the sense of being productive. — Edward Espe Brown (Flour Power)

Doucette’s unstated motto is, why complain that people don’t bake, when you can instead show people the joy of baking? That cooking can be and is fun!

September 20, 2023: Plain & Fancy in the seventies with Hiram Walker
Brandy piledriver: Piledriver brandy and gin drink, from Plain and Fancy ways of using Hiram Walker Cordials, ca. 1972.; brandy; oranges; beverages; drinks; Hiram Walker; gin

Orange, brandy, and gin. A great relaxing accompaniment to a lazy summer afternoon.

The very first hard liquor I had was a fuzzy navel at a family Christmas party back in the seventies. I’m pretty sure my aunt and uncle made it using Hiram Walker Peach Schnapps. If not, it was De Kuyper Peachtree Schnapps, but unlike De Kuyper, Hiram Walker was partly a Michigan business. Even looking at the Total Wine website right now, they don’t have Hiram Walker Peach Schnapps in Texas, “but we found it at Grand Rapids, MI.”

So when I saw the wonderful artwork on the cover of Plain and Fancy ways of using Hiram Walker Cordials (PDF File, 9.2 MB), I bought it despite having no desire whatsoever of keeping my liquor “cabinet” stocked with multiple flavors of cordials. While I’m pleasantly impressed with people who do have well-stocked liquor cabinets, I just don’t drink enough for that. Even on my limited shelf, I have liquor that’s over ten years old.

One of the liquors I enjoy but don’t drink often is brandy. And, it turns out, most of the brandy recipes in Plain and Fancy are very simple. So both of the drinks I tried from this pamphlet are from the two facing pages focused on “California Brandy”. I chose the Piledriver and the Sidecar because they use alcohols I already had on hand.

I don’t know if Hiram Walker California Brandy was merely brandy from California, or if it was some sort of special cordial. Either way, I didn’t use California brandy, and I didn’t use Hiram Walker. I used a Raynal & Cie French brandy.

In the Piledriver, I also replaced the Hiram Walker Sloe Gin with Bombay Sapphire. For the orange juice I did indeed use orange juice, albeit frozen orange juice concentrate, reconstituted.

For the Sidecar, I replaced the Hiram Walker Triple Sec with Grand Marnier. I did have to go out and buy a lime. One lime is very close to one ounce of lime juice.

The pamphlet’s purpose appears to be convincing people to keep lots of cordials on hand and experience the “new world of fun, excitement and discovery in Hiram Walker Cordials” for all your “memorable moments—those special occasions—plain or fancy!”

September 13, 2023: Finding vintage cookbook downloads
Orange macadamia fudge: Orange macadamia fudge from the Imperial Sugar Company’s 125th Anniversary cookbook.; oranges; macadamia nuts; fudge; Imperial Sugar

Orange macadamia nut fudge, from the Imperial Sugar Company’s 125th Anniversary Cookbook in 1968.

Most of the time, the easiest source for online cookbooks is archive.org. It has its own search facility for finding titles. If you’re looking for an ingredient or term rather than a title, you can use a general purpose search engine. You can search for that term and restrict the search to archive.org. Most search engines have something like a site:hostname search. To find all mentions of old fashioned brown sugar on archive.org, for example, search for "old fashioned brown sugar" site:archive.org.

If you’re using macOS or iOS, you may find xSearch useful. With it, I can just type ia texas cook book to search the Internet Archive. I set the xSearch shortcut to “ia”, and the URL to “https://archive.org/search.php?query=%s”. The “%s” is replaced with whatever text comes after “ia” and the space. In this example, that means searching all of the titles at the archive for the words texas, cook, and book.

There are several collections at Universities also, and they have some great old cookbooks available for download. One of my favorites is Michigan State University’s Sliker Culinary Collection of Little Cookbooks. It is filled with wonderful old pamphlets and promotional books, such as Diamond Walnut Recipe Gems. Fair warning, browsing this collection can easily make hours disappear without feeling the time pass at all.

Often, university collections focus on the specific geographical area that the university serves. Even closer to my heart than MSU’s little cookbooks is their Feeding Michigan collection. This doesn’t collect commercial pamphlets, but community cookbooks dating all the way back to the 1800s—all from Michigan. Two great cookbooks if you don’t want to randomly browse it and lose those many hours are The Charlotte Cook Book and The Grand Rapids Cook Book.

August 16, 2023: Oktoberfest Sauerkraut for Potato Day

Do you make mashed potatoes for National Potato Day? Crack open a can of beer and use up any leftover mashed potatoes in this sauerkraut-bacon casserole. Eddie Doucette recommended this for Oktoberfest, but if you’re willing to use the oven it’ll be good any time of the year. It might even be good made in a covered grill, but you’ll still want to broil it to get a nice golden crust on the potatoes.

Just thinking about that… I’ll bet it would be awesome made in a charcoal oven.

Oktoberfest Sauerkraut

Eddie Doucette’s Oktoberfest Sauerkraut

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Eddie Doucette
Tempt Them with Tastier Foods: An Eddie Doucette Recipe Collection


  • 3-½ cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 5 slices meaty bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2-3 cups or so mashed potatoes


  1. Dump the drained sauerkraut loosely in a greased casserole dish.
  2. Sauté the bacon and onion lightly.
  3. Add the bacon and onion to the sauerkraut along with the caraway and beer.
  4. Toss lightly to mix throughout.
  5. Add enough beer or water to barely cover.
  6. Cover the casserole dish and bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove and top with mashed potatoes.
  8. Place under the broiler until golden brown.

I’m going to assume you know how to make mashed potatoes; if not, Doucette has a really nice recipe for Golden Mashed Potatoes which I’ve reproduced in Tempt Them with Tastier Foods. And of course there are mashed potato recipes all over the Internet. It’s not particularly difficult. The recipe is practically in the title: boil or bake potatoes. Mash them. For extra credit, whip in some butter, some milk and/or cream, and some salt.

In my interpretation of the recipe, you’ll need about two cups, but whatever you feel like: more potatoes is never a bad thing. But be careful if you make the mashed potatoes fresh for this recipe: I ended up eating about half of the mashed potatoes I made for the topping before I got around to using it as topping. I had barely enough left over.

August 2, 2023: Eddie Doucette recipe sampler

Tempt Them with Tastier Foods (PDF File, 10.5 MB) contains all of the Eddie Doucette recipes that I could find searching online auction sites and newspaper archives. It includes all of the recipes from the typewritten viewer notes that I wrote about earlier and a lot more. Most of the new recipes come from IGA store advertisements throughout the sixties. Despite some occasional weirdness, I’ve yet to try a recipe that wasn’t tasty. Some are amazing.

His potato bread recipe, for example, came from the pre-presentation press materials of his 1967 French Cooking Can Be Fun evening at Monticello College in Alton, Illinois. As I wrote in my announcement post, he pretty much took over the Alton Evening Telegraph for his media blitz. One of the articles was You Can Have Fun with Yeast.

With our modern mode of cooking and baking it is a pleasure to produce sumptuous light taste-provoking baked goods, whether it be for your own table, a surprise gift for a dear friend, a church social or what-have-you, I’m certain you’ll find you can have “Fun With Yeast.”

I’ve never made potato bread before, so I thought I’d try his recipe. It was amazing—and it was easy to follow, too. Normally I have to make some adjustment for kind of flour and for things the recipe-writer assumed. In this case, I made the potato-liquid mix as directed (using the potato option) and put exactly 4-½ cups (19 ounces) of sifted flour on top of it in the bread machine. With no adjustments at all, out came a perfect loaf.

July 12, 2023: Tempt Them with Tastier Foods: An Eddie Doucette Recipe Collection
Tempt Them with Tastier Foods front cover: Front cover to the Eddie Doucette recipe collection, Tempt Them with Tastier Foods.; Eddie Doucette

Eddie Doucette’s mantra: “Cooking Can Be Fun”.

In my post about the recipes I found from a viewer of Eddie Doucette’s 1954 television show “Home Cooking”, I noted that he later became the IGA chef and introduced many recipes in abbreviated form in IGA ads in local newspapers. I promised “a few of” those recipes “in a future post”. This is that post, and by “a few”, I mean every recipe I could find researching old newspapers and scouring auction sites for old ephemera. I’ve collected them as a PDF (PDF File, 10.5 MB), an ePub (ePub ebook file, 9.4 MB), and as a print collection.

I was unable to try all of the recipes, but I did try a lot, and they are some very nice recipes. IGA was, and is, a grocery store semi-chain. It stood for “Independent Grocers Alliance”. Recipes under Eddie Doucette’s name began appearing in IGA ads in late 1961 but the official start of Doucette’s relationship with IGA was 1962.

Introducing Eddie Doucette… IGA’s own Chef (former N.B.C. TV Chef and noted food authority) whose recipes and ideas will help brighten mealtime for you in ’62!

Recipes continued to appear under his name in IGA advertisements into 1971. It appears that IGA would provide the recipes to local grocery store owners; the grocery store owners could choose to reproduce these recipes in their advertisements, or provide them, perhaps on recipe cards, to shoppers at the point of sale.

With the IGA deal, he went beyond Chicago. His recipes appeared throughout the United States from Mexico, Missouri to Pocatello, Idaho. They even appeared in the Camrose Canadian of Camrose, Alberta, Canada.

He continued his cooking demonstrations around the country, now under the IGA brand. The Uintah County Library Regional History Center has a 1964 photo of Chef Eddie Doucette showing “some tantalizing food magic at Rex’s IGA Foodliner store demonstration”. Rex’s IGA Foodliner was in Vernal, Uintah County, Utah.

June 7, 2023: A golden harvest of sunflower seeds

View application.

Golden Harvest Sunflower Seed Recipes (PDF File, 2.6 MB): A fascinating bit of ephemera from the early seventies.

Back in the last century, along with the regional specialty food manufacturers that famously included extract companies like Adams Extract the United States also hosted several specialty regional nut and grain mills. One of my first glimpses of this is in a wonderful old cookbook from El Molino Mills of Alhambra, California. And Beatrice Trum Hunter references many such companies in her Whole-Grain Baking Sampler.

Unlike the extract companies, these natural grain mills were a natural ally with the counterculture granola movement of the sixties and seventies. Unfortunately, while all of the mills I’m aware of long-predated the sixties counterculture, few survived it.

This Golden Harvest Sunflower Seed Recipes (PDF File, 2.6 MB) pamphlet came in at the tail of that movement, 1972. Golden Harvest was a brand or subsidiary of General Nutrition Corporation. The company seems to still exist, but they appear to be mostly a vitamin sales company. They abandoned both of this pamphlet’s trademarks at about the same time. Golden Harvest expired on December 14, 1985 and Natural Sales Company on January 12, 1986.

The whole grain mindset of these companies was usually somewhat different than the natural foods mindset of their sixties and especially seventies customers. Most modern “natural” recipes that replace white sugar in traditional recipes with honey and whole grains also eschew sugar and fat, resulting in less flavorful meals. That’s not true with books like Hunter’s, and especially not with this pamphlet.

May 24, 2023: El Molino Best: Whole grains in 1953

El Molino Mills was one of a breed of local specialty food manufacturers that has mostly vanished. Here in Texas, we had—and still have—Adams Extract. Imperial Sugar, on the other hand, has been bought up by the international Louis-Dreyfus Group. It still exists, but it’s no longer a local company.

El Molino Mills was based in Alhambra, very near Los Angeles. They appear to have been founded in 1926, “between Alhambra and Los Angeles… with a capacity of 10,000 barrels of flour and 2,500 tons of feed per year.”1 They advertised not just whole grains, but also whole grain mixes, at least in the Los Angeles area. “Have you tried… El Molino Muffin Mix?” asks a 1949 advertisement in the Los Angeles Tidings. “Equally delicious for Hot Cakes, Waffles, Cookies… Just add Milk and Egg.”

It looks like they started winding down around 1974. A reader of the Long Beach Press Telegram wrote, that year, about where to find “wheat germ and middlings” after El Molino Mills had “recently discontinued its sale.” The newspaper’s “Action Line” replied that El Molino “still has several cases left” for purchase at the mill’s storefront. Which, technically, isn’t an answer, if the reader wanted to know what to do when El Molino’s supply ran out.

By this point, El Molino Mills had moved from Alhambra to City of Industry. They appear to have remained in business, at least as a storefront, through 1977, when the Press Telegram’s Action Line correspondent again recommended them to a reader looking for “edible whole grains”.

According to Dave Bristow in The Los Angeles Mirror, El Molino served the western half of the United States. In a May 12, 1954 article extolling the new health-conscious food consumer, Bristow wrote:

May 17, 2023: Something fishy in the state of Wisconsin
Mother’s Day fish: Mom prefers brownies to gelatinous fish salad.; fish; Mother’s Day; brownies

You and me both, mom.

The fish dishes continue into May in the Hope Lutheran 1950 calendar (PDF File, 11.7 MB). For April, I made the Oyster Stew and the Salmon Salad. For May, I made the Molded Fish Salad.

I was very pessimistic about the Molded Fish Salad, but the reality exceeded my wildest fears.

April’s fish recipes were very easy, tasty, and worth remembering. They were, like the Shrimp Spaghetti I wrote about in the parent post, meant to be made quickly and from canned ingredients. There are a lot of fish recipes in this calendar, mostly from cans. This is the first time I’ve used canned oysters, and the first time I’ve used canned salmon. I was pleasantly surprised by both.

The oyster stew and salmon salad were part of the “Easter season of celebration”. I had actually thought about making the Chocolate Marble Cake in April, but I have some other chocolate cakes I want to try more, and I also already had too many baked goods on my schedule.

Further, the Salmon Salad helped me use up two items in my refrigerator, half of a tiny jar of pimentos and the tiny bit remaining in a jar of my homemade India Relish from a 1981 Michigan cookbook.

You can see the butter in the oyster stew. It gives the milk and cream an almost cheese-like color. And of course you can taste it, too. This is a very rich stew for such a quick meal.

It also features a very old-school technique. When you’re done with the stew, you don’t just remove the bay leaf, you also remove the onion and parsley. Like the bay leaf, they’re used to flavor the soup, not to texture it. It’s a creamy soup whose only texture is its creaminess and the very buttery oysters.

I was pretty sure that, as long as the canned oysters were good the oyster stew would be good. I was less sure of the salmon salad. In fact, I really like salmon and was afraid of wasting some on a bad recipe. But as I said above, the recipe helped empty my fridge of two almost-empty jars. That was a very serendipitous coincidence.

April 19, 2023: Hope Lutheran 1950 Lenten fish au gratin
Icthus the Fish: The Roman fish symbol, also used by Christians in the early church.; Christianity; fish; Roman Empire

I’m not necessarily going to cover every month in the 1950 calendar I posted just before the New Year. While I will be making a recipe from every month, I expect that some months won’t justify a post. For example, I wasn’t going to do a post for March’s calendar recipe. The fish au gratin I made was fine but I didn’t have enough to say about it to justify a post.

But there is something about it to justify an unfocused ramble. One of the interesting things about a cookbook that is also a calendar over half a century old is that it follows seasons that no longer exist.

In the Catholic Church, in 1950, abstinence lasted nearly the entire period of Lent, not merely Fridays.1 Easter in 1950 was the same date as this year in 2023 and that means that like this year, the entire month of March 1950 was Lent.2

Year-old lemon mead: A bottle of year-old lemon mead from the Foods of the World volume, The Cooking of Scandinavia.; lemons; Time-Life; Foods of the World; mead

A bottle of fine vintage mead… one year old, anyway, that has been in my fridge since I made it in early 2022.

From what I can tell, in the Catholic Church it wasn’t until 1962 that abstinence was relegated to Fridays3 I suspect there was something similar at Hope Lutheran as well, because every recipe in March was seafood. It was only when I started thinking about that that I decided to do this post.

Now, this calendar is not a Catholic calendar: Hope Lutheran is, obviously, Lutheran. Specifically, Missouri Synod Lutheran.

March 22, 2023: Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book

Bananas are a staple of American life today, and much of that success likely comes from this promotional book by the United Fruit Company’s Home Economics Department. At the time it was written United Fruit still had to convince people to use bananas regularly. Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book (PDF File, 9.9 MB) tells consumers not just that bananas taste good and are nutritious, but also that they’re not dangerous and everyone can enjoy them.

That “nature seals bananas in a germ-proof package” and that they’re perfect for everyone from infants to athletes to old folks.

From the cover and interior art to the banana-related advice to the recipes themselves, this is designed for people who aren’t familiar with bananas and need a banana manual. This pamphlet covers how to choose bananas, how to ripen them, and how to slice them. It even explains how to mash them. There are three different ways: a fork, an egg beater, or an electric mixer.

And it’s narrated throughout by Chiquita Banana herself. In a chef’s hat with a teacher’s baton, she points to three simple steps to keeping bananas. In her Carmen Miranda hat with a painter’s palette, she draws a picture of the three stages of banana ripening. In the same fruited hat and accompanying herself on the banjo, she sings. The music is in fact playable, though there’s nothing exciting about it.1

February 22, 2023: 1950 Cherry Pudding Dessert
Cherry Cream: Cherry Cream from the 1950 calendar of Hope Lutheran Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.; cherries; pudding

For February’s 1950 calendar recipe, I had planned to choose the Shrimp Spaghetti. But I found myself in a hurry and wanting something sweet, and realized that the Cherry Cream would give me an excuse to also make my favorite vanilla pudding. I still intend to try the Shrimp Spaghetti. It’s just such a Deplorable Gourmet combination of ingredients. But it’ll have to wait until later.

The Cherry Cream recipe calls for a package of vanilla pudding; if I’m reading it right, it assumes that you’re mixing the two cups of milk in the ingredient list with a package of powder. The milk isn’t called for anywhere else, and it’s listed after the “1 package prepared vanilla pudding”. The recipe then later refers to the prepared pudding as “custard” if I’m reading it right.

My favorite quick vanilla pudding recipe uses 2-½ cups of milk, so that’s what I used for the “custard” of this cherry pudding.

I’m not sure what the recipe list means by “cherries”. I’m assuming some sort of canned or preserved cherries, because the second item in the ingredient list is a cup of cherry juice. I’m guessing that the juice comes from the can or jar of cherries. I chose to use maraschino cherries, because I have a giant jar of them in the back of my fridge. I suspect that maraschino cherries are sweeter than what they meant, so I cut back on the sugar, from ¾ cup to about ⅓ cup. I probably could have cut back further, or even completely.

I also increased the lemon juice by half, to a full tablespoon. Partly to offset the sweetness, but also because I had a bowl of leftover lemon juice in the fridge and it turned out to be exactly a tablespoon. There didn’t seem much point in leaving a teaspoon of lemon juice in the fridge.

And as is often the case, I doubled the amount of almond extract in the cherry part of the mix, because I pulled the fact of almond extract from the instructions, and the amount from the ingredient list. Recipes that sum ingredients which get used in multiple parts of the instructions often cause me to mistakenly add the full amount from the list rather than the partial amount from the instructions. It doesn’t seem to have hurt it, probably, again, because the maraschino cherry juice is very sweet.

February 8, 2023: January birthday veal from 1950
Veal steak roll: Veal Steak Roll, from the 1950 Hope Lutheran (Chicago) recipe calendar.; ham; food history; vintage cookbooks; veal

In A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023 I wrote that “I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe from this calendar each month come January.”

As New Year resolutions go, that’s not a difficult one. A little expensive. For January’s recipe, it came down to the Birthday White Cake or the Veal Steak Rolls; The cake looks very good, but I was already making a lot of baked goods from the El Molino Best cookbook, so I went with the Veal rolls.

Veal is not cheap nowadays, so I made a half recipe. A little under a pound of veal cutlets was about twelve dollars. January is a birthday month according to the calendar, and birthdays demand a special meal. A special meal justifies a little added cost.

I don’t know that veal cutlets are the same as the “veal steaks” called for in the recipe, but it was either cutlets or ground veal. Veal doesn’t seem to be as popular as it once was, either.

I don’t have garlic salt on hand, so I seasoned the veal with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic.

The recipe makes the interesting assumption that 2 pounds of veal steaks is the same number of pieces as a half pound of sliced ham. I didn’t think to measure it, but that seems about right. My just-under-a-pound of veal cutlets meant four cutlets; four slices of the sliced ham that I bought for this recipe (and for sandwiches from El Molino whole wheat bread) seems likely to have been about a quarter pound, perhaps a little less.

Had I gotten a full pound, that would have meant another cutlet. My guess is that the recipe is meant to produce ten, or maybe twelve, rolls.

February 1, 2023: A home-cooking handful from Eddie Doucette

View application.

Fascinating and easy recipes from a pioneering television show!

These sheets (PDF File, 2.9 MB) were advertised on eBay as recipes from a 1960s Chicago restaurant, Eddie Doucette’s Pancake Plantation. The note said that the typewritten sheets had belonged to their aunt.

I wasn’t interested in recipes from a Chicago restaurant I’d never been to, so I posted it to a vintage recipe group thinking someone else might be. But the title of the sheet didn’t sound like a restaurant to me. Instead of just Eddie Doucette, I did a search on the full title, and discovered a very obscure Chicago cooking show, Home Cooking, that aired in the fifties.

That sounded a lot more interesting. At $2 including postage, I decided it would be worth at least a blog post.

After I received them and looked at them, I asked the seller if they knew how their aunt acquired them, or why she’d typed them up?

Our aunt… had many recipes from Chicago area restaurants from back in the day. Also many recipes from different radio and tv programs. She was an adventurous cook!

So this does indeed sound like a viewer who typed up recipes from a television show they enjoyed. It’s a show that few people seem to remember today. The number of hits on my Internet search for it while writing this brought up all of three hits, one from a 1954 newspaper and one from someone posting old TV schedules. I was able to find a handful more results by rewording the search terms, but there’s literally nothing about anybody talking about the show. All the hits are from contemporary newspapers—mostly TV guide-style listings—and media clippings about upcoming series to watch out for.

February 1, 2023: Eddie Doucette’s “Home Cooking” episode guide

While searching for an episode of Eddie Doucette’s “Home Cooking” 1954-55 television show, I also kept a list of what episodes I found. As you can see, there are a few missing. If you have Chicago-area TV Guides from the missing weeks, scans or photos of the 1:00 PM slot for Monday through Friday will be greatly appreciated!

  • The missing weeks for 1954 are the weeks of September 4, October 23, October 30, November 6, and December 4.
  • The missing weeks for 1955 are the weeks of January 15 and January 22.
Monday, August 30Eddie Doucette returns to his post as mentor, with easily followed recipes. Eddie considers costs as well as glamor, and uses clever touches to meals. Today: Chicken that’s different; peach meringue torte.
Tuesday, August 31Eddie Doucette with easily prepared meals. Today: Ham steak gourmet; green peas Bayou; berry mush.
Wednesday, September 1Pie crust tips; mystery pie.
Thursday, September 2Fillet of sole Jeanine; fruit Carnival.
Friday, September 3Breast of lamb pinwheels; baked meringue spicecake.
Monday, September 13Eddie Doucette prepares “Elmer’s circus cake with carousel frosting.”
Tuesday, September 14Eddie Doucette with baked onions Bordelaise and Lyannaise potatoes.
Wednesday, September 15Eddie Doucette prepares chicken tamale pie as today’s recipe.
Thursday, September 16Eddie Doucette prepares California guest cake; fluffy orange frosting.
Friday, September 17Italian pizza pie is chef Doucette’s treat.
Monday, September 20Eddie Doucette offers recipes for steak strips with soybean sauce, Chinese style, and fluffy rice.
Tuesday, September 21Succotash souffle, deviled tomatoes, Midwest Style, are Eddie Doucette’s offerings.
Wednesday, September 22Eddie Doucette prepares candelabra cake and marshmallow frosting.
Thursday, September 23Lobster curry and Risotta ring are on the Doucette menu today.
Friday, September 24Eddie Doucette prepares sauteed chicken and Bourguignonne.
Monday, September 27Chef Eddie Doucette with pork chops topper; one-meal-casserole.
Tuesday, September 28Eddie Doucette with chocolate angel pie.
Wednesday, September 29No show listed.
Thursday, September 30No show blurb.
Friday, October 1No show listed.
Monday, October 4Chef Eddie Doucette prepares ham loaf with horseradish, scalloped potatoes.
Tuesday, October 5“Apricot Braid.” Eddie Doucette.
Wednesday, October 6Showman-cook Doucette with his specialty, “Bubble and Squeak with Wow Wow Sauce.”
Thursday, October 7Eddie Doucette prepares country style omelet and popovers.
December 28, 2022: A 1950 recipe calendar for 2023
Hope Lutheran Church 1950 calendar: “My faith looks up to thee.” From a 1950 recipe calendar of Hope Lutheran Church, Milwaukee.; calendars; Milwaukee

If you have any 1950 calendars lying around, you can use them in 2023—or you can use this wonderful old collection of recipes tied to the seasons!

Old cookbooks are not alone among the ephemera that often raise more questions than answers. Old calendars, with their strange holidays and even stranger assumptions about how you use them are also often like peering into a different country. But what about old calendars that are also cookbooks?

On the same online group that produced the wonderful Deplorable Gourmet—a few months before our Texas meetup—a friend posted the enigmatic (and always exciting) words “I found a cool cookbook for you. I’ll bring it to the meet.”

It turned out not to be a cookbook, but a calendar, a 1950 calendar from Hope Lutheran Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It took me slightly longer to track down where they were than it should have because while they provided their address on the calendar, they did not include either the town or the state where the address was located. This was well before zip codes, too, and the phone numbers are all five digits with a word in front of them, that is, Division 2-0471 and Kilbourn 5-5524.

That Hope Lutheran is part of the “Missouri Synod” sent me up the entirely wrong tree, as there is in fact a Hope Lutheran just outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

But once I tracked down the cross streets, it turns out the church is still there, at 1115 N 35th St, Milwaukee, just like the calendar says. And it’s still Missouri Synod.

Kaestner, the funeral home that sponsored the calendar for them, is long gone, although (some of) their records appear to be preserved at the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

Each month has a collection of season-appropriate recipes, although, oddly, the recipes are behind the month. That is, January’s recipes are only visible during February, the Fourth of July recipes only show up when you switch the calendar to August, and Thanksgiving only shows when you switch to December. The recipes for the month are on the same sheet as the month, which makes it impossible to see them both at the same time!

December 21, 2022: Promotional cookbook archive
Rogers’s Christmas Tree: From the Rainbow, December 1984, “Holly Jolly Holidays”, a Christmas tree by Robert T. Rogers.; Christmas music; Christmas carols; Color Computer; CoCo, TRS-80 Color Computer; computer history; Christmas tree

Merry Vintage Christmas!

If you’re a fan of vintage cookbooks, I have a Christmas present for you. Since writing the searchablePDF script that I used on The Baker’s Dozen, I’ve started scanning in more of my old promotional pamphlets that don’t appear to be available online.

The Baker’s Dozen is the reason I wrote the script. Afterward, I went back and recreated Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes and the Directions for Operating [a Dominion] Waffle Iron so that they take advantage of the new capability as well. They are now searchable and they have a table of contents. I’m about to do another sweetened condensed milk pamphlet and have finally delved into the mysteries of evaporated milk.

This page will automatically update whenever I upload a new vintage pamphlet. I have some neat ones ready to go. There are some fascinating recipes in them, as well as strange terminology. Rather than force you to go searching the site, I’m going to archive them here automatically whenever I post a new book. This page will also include any of the missing indexes when I make more—and I have at least one more I want to make. It’s going to be a big one, and very cool, so stay tuned.

I’m looking forward to making more old recipes and writing about them over the next year.

Enjoy, and Merry (Vintage) Christmas! If you enjoy vintage cookbooks, this is a gift that will keep on giving.

I’ve moved the cookbook archive to its own page, and made it searchable as well. The simple list of downloads remains at the bottom of this page.

If I’ve retyped a pamphlet it will be available both as an ePub and as a PDF. You can read an ePub in any ebook reader, and it will format itself automatically to fit your mobile (or desktop) screen.

November 23, 2022: Baker’s Dozen Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

View application.

A PDF of The Baker’s Dozen.

I said in the first installment that I’d have more recipes later from The Baker’s Dozen (PDF File, 3.3 MB). Here’s the first. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, so I couldn’t resist trying this recipe. They’re a wonderfully chewy-crunchy oatmeal cookie that flattens naturally into even rounds. The coconut enhances the chewiness without harming the crunchiness. If you sprinkle coconut on the cookies before baking, there’s a wonderful rush of toasted coconut flavor; if you don’t, the coconut flavor is much more subtle but the coconut chewiness remains upfront.

They’re great either way.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Baker’s Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Servings: 48
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
The Baker’s Dozen (PDF File, 3.3 MB)


  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Calumet Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut


  1. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and soda.
  2. Cream butter.
  3. Gradually add sugars; cream until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
  5. Add flour mixture in 4 parts, beating just until smooth after each addition.
  6. Mix in rolled oats and coconut.
  7. Drop by teaspoonfuls (½ oz) onto ungreased baking sheets.
  8. Top each cookie with additional coconut if desired.
  9. Bake at 375° for 9 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
September 28, 2022: Granola, the ultimate breakfast
Granola: The Ultimate Breakfast: Granola in a sceptered wine glass.; breakfast; cereal; granola; Claire Saffitz

I love breakfast cereal. My favorite breakfast cereal is granola. And my favorite granola is home-made.

Homemade granola is both more versatile than store-bought and less expensive. You can put what you want in it, and leave out what you don’t want. Prefer cranberries to raisins? Dates to either? When you make it yourself, it’s entirely up to you.

Always add raisins or cranberries after baking. Otherwise they expand and burn in the oven. A long time ago, when I pulled recipes off of the nascent Internet instead of from old cookbooks, I used a recipe that added the raisins before baking. They expanded and burned in the oven, even with copious mixing during baking. I’d suggest that if you run across such a recipe and still want to try it, hold the dried fruit until after baking, then mix it in when the rest of the ingredients are done.

Burnt raisins can turn you off of home-made cereal very quickly and for a long time. There doesn’t appear to be much of a caramelization middle-ground between “not burnt” and “charred to a distasteful crisp”.

Cooking for Consciousness is possibly the best hippie cookbook I have, despite coming from a questionable source1. The recipe as I’ve presented it here is much more precise than the recipe in the book, which basically consists of, mix some oatmeal, honey, salt, and oil, then consider adding some of these other things. Vanilla, walnuts, cinnamon, and cranberries are among my favorite “other things”.

September 14, 2022: Popcorn is a many-splendored thing
Buttered popcorn: Buttered, salted popcorn in a bowl.; popcorn; butter

Is there any more perfect snack than popcorn? Quickly popped on the stove, drenched in melted butter (six tablespoons per half cup of unpopped), and salted to taste, popcorn is easy to make and very, very easy to eat.

I have never understood the appeal of microwave popcorn at home. It’s easier to pop corn on the stovetop than to pop it in a microwave. On the stove, you pop it until it stops popping. In the microwave, you pop it and walk away, come back and realize it was burnt, throw it out, and put in another one realizing that using the microwave doesn’t mean not staying with it until it’s ready.

In a hotel room, microwave popcorn has its place. Most hotel rooms have microwaves, but do not have stovetops.

There are many, many ways to spice popcorn up besides—or in addition to—butter and salt. Among my favorites is to add curry powder. Probably any curry powder will do, but homemade makes it easy to adjust the spices perfectly for whatever use you have—including putting it on popcorn along with the salt and butter.

Mushroom curry

Curry Powder

Servings: 24
Preparation Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp fenugreek
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder


  1. Process spices to a powder in a spice or coffee grinder.

You can add this to popcorn microwaved in your hotel room, too. This is by far the way I eat popcorn most—even more than butter and salt, which is probably second.

Probably second, because I also have a sweet tooth. And popcorn isn’t just the perfect snack, it’s also the perfect candy.

August 31, 2022: Three from the Baker’s Dozen

I recently found a General Foods pamphlet in another cookbook that I bought. The pamphlet is a 1976 Baker’s Coconut promotion called “The Baker’s Dozen”. My copy originally appeared in McCall’s, but I suspect it was an advertising pullout that appeared in multiple magazines. The few recipes I’ve tried have been very good—and very rich. There are only twelve recipes—it’s not a true baker’s dozen—but the three I’ve tried so far are some good ones.

The pamphlet advertises “exciting recipe book offers”, one of which is the Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites. Judging from the 1977 (sixth) edition of Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites on Michigan State University’s Little Cookbooks Collection, none of these recipes are in it. In fact, the 1977 edition of Favorites looks like a barely-updated version of the 1962 edition.

This is, as far as I can tell, an advertisement, not a book. It was bound into the magazine for easy removal and you were even expected to remove the coupon from the final page of the pamphlet. I’ve occasionally wondered about the recipes in the ads companies like Baker’s run. Do they pull them from their larger cookbooks, or make them up especially for the ad? In this case, it appears that they made them up just for the ad. Seems like a waste of great recipes, though it does make for interesting culinary archaeological expeditions.

July 27, 2022: Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes
Chocolate oat cakes and walnut creams: Two very nice sweets made from golden syrup using recipes from the Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes pamphlet.; chocolate; cocoa; cookies; walnuts; fudge; golden syrup

The chocolate oat cakes are a cross between baked oatmeal cookies and unbaked oatmeal candies.

I recently bought an old Franklin Golden Sugar Refining Company cookbook—a pamphlet, really—from about 1910. The Franklin Sugar Refining Company of Philadelphia was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sugar refineries in the United States—and probably the world. They don’t exist today; they’re just a side-note to a company that itself doesn’t exist. Their cane syrup doesn’t exist either. Today, most syrup for baking is made from corn instead of cane.

I didn’t realize when I bought this book that golden syrup was cane syrup. I especially didn’t know that golden syrup was a special kind of cane syrup, one that’s difficult to find nowadays except in specialty stores and through mail order. But I decided to go all the way—so many of the recipes mention the unique flavor of golden syrup that I decided to test them using it. I bought Lyle’s Golden Syrup as a substitute for Franklin’s.

Golden syrup has a wonderful caramel flavor. If this is what golden syrup used to be—and from the description of some of the recipes, I’m pretty sure it is—it’s sad that it isn’t more available. It has a wonderful creamy caramel flavor great not just for baking but also for pancakes and waffles.

There are surprisingly few histories of golden syrup online. As I write this, the Wikipedia entry is barely more than a stub. The Lyle’s page and most British pages about golden syrup focus on Lyle’s, not on the syrup itself.

Franklin Golden Syrup Recipes (ePub ebook file, 582.8 KB) is a very short collection of recipes. Unlike other branded syrup recipe books I’ve seen, it focuses exclusively on baked goods and candies. There’s nothing here about using the syrup on hams or in casseroles. I’ve also made it available as a paperback flipbook.

  1. <- National Sandwich Day
  2. Ice cream ->